Tanja Cilia

Freelance Writer

The Ghost of Christmas Past

I open the secret drawer of the bureau I had bought myself as a Christmas present from the auction.
Hey! That’s MY handwriting. That’s MY diary! How on earth could my diary for 2008 be here, of all places? How come it’s so dusty?
I was a gifted child. My peers and teachers hated me for it, and tried to break my spirit. When I fidgeted because I was bored, they said I was arrogant. They mispronounced my name on purpose, just to see me get het up.
For the official documents of my consultancy firm, I always use black ink. For private use, I always use “nice” inks like aqua and lilac and preach…. I know it’s frivolous, but my clients appreciate it.
This diary is written in blue ink, throughout. It’s weird. Curiosity gets the better of me, and I am compelled to read the entries, as if this would soothe the unease I am feeling. What would be the opposite of déjà-vu? A premonition? But it’s not exactly that, either.
It’s like a rumbling behind my belly-button, and a tingling sensation behind my knees….. as if something is not quite right with my body, but I cannot quite put my finger on it
April 12… My daughter came home from school in a teacher’s car because she had twisted her ankle. The name of the teacher as given here is Miss Camilleri. But I know for a fact that she cannot drive. It was Mrs Brincat who brought her home; she had been in my class at school – we had been best friends – and she always gave my daughter special attention, for old times’ sake ….
I turn to June 5. That was the day the brakes of our car didn’t hold, and we ran into the car in front of us. Yes… here it is, “car crash”. Oh, no! It says we were in the ‘new’ Getz Malibu… When the accident happened we could not have been in any other car but our old trusty Triumph Toledo.
July 28. My sister-in-law’s baby was stillborn. It was not. In fact, the baby died of an internal haemorrhage six months after he was born. And my sister-in-law says that she has never told anyone but me about her recurring dream, in which the baby is stillborn.
August 17. There was the explosion at the fireworks factory across the fields from our house. Someone had bought some contraband Chinese fireworks, and they were dismantling them to see how they were assembled. Snow put out the fire from the explosion.
Snow? I cannot understand this. And, moreover, I could never imagine how there could ever have been snow in August.
My head spins; I think I’d best make myself a mug of tea and lie down. But first, I have to check – although I am afraid to do so – September 3….
I remember that on the night of my birthday, I had cried myself asleep because I felt unloved and unwanted. The husband and kids know I hate surprise birthday parties and yet they threw me one anyway. True enough. I made a scene and spoiled it all for them, saying that what I want is respect and not empty meaningless, expensive parties…
That’s not true. I didn’t want to be a spoilsport and so I pretended that I was enjoying it. I can still recall the ache in my jaws from my false smiles, trying to make them believe I was enjoying it. Later, the little one asked me whether I would have preferred “just a hug and a kiss” from each one of them… and that is when the dam holding back my tears had burst.
I hear a key turn in the lock. I call out to tell my husband I am in the sitting room, and he asks what the matter is. He probably realises from my voice that I am under shock.
He is not my husband. I can see the puzzled look in his eyes. And when I silently point down at the diary in my lap, the pages are blank…


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This entry was posted on May 11, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .
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Tanja Cilia

Freelance Writer

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