Time Heals All Wounds
by Summer Rose
I can see her now; she’s sitting with her knees tucked under her, her flowered dress covering most of her tiny legs. She’s barefoot in the green grass, and as I walk quietly closer, I can see that she’s combing her fingers through the stalks. Probably looking for a four-leaf clover. She’s seven years old. She waves her light blonde hair out of her face as the wind blows, and I can see her dark blue eyes. She doesn’t see me approaching, as I walk closer.
I know everything about her. I know what time she gets up in the morning. I know what she likes to eat for breakfast. I know the television shows she likes to watch. I know what she likes to play with, and when she goes outside to enjoy the summer sun. She loves the outdoors. I have seen her play in the mud, happy and excited as she covers her nearly naked body with the dark, wet muck; not a care in the world. Yet. I plan on fixing that.
I know every freckle on her body and how she got that crescent-shaped scar on her right hand. I know she loves to go places with her family. But there’s someone she misses. I know that about her too. I know everything. She’s so good and pure and she has no idea what lies ahead of her in her pathetic life. I inch closer and she looks over at me. I hide the sharp knife I’m holding behind my back. I don’t want to scare her.
She looks at me with a puzzled expression; almost like she knows me. She’s never seen me before, but I’ve seen her. A thousand times. A million times. She blinks her sensitive eyes in the sun and brings her hand up to shade her face as she continues to study my features. Finally she smiles and says, “Hello.”
“Hello, darling, what are you doing there,” I ask her.
“Looking for a four-leaf cover,” she replies. “Would you like to help?”
“I’d love to,” I say. I have always loved searching for the rare find, myself.
She turns back to the grass and that is when I grab her. I wrap my hands around her neck and hold the knife to her throat and before she can make a sound, I make a clean cut across her tender flesh. She looks up at me as her blood starts to cover my hands, and in her eyes I can see one question.
“I am saving you,” I tell her. “You won’t understand now, but you will, just wait and see.”
The color begins to drain from her face and I start to feel very faint. I drop her lifeless body to the grass, as I’ve no more strength to hold her. Suddenly, I lose my orientation to time and space and I’m floating upward toward the sky. I look down, expecting to see two bodies, but there’s only one. One small body stretched out on the ground in a pool of blood.
I keep drifting further and further up, where I finally come to a tunnel. Everything seems familiar as I see a figure walking toward me. I don’t recognize the plump woman at first, because the last time I’d seen her, I was singing hymns over her emaciated body as she lay dying in the hospital. But when I see her face, I know her immediately. But there is something different about her blue eyes. They see me for the first time in her life. See, my great-grandmother had been blind all her life, and with this new birth she has been given the gift of sight.
She holds out her arms and when I run into them I realize something. Although she had been a tall woman, I only come up to the bottom of her breasts. I look at my hands and see that they are the hands of a child. I gaze up at her with confusion.
“Don’t you see, baby?” she asks me. “You saved yourself. You saved yourself from a lifetime of hurt. Of pain. In death, you’ve found the love you deserved. You have given yourself the best gift one could ever give. I promise I’ll take care of you for the rest of eternity. You never have to hurt again, darling.”
At that moment, nearly 40 years of life pass by my seven year old eyes. Eyes too innocent to see the horrors that I would miss out on. Yes, there were good times, but they were few and far between. And the memories disappear as quickly as they start and become nothing more than a movie I’d seen about someone else. Someone I would luckily never become. I could never thank her because she would never exist now. Somehow I think she knows.
I know she knows.