I Will Remember

by Claire Withercross


Thanks to Chris, Michael, and Geoff for the song

She came to live in our village five years ago. Out of the blue this small, old woman with wispy grey hair, supporting herself with a staff walked into my fathers tavern and asked for a room. She hasn’t left since.

Who she is, we don’t know. Mysterious messengers appear every so often to pay for her room, who they are, we don’t know. My father has tried to pry some information out of them, a few have told him they were approached by someone they didn’t know to deliver the money. The messengers who are least talkative are the female ones, which has led to a rumour that she may be an Amazon.

I’ve read tales of Amazons since I was little girl and I know they are fiercly protective of their own, I can’t believe they’d let an old warrior rot in two bit village inn. I’ve heard her talk. She chatters away to herself. At times it sounds like she's talking to someone who isn't there, other times she answers herself. Sometimes she tells stories of heroic deeds. I’ve never heard her mention Amazons. But maybe I’ve never been there when she has.

During the summer she sits in the shade outside and talks to herself. When I’ve finished my chores I’ll sit by her feet, she doesn't know I'm there half the time, and listen. Most of the time it's the rambling of a feeble minded old woman, but I don't mind.

I close my eyes and listen to what she has to say today.


How long ago was it?

Too long.

I know it was early winter the last time I held your hand. The last time we were together. I always thought we would be together for ever. Didn't we promise each other that? Several times, I think.

You once told me never to leave you. I never thought you'd go.

You're only a memory now, like all the others, but your pain is still with me. I've had to suffer that a long time. Longer than I ever knew you.

Your pain. I sometimes thought that was all there was to you. You would describe it so vividly at times I could see it. Your eyes would reflect it.

Flames. I always saw it as flames. Flames as a village burned. I believed you could still hear the screams when you talked about it. I know I could. I can still hear them from so long ago. I hear them in the night and I think of you.

The memories will never leave me. It's all I have now. All I have of you. All I see is you.

I talk to you, but you don’t answer. Then sometimes you never did.

There are things I thought I could never face. The worst is being alone; being without you. I wish I could have taken your place, my love. To die, so I didn’t have to live without you. Let me see you once more.

We'll travel the world like we did so long ago.

How long ago was it?

Too long.

We promised we'd never leave each other. I never thought you'd go.

I wish I could just remember your name....


Return to Main Page