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The Disappearance of Celestine Frost
Words by Marley Korzen
Image by Gretchen Gales
Whatever she was, I’ll never know. But to me, she was a bird— no, more like the ocean or the breeze that swept from it and wrapped itself around you in that calm, providing hug that said to you, "I’m here now. It’s ok." Like the dust shone from her hair I could never grasp her fully— you couldn’t hold on to her, she was fallen into disappearance, unable to focus fully and even more so it became after the accident.
It wasn’t anybody’s fault. The sight of danger never felt like it could ever touch the two of us and there we were, drinking like a band of pirates steeling off the shoal of the road in our perfect automobile; our hands up, casting freely up to the sky and screaming; like fools, who had no thought of anything other then our suicidal instruments we looked after like our own children. We spoke different languages, her and I, for whenever we were disconnected there were shudders, mumbles and words you could not understand. But when we were feeling alive and together, we could speak the word the other was thinking without any care or thought, it was just as pure as the sun rising and setting.
But that day, we were as far away from each other as we could be. It was some foolish argument. I could not recall the exact idea; something about her staying out late working, and me always leaving messes and treating her like a housekeeper. Whatever it was, we were dragging along, and naturally, in these situations, there would always be a bottle in the hand, just to wipe the frown off into replacement with something more bearable as an ear-throbbing smile. And, no doubt, to look more cheerful around other people, which was where we were off to. It was Mr. and Mrs. Eades’ house-warming party they had whenever they bought a new bungalow; this one was supposed to be a particularly special one because it was up in the south mountains of Connecticut. We had just bought at house a few roads down; Celeste found it "absolutely ravishing" living in the country, away from it all, I hated to commute to work, but it made her happy; so blissfully happy, until the distance between the two of us became driven so far apart that nothing gave her pleasure anymore except drinking.
We were just going up the road to 506 Moosehooves Road. It wasn’t even more then six down from our house, theirs was Greek revival, very broad and staunchy for my taste, ours was the pink champagne manor, a piece of cotton candy we picked up by getting lucky from the couple living there being my co-worker’s wife’s grandmother. I saw the opportunity as a good housing investment, but if it wasn’t for Celeste, I would never have taken it; is was much too pricy, too pink, but she loved it. Everything about it, the furniture, the windows, the stairs, and I adored watching her glide like a queen through the floors of such a palace, her long green tea kimono dripping on the floor behind her as she walked and her hair fallen messily around her shoulders, from her dragonfly combs. She insisted on decorating the entire house full of plants and flowers, during our first week of living there I woke up to find workmen dragging dozens of trees, bushes and flowers through the marble floor, dropping mud and dirt all over.
“What’s all this?” I could not bring my inward excitement from the prospect of seeing my house ripped apart to surface on my cool exterior.
“Oh darling, don’t look at me like that, they’re just flowers,” she said quite candidly.
I still do not know why it was that I married her. We met at one of those wretched summer parties during my last year at Yale. Along all the rounds of men at the party I can guarantee that I was the most unsuited one for her, but by whatever means I fell hopelessly in love with her. Her, with her large violet irises and dark hair that had only the slightest bit of wave at the temples and the ends. We had nothing in common, naturally but every bit of love and extraordinary wonder about one another.
“What is it you are going to major in?”
“Gonna be a doctor…well, that is grandly fascinating..”
“Aren't you spiffy, well what are you doing then?”
“I am…..a reader of thoughts...” she smiles, sending a lark into singing in my breast.
“Are you? well, what is it am I thinking then?” I was sure that she could not convey anything that I really was thinking, how could she? She looked much too sweet to be smart, and I was sure god did not create women good looking and smart at the same time, it was either or.
“You are thinking…” she covered her hands over her eyes in thought. “That you should not have left your motor running..’ my face fell. Had I left my motor running? Within a flash I attributed to going back to my automobile to find that it was indeed left on and how strange of a grin did come over my face when I realized that she was, not a narrowly committed reader of the mind but a brashly intelligent girl who saw me get out of the automobile while leaving it running to go give my auntie Grady a kiss before she left, being thrown excitedly into the party that I scarcely forgot to go back. I tried within my best air of coolness to walk back inside after quietly shutting the motor off and come back to the spot where she was sitting with a glass of pink champagne to her lips. When she saw me, a clever smile came across my face and we laughed. It was from then on that we became so close, so undeniably close that it seemed we could have been one person, the separateness seemed nonexistent. Which was why it shuddered me so when she became ill that I could not reach her, for it used to be as easy as waking up each day. But in some ways it’s the hardest reach someone who’s only within an inch from you.
Under the electric veils of light beaming down on me from the hospital room I couldn’t move an inch as the doctor belted out long drawls of unexplained interest that spurred like the unpleasantness of taffy being pulled out from the corners of your teeth. He brang the words, and a powerful ringing filled my ears and though I tried to listen to what he had to say, everything was blurred by the ringing and I was only aware of his mouth moving. No only that, but my eyes were glued to her. Her, who looked so disarrayed in the manner of being sat up against the bed with a bandage around her head and her feet under the covers and those two eyes— piercing at me, but without any thought or nature, no fault, no wonder, no hope no nothing. The sight of her was so objective to her normal way that it sent chills through me. How horrific it was to have the belief that you know someone so well, and then to one day have all of that shattered with the introductory elusiveness that they are human. We take people for machines, deeming them to make something of themselves but how difficult that really is, isn't it? That’s really why conditioning works so well, is because we’re all so human, and yet were defined by this social idealism that we have to be something other then human, in order to be anything really.
Even more horrific was the thought that I could be human, and not this man, this picture that I set myself up to be, a war ship, for when you love someone, all of that doesn't seem to matter, for like I had said, your so close that it’s as if you share the same lungs, so when I saw her without feeling, I was petrified. I did everything, her favorite music I played on the phonograph for hours, always keeping the windows open for the sun to flood in, and making food the subject to her tastes, we had a bird— several actually, small green and yellow canaries in this web of a cage in the bedroom. After the accident, in another way to draw her to consciousness I bought her four more of them, tiny icy blue and green ones who made a loud racket most of the day. They made this squeaking noise which actually disturbed me at first because it reminded me so much of the way she would laugh. She had this strange way of whenever she found something funny, she would squeak like a rusty cabinet. All doors were locked through the hallways close to her bedroom during my hours in the house. Soon I planted flowers, right outside and covered the entire backyard in a field of posies but not one of them came up, not a single one rose out of their beds no matter how much water and mulch I fed them.
It was within two months of stillness that turned the starry-eyes of summer into a frozen bitter winter. I began to feel ill at ease without her. Family, friends, they all called on me and asked if she was doing any better with gestures of support, baking goods and bringing them to me, much to my distaste for I threw them all out afterwards. At the time I wanted nothing more then to be left alone, feeling the bondage of their friendship as a deep annoyance. This only deepened their worry for my predicament, thinking that I spent too much time inside the house. They all had their own opinions, Dermont Bulfraud, one of my closest friends in collage badgered me for answers and details on the accident “Could be some mis-conception in her brain, you know the thing that Sally Hades’s mother had a few years ago, of course the old thing was in an entirely different situation then Celeste— but, don’t you think?” I didn't think anything that he said had much to do with the situation at all, it all sounded like mere bubbles streaming through the telephone.
My mother, sitting down for tea one day in our outside patio in the bitter cold with her massive slab of mink on and Russian hat, suggested a specialist doctor to come from out of town to visit. This I was opposed to, me being in the medical business I should have been the one to suggest the right doctor and it made me feel uncomfortable that she kept butting in. My mother had liked my dear Celestine because she always thought that she was joking when she expressed her views on the world. This just showed how precisely abnormal my wife really was.
“Beach Nudists should not be ridiculed for standing up against cloning and conformity.” she said, when mother was saying how the police had shut down two beaches that year. My mother thought this hilarious that Celeste thought that clothes had anything to do with conformity, until I informed her that maybe that wasn't exactly the point. Later on I ended up giving in to the specialist coming, due to my mother pressing on the subject so much. This persistence within all of our friends and family members deluded me so it almost made me crazy how much they asked for better details, wondering how she went into shock, how the accident happened, how could we have been so careless, were we having problems as a couple, did we see eye-to-eye, I told you she wasn’t right for you, you were never right for her, she was so careless that girl! she was too good for you…
One bright morning I heard a knock at the door and, expecting to open up the door and see Dr. Mulstrode, the brain impairment specialist, found a face so white, it blended in with the surrounding snow behind it.
“Dr. Leopold Glassingler?” two eyes, black, they moved back and forth like marbles on the white face.
“Yes.” I answered.
“I am Reverend Hammond from Saint Pallidus church I—“
In my head, I slammed the door.
“I think you have the wrong house.” I said vaguely.
“Oh I think I am not mistaken, son. You are Leopold Glassingler?”
“I said yes before.”
“Might I come in?”
Without my better judgement I let him in and was having tea and apple pie in the living room, sitting closely together on the sofa. I had not remembered the sofa to be so uncomfortable.
“Beautiful room, the walls— did you do them yourself?” he gestured to the trickling vines that were painted throughout the forest-green walls. I laughed inwardly as I remembered Celestine fanning around pieces of interior art in my face, and how disinterested I was until the day I came back to work and found the walls painted in a blood red color.
I was shaken from the memory when he finally relieved me of the explanation for his visit.
“Your mother, Mrs. Gassingler, has asked me to come and share some words of wisdom during this dark and grieving time you are in.” silent curses in my head to my mother, who was just the type to do something like this, invite some priest to my house without my permission just to scare the hell out of me.
“She is just as mistaken as you are.” I said, expecting my sharp tone to throw him off with raised eyebrows but was surprised at his absent, expressionless face. I went on, “If there be any course of grief in this inconceivable situation that has come forth, it is not to be broadcasted by my family members, or non-family members.”
“I see.” I don’t know what he saw exactly, for his eyes read nothing but blackness as they flinched throughout the room, and glided back on to me.
“You need not be afraid that anything is ‘broadcasted’ your mother simply told me of your problem, and I came to help—“
“There is no problem.”
“I mean—“ I backtracked, what was it I was trying to say? Of course there was a problem, the woman hasn’t spoken for eight weeks. “What I mean is, there is not anything you can do to help here.” he nodded, taking a deep breath and I had the strange and horrible feeling that I might had made matters worse when he leaned forward and put his hand on my knee, rattling my nerves inside like a firecracker going off.
“There is always hope to be found in the church, son. Help is always here. But the only window to god is through hope and help from the church, god will not help you if you are not within his reach.”
“Are you saying that there is no hope for her to recover?”
He moved noiselessly. “I……am saying, son that you may want to step aside and let God take care of things.”
“Let god take care of things.” I repeated just like the dumb child he thought he was talking to.
“Well thank you, Reverend, for that….advice,” I stood up, motioning the maid, Annie for his coat and hat.
“Help is always at the church, son.”
“Right.” hadn’t he already said that? he staggered to the door, eyes moving plainly at his unfinished piece of pie.
As I shut the door after I had tipped my head and said goodnight, I couldn't help but think that if Celestine was there— she would be squeaking so loud that all the hills of Connecticut would be laughing.
Eight weeks later still in the same state of stillness, eyes with no feeling, no thought, and body limp laying in her bed. Windows open, winter started, breeze with faint flitting flakes of snow driving inside the encampment of her bedroom and I— slowly reading to her by her bedside, (something the doctor said would help, but didn’t) issued all the right things, but along the way I was trembling within every inch of me inside, scared to death of the sight of her this way, every day the thought pressing up in my head like a gnat that wouldn't go away, how long? how long will she be like this? I couldn't fathom the thought that I would be taking care of her like this her entire life, sure when we were married I had thought what it would be like in a few decades, taking care of her when she was old, but my vision of that was the sure expectancy that we would have had much more time together before that would happen. I had liked the thought of me putting orange juice on her bedside table, handing her medication for Alzheimer’s, not to be waiting by her empty face each morning, her face as smooth and soft as a porcelain doll— fingers weary, always lead beside her on the bed so dainty and long with nails like informal glass.
In the midst of a novel about time travel I had remembered was one of her favorites, I stopped and gazed at her.
“Darling.” I spoke aloud. It was not like I had not tried it countless times before, speaking to her.
“SPEAK TO ME!” shouting, so loud that the vase next to her bed full of posies— shook but she was still as a statue. Though I knew she couldn’t hear me, on I drove like she could, just like when we had a fight, expecting for her to lash out at me and provoke me like she always would.
“Don’t you sit there like that and pretend like I’m not here, speak to me you fool!” my anger flexed as if I really had a point to all this, even though I didn’t. I wanted, desperately to see any slightest flint of recognition light up in her eyes, so I tried anything to ram her, provoke her.
“How could you do this to me? Really how uncanny, how unthoughtful, this is all an act isn't it? You probably are just trying to punish me, aren't you?” stagnant.
“WELL COME ON THEN, DO ANYTHING, SCREAM DAMN YOU!” I grabbed her and shook her and immediately stepped back for it felt as if I had stabbed a corpse, her body was so limp and lifeless it was horrific. Running, scared like some child I went out of the room, I fled to the outside of the house to catch my breath and some fresh air which was deliberately cold and I realized that I was barefoot. As aimless as I was I continued to walk without any shoes on in the deep-trenched snow, feet aching with piercing blue ice on fire, and a good antidote for being locked inside of that monstrous house for god’s hours in useless work to waken my Celeste— the chambers of the snow my feet were buried in had brought me back to relativity. Walking so fast so that I had no time to really care about the loss of feeling moving from my feet up through my legs it occurred to me that what really angered me about her state was that I was supposed to be a well-educated doctor. I, was supposed to be able to find some antidote, some loose end of her wiry brain and string it back together, for that is what I was good at, wasn't it? Didn't I spend half the day out in some nasty hospital needling people and sewing them back together like lost pieces of a rag doll and ultimately healing them? But in the end, I couldn't save my own precious wife.
And even in the cards I received from the sensitive friends and family members I recalled their pity and underlying shock that I— her husband, a doctor, was unable to fix her.
It seemed my feet were leading me down the path and through the trees to the river where I lead my knees down and sat by the frozen water.
I then let out a great and mournful cry and nonexistent curses to the sky, a quaint search for if God could hear me.
“You are nonexistent, if you were real then you would help me now.” I could feel my knees were quickening in death, the coldness was wrapping in quicker then I could measure but I wasn’t sure if I wanted it or not yet. I was still testing God.
“I’m testing you.” I shouted, and my voice echoed back reverting throughout the deadened forest where nothing but frivolous snowflakes bent and kissed my head. “I want you to prove to me…” I said aloud “If God is love, show me the love I’m waiting, give it to me god damn it!”
The frozen bitterness was starting to sink in and irritate me, closing me to the fact that I would soon have to choose if I wanted to get out of it or stay and let myself die out there. I’d wait another moment, two, three, one, just to make sure nothing was going to come down and strike me, no voice was going to whisper in my ear.
One, the trees still and green pointed towards the heavens leaping limbs frosted with snow and trunks held down to the ground. Two, the vacant eeriness of the bitter wind clasping the sweet surrendered body of the watchful green forest and open blue pool frozen and stone as the face of my dear Celeste— the pool fled derangement to my head in its masterful way of stilling the once beautiful, running wild and free river.
Three, the snow almost like a swift wave of bells charming the earth in a gentle blanket and casting flecks of it on my nose and eyes. Four, nothing. Waiting for nothing to save me, to save her, so there was no God, no miracle to back me out of what I was going to do next. I went back to the bank and thrusted a sharp rock, strong like a blade into the water and, reminding me of opening up a wound, tracing off the crust that froze the water and dividing a space for me to enter. Up until now I hadn't really any second thoughts. There seemed to be nothing that was holding me back, I was strung out on the thought of giving in to this wrenching agony that steered me each day, losing her, her liveliness and being unable to fix her broke the reason of living entirely for me.
Standing there wind sweeping over me, staring down at the entrance I had made into the frozen pool, my black greasy hair combed and brushed neatly each day falling piteously over my face and my blue feet inches from falling— if I didn't go, I was sure to get pneumonia anyway so what was the excuse to go on? I bent down— head close to my feet and eyes faced straight over my exit to this world. Celestine, sweet Celestine, her eyes I saw underneath the water. It shook me, she couldn't actually be— no, it was just my mind casting things over through my head. But as I stared remotely through the edge of the water and saw that it was her eyes, not her distant feelingless eyes, but the beautiful lively ones that I fell in love with, the ones I saw every day up until the accident. Hungrily I watched and saw her looking back at me, laughing, smiling, all the time her careful and perfect irises glinting back at me, winking like some starry-eyed child in wonder with the world.
Falling in, catching glimpses of bubbles floating out alongside me I am graced into the flixion of the abominable desire to die from the cold but this thought is quickly banished when I hear the sound— some kind of semblance of angelic ripples within the water that sounded like music, and as I was listening intently I noticed I was in the presence of a face. Her face, she was still looking at me, and all the more I tried to move toward her, she drew back and I was reduced into following her deeper and deeper into the lake.
But soon, I was swimming through the fragmentation of what seemed like memories and was within the presence of a smaller version of Celestine, who was swimming around me and giggling and laughing like she was having the most grandest time of her life. I came to realize, and hang me if I was mistaken, that it was the six-year-old version of her who was collapsing in a fit of giggles before me. “Posies!” she laughed and spun around and around in a small blue dress, dancing.
“Can you help me I am looking for—.” she leapt around me, “Posies!” she screamed.
“Yes, I know you like posies.” I said calmly.
“Who are you looking for?” the little girl asked, tilting backwards on the floor as she tried to touch her toes to her head.
“I am looking for you— only a much older version.” I explained.
“Well— I am your husband.”
“Are you? You are rather handsome, though I don’t like your face.”
“What’s wrong with it?”
“Right there!” she pointed to my crinkled forehead and I immediately decreased my scowl. “Could you tell me how to get back to her, I need to find her.”
“Is she lost?”
“Did you lose her?”
“Your a bad husband.”
“Indeed I am.” I admitted.
“Well, I don’t know how you can find her, but do tell her if you do, that to wear lots of pretty dresses for me, my mother won’t
allow me to wear certain dresses.”
“I will.” I turned to go, but had one last question, though doubted if I should get a logical answer from this spectacular little girl.
“Do you know— if this is a dream?” she was now doing handstands and looked at me from upside down.
“You’ll have to ask her that.” and, soon enough the girl went skipping away and in through the lake came another figure, a taller, more graceful one of Celestine, in her rightful age. Her hair spun like wild moss, and her skin was droned with an icy blue tinge that made me hurk upon the image of it— and became mesmerized with this strange embodiment of her. Where she was leading me to, I did not know but it felt like hours of swimming under such deliberate conditions that it was strange that it never once crossed my mind the thought of breath or life— all I was thinking about was her, and how desperately I needed her, needed to touch her, needed to talk to her. We passed boulders, rocks and fish traveled by me when she sat down. I was completely undisturbed by the fact that she had no trouble with swimming and was wearing a long dress that it in normal circumstances might have been difficult to swim in. But no, she merely floated down to sit on a seat on a moss-ridden rock, propping her leg upon the other and looking at me with a rather serene expression on her face.
“My beauty— my beauty—“
“Leopold.” her voice clattered through the water in ripples and a few stray bubbles floated out. It seemed to make musical notes as it spun through my ear in a web of clustering velocities.
“Celestine.” I said, remarkably. “Where am I, dearest?”
“It seems you have made it into my mind, darling. You have been upon the shore for a long while, unfocused and devised into your own, but now you have chosen to take a little swim and see what it is that I have been thinking these past three years. Now you wonder what I truly think about you.”
“Yes, I want to know why you chose to marry me.”
“Darling, that is too silly of a question for this level, you’ll have to go up to the tide pools for that one.”
“Levels? You mean we’re at the—“
“Yes. We are at the deepest sight of me, this is the part where all my true desires, all my heart-filled dreaming, all my passions and heartaches take place here.”
“I love you, I am so ashamed for how I have treated you Celestine, I am sorry—“
“This is not the place for you, it is about me, and you are only here to communicate with the part that you never could. So, please go on.”
“Go on and what?” even as boundless I was from myself I still remained dumb as I had always been to her.
“Well you came here so you should know what to ask, shouldn't you, you godless man!”
I could never think of things on the draw as good as other people in my lifetime. I racked my brains for the memory— the great mystery of her, ways of which were like magic tricks, how she could smile one minute, and then shout with anger in the very next instance, how she faulted at speaking amongst my friends but laughed within hers, and most inconveniently, the disappearance of Celestine.
“Why did you leave me?”
“What?” her brows pinned in squint at me. “I never left—“
“Why do you not speak to me anymore, but just lay there all day, with nothing to do or say.” she looked at me perplexedly.
“I have been trampled by an inner thought that has guided my attention elsewhere.”
“What is that inner thought?”
“The inner thought is you.”
I looked at her, unable to fathom what it was she just said. She smiled a little, that knowing smile she had, pleased at the shock she gave me with her words.
“There are a fair few people in this godforsaken world of ours that are obscured with shattering examples in their life. Each person is different, they have their own ways of fixing what happened, of finding their way back. I am searching, searching for the lost piece of you that I once loved, that is now gone.”
“But, I’m right here. I’ve always been. What do I have to do to save you?”
“You do not have to save me.” she said quietly “All you have to do…..is save yourself.” and with these last words she drifted off, her long dress following behind her as she swam and left me utterly bewildered.
“Wait!” I tried swimming to catch up with her but she was moving at an impossible rate for swimming.
It was only later on they told me of how I was mercifully retrieved by the neighbor next door— an old man, whom I had never met went to get his mail when he saw me and pulled me out of the water. I then spent the next eight days in my bed, the only thing that kept me alive was that twinkling noise that still rung in my head, the sound was so beautiful, almost like a harmony of angels singing. And then, one day, my sister came to visit me. I didn't want to see anyone, I knew by then that the rumor was spread about how I tried to kill myself in my own backyard and was torn by the thought of what my family my friends thought. I was asking myself if I was mentally deranged for I thought all the time of Celestine, and what she told me in the lake. Save yourself.
As bad as it might sound to those who were concerned for my situation, I did nothing. Whatever it was that happened to me— seeing death, a mortal reminder, whatever I saw in the lake, it made me pour all my bottles down the drain. I knew then that everyone I knew was scared for me. They thought I had lost my mind, and I still wasn't sure if I had or not, but it was only much later on that I realized just how important this time was.
Around six months after my recovery, the bitter winds of winter had vanished and were replaced with the light warmth of June. The lake was running wild and free and the garden had opened up a replenishing amounts of vegetation that allowed us to live on without going miles into town for groceries. The maid we had hired, Annie was still taking care of my darling Celestine. I fired her. I took the last ounce of dignity I had and shaved everyday, dressed myself in my suit as I used to when I was a young and ambitious doctor, and did everything each day with the thought of my beautiful Celestine, and how if she was watching, she would like to see me living. I was tempted to produce dozens of flowers, but only every now and then produced some wildflowers from the garden at her bedside. The hospital was growing busier and busier and I was making more then I ever had but I quit, and decided that I was unhappy with how things were being managed and I started my own clinic just outside of our town, where I didn't have to drive nearly as far.
I wrote to her everyday, just like I would when I was off on trip and couldn't see her for a week. I could not say that any of these things made me happy or helped, but I thought they brought me closer to Celestine. It felt as if I was mindfully attuned to her thoughts and thus made it feel as if she was constantly there with me.
A day, late in July, when it became inexplicably hot out on the manor, I was drawn to open the bedroom window. Inside the room had grown so noisy with all those birds making such a racket in their cage that I opened the latch and let all the birds free. Some of them flew straight out and sped away into the sky, the others I had to practically tear away from their cage and lift them out the window where they eventually fled. A day later while I was out in the garden, getting frustrated over rehoming a prickled vine I tossed over thoughts in my head of her and came to the conclusion that nothing was going to work with waking her up. None of this, going along life, waiting for her to wake one day, nothing. And unlike some sleeping beauty she was never going to wake up no matter how much love I showed, no matter how much….
I threw off my gloves and went inside. The windows were all open and the heat had dragged itself in so that throughout the day I had been attaining a wet washcloth over her head to keep her from the heat, as I marched into her room, I had grown crazily desperate. I threw off her bed covers. Her legs and arms had grown pearly white from lack of sunlight and under her eyes she looked waxen and yellow. I picked her up in my arms and carried her out of her room, her still face leaned against my shoulder as I strode outside and laid her down on the grass. I laid down next to her and the two of us faced the sky where we looked out through the clouds.
“I’ve been a fool.” I spoke, and yet I wished I could start over again, for my words sounded so unreal, quite unnatural which was not how I wanted to come off as. I tried again.
“I did not realize how important you are to me, how I cannot explain how much I need you, I thought at first that I could do anything, and prove how much I love you, but then I found out that if you love me the way I think you do, you only want to feel safe and loved by the part of me you fell in love with.”
I didn't expect anything to happen, and like I had thought, we just laid there for hours and hours, and I talked, and talked as we looked at the sky and the sun until the sun turned into the moon and the world grew dark and eventually, I brought her back inside. I threw some water on my face and went to bed.
In the middle of the night, I had woken with a strange dream and had thought to check on her and make sure she was warm. Though it was hot during the day, at night time the temperature dropped immensely and I wanted to make sure she had enough blankets. I looked in her room and found that she was gone.
My breathing stopped and my heart went rapid as I looked all around the room and found that she was not there, I ran across the hall and looked in the kitchen, and fled to the bathroom, the living room, the echoing house and found nothing. I ran outside and was calling her name when I saw her, walking through the garden, her face as still as always in a trance as she walked toward the prickled vines in her bare feet.
“Celestine, my dear!” I caught her in my arms and kissed her luminous face in the dark. Her body stirred and I could see the refection of the moon in her eyes move and turn toward me, and it felt as if she had looked at me for the very first time. I could not think of anything to say and so I said quite numbly, “My dear, you have been gone a very long time.” I could hear nothing but the quite call of the loons and the crickets beneath our feet when I looked at her face, her eyes blinked when I spoke in recognition.
“I know,” she said.
And those were the first words she said and after that, there were many after for we spent many incredible years together, without always needing to use words, for Celestine taught me to communicate with her through every way of knowing her. It was with those dreary months of the cold and the frost that she found her way and in her long sleep to unfreeze, coming with the spring and the summer with opened eyes.
And you know, those roses eventually did bloom. And not very long after, did they grow to take over the garden in an miraculous specter of beauty.
#Unreal #ShortStory #MarleyKorzen #GretchenGales #Fiction #TheDisappearanceOfCelestineFrost #SweetCelestine
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