Crash… went the sound and my heart leapt into my mouth.
The cleaner was at work and I knew what I’d always feared had happened. I also knew exactly what had been broken, for there was that particular sound that indicated the breaking of exquisitely delicate glass.
I made my way to our passage, which was where the sound had emanated from, trying not to look as panic stricken as I felt inside and there was the sight and sounds of shards of glass being swept away. The man looked ashen faced and knew that he had done something that he would probably regret for a very long time thereafter. I looked at the remnants of our grey Lladro vase being swept away and along with the sudden dryness in my mouth that threatened to turn to nausea in the very next minute, a hundred thoughts flashed through my mind.
|( Pic sourced from the net)|
It was exactly nineteen years ago that we had picked up that vase at the Annual Sale of one of the leading stores here and it was easy to recall the pride and joy that we had felt while placing that vase at the exact spot and the even more exact angle that we had wanted. Everything had to be ‘just so’, for we had been eyeing that piece throughout the year, knowing that the best way to get it was when that store went on Sale.
Time passed, we moved houses, added a whole lot of new things to our collection, some of which were way more expensive than the grey vase, but that vase continued to be one of my favourite things.
I would pass by many a time and glance at it as it stood silently, yet proudly in its place and felt a smile begin. That particular smile that came from the inside, not merely the kind that showed up on the face.
“Sorry Madam”, my thoughts were broken as I heard the sound of a man in great mental stress. He knew very well that there was nothing he could do about it and I realized that only too well myself.
So I did the next best thing that I could manage at that particular moment in time. “It’s OK,” I told him, “I know that it was an accident, so just be careful while you clear it up, for we don’t want any glass pieces being left behind.”
And then turned away before he could see the stubborn tears that had welled up and now threatened to spill right over. For that just wouldn’t do now, would it?
Swallowing and heading to the kitchen where I made myself a strong cup of tea, I reflected.
It was finished, over, and nothing would bring it back to me. As I sipped the calming hot tea, from somewhere at the back of my mind I recalled what my mother had always taught us, albeit in another context, “There’s no looking back, only moving forward.”
With each sip of the tea came the necessary strength and my resilient nature re-asserted itself and I resolved to do just that.
Stepping out with my head held high, I looked at the man cleaning another section of the house, and happened to catch his eye just as he looked at me.
And then surprised myself more than I probably did him.
“Theek Hai," I heard myself saying, “I suppose I could just as easily have broken it myself one day"….”
NB- This piece was originally written for my column My Take in Muscat Daily