It has been there for as long as I can remember. My mother loved it, and when guests came to the house, she would show it off with pride. On the table next to the window it stands, glowing gold when the rays at sunset strike it at just the right angle. There were others in the house too. Antiques… my father’s old hobby. Most of them have been sold now for rent, but she says memories are too near; too dear to let go of that one. I don’t mind that. I look at it and share her pride too, for after years in that spot, it hasn’t rusted. It still has got that luster to it.
“Mom, where’d you find that beauty?” I asked her once.
She smiled. “Your father was the one who did. Long back when you were just a boy… He had an obsession with these antiques. One day, he brought it home. In one hand was the antique; in the other was a bottle. He looked at me and smiled. He smiled just like you do now. Both were priceless, he said. He kept that clock right there. And for every time the clock struck the hour, he would come find me and give me a kiss. He didn’t care if anyone was around.”
She stopped then. “Go on mom”, I prodded her.
“One afternoon, a stranger had come looking for him. As he sat there in the hall with him, I could hear their voices slowly rising. I couldn’t go in to the hall, I was scared. So I paced the kitchen, praying for the clock to strike the hour soon. And it did, just a few minutes later. A minute became five, five became fifteen and still he didn’t come. Five more minutes passed, before I heard the door shut.”
“I went into the hall, and he sat there in his favorite armchair”, she continued after a pause. “His face was ashen, but I got my kiss. I felt a hand on my leg, and there you stood, hugging me tight; and then…”
“What you guys talking about?” came Dad’s voice behind me as he came up the stairs.
“Nothing”, we replied together.
“Mommy, I can hear voices from the attic again”, called Angela from below us. She’s seven now. Just about my age when it happened. No one can see it; no one wants to actually. Twenty minutes past three that day, it stopped; never to tick again…. And still to this day, on it remain three lone drops of dried blood…
© Leo 01/July/2011