This is a picture prompt from Magpie Tales
The memories in my mind, the visual as clear as if it was just yesterday.
I still cry sometimes.
Mostly late at night, when I lay in bed, thinking about everything, mostly you.
My heart aches for you.
It aches because you're gone, it aches of sadness and emptiness and guilt too.
Two disasters that night.
One greater than the other.
First the power is lost and then you.
But it didn't happen that way, that simply.
The fire alarm went off.
It took it's time to detect the smoke that started off from such a small candle.
But luckily we had the smoke detecters.
Otherwise Jon might not have made his way out in time.
And I probably wouldn't have too.
But then again, maybe that would've been better.
Maybe then I wouldn't have to live with this guilt.
So the ringing woke me and Jon up.
I was so scared.
The fire had begun in my room and stretched right down the hall through the house.
Right up to your end.
Jon woke you up, after much pushing and shaking.
He tried to help you out the window but you ran through the house, through the fire to my room.
You should have listened to Jon.
I was out my window.
I had already climbed out.
That's what he told you I would have done.
So, why didn't you listen?
Why didn't you save yourself?
You had said to me to go to bed.
I told you I wanted to read.
I told you I wasn't tired.
And you listened to me.
But I didn't listen to you.
You told me to put out the candle before I went to sleep.
But the book was very good.
And I read until I grew so tired that I eventually just fell to sleep.
My window had been open and the breeze blew the flame to the curtain.
Setting it up in scary, red flames.
I should've listened.
But you should've listened.
We all should've listened.
But it started with me.
And ended with you.
Unfortunately, the fire ended you too.
I waited outside.
Shivering in my night gown.
A firefighter told me to stand by the truck.
And they used big hoses to try and put out the building that stood there in flames.
I watched Jon climb out the window.
And a smile spread across my face.
Relief spread through my body.
I could just imagine you climbing out after him but you didn't.
"Help!" Jon came over yelling.
"My wife is stuck in there. I couldn't get to the fire extinguisher, it was past the flames in the front room!"
"It's okay, sir!" he shouted and signaled to some others.
"She went after her daughter!"
That's when he saw me.
At first he looked upset, and despair was all over his face.
But then he ran over and he hugged me.
He hugged me tight and for a long time.
As if I was his own daughter.
Even though he knew his wife was in the house, that was up in flames.
Together there, as we were tight in each other arms we cried.
I'm sorry my mother.
I love you.
And I miss you.