I could never find her. * Mother died, then Father not long after. They waited their turn and were not sorry when it came. Margaret’s death had already prepared me for theirs. In Father’s papers I found a newspaper cutting taken from Margaret’s handbag, which had been returned to us after the inquest. The cutting described how a sailor had first taken an overdose and then thrown himself on a railway line. If only we had seen it, we might have been able to save her. Or would we merely have prolonged her suffering, determined as she was to end it? The question will always be with me, the answer the perpetual emptiness of what has not been. Her image has come and gone from my dreams, falling back into the mist as other memories supersede it. All that remains now is the small half-conscious voice that still asks, “Where’s Margaret?”
This is based on a true story that was told to me some years ago.
The third issue of Éclat Fiction (an online short story anthology). www.eclatfiction.com