Chapter 2:

Maybe, I am but a Withered Flower (Part 2)

The Curious Case of Clemsey

Death is a curious thing, so, is the concept of a soul. According to an article published in the “A Brief Account on the Ancient Theories of Soul,” during the ancient times, it was believed that at the moment of dying, when one breaths one’s final breath, the soul would be released from the body. A soul is intimately associated with life itself, therefore, an absence of one corresponds to the phenomenon known as death.

I am falling.. my soul is falling.

I am currently in the midst of darkness for who knows how long. I figured that having a thorough conversation with myself is a way to alleviate the fear in me. For one, I am not exactly sure if I am actually falling. For all I know, I might actually be flying, but falling, as much as death, is oftentimes associated with darkness.

As I succumb to the current state of my being, countless unanswered questions haunted me, like a ghost lurking underneath the bed.

I am going to lose my precious job, but am I even irreplaceable in their eyes?

What was the cause of my death? I wonder whether my heart failed or I mistakenly clutched on the books while struggling and it all fell on my head. What a grim sight.

Van, is it for good? Are you going to stay for good?

Mom.. Enith.. can I see you again? I desperately want to borrow even just one day to bid Dad a proper farewell.

Aunt Gigi, why do you always give me picture frames? Out of all the curious things you do, I am most curious of that.

What’s the ending of the mystery novel I was writing? I initiated it myself, but it’s a conundrum that’s taking me forever to solve.

A librarian, a toy sculptor, a desperate writer. What is it exactly that I wanted to do? Are those things simply a result of my personal circumstances?

Then, just as my questions will forever remain unanswered, I suddenly reached a dead end. My falling or flying just went on a halt and a great part of me felt like I actually arrived at a certain destination.

“HUUUH!” I let out a terribly loud scream. I can’t breathe. I can’t move. I can’t see anything. Someone warm is holding my hand.

“Clemsey, dear calm down! It’s just a nightmare. This is mom.. Mom’s here.” 

Mom’s here? Panic, crying, hurried footsteps approaching..

“Hana, I already sent a letter to Port Lucia. I just hope it will reach Gionne by dawn,” said a man with bated breath and a clear worried tone.

Who is Gionne? and where’s my brother? Where is Port Lucia?

“Thank you,” said the woman while obviously muffling her tears. “Jiro, look! Clemsey is finally awake.”

Jiro? Dad?

Hana? Jiro? Mom and Dad.. a sad tear escaped my eyes. I thought, that maybe if I cry hard enough, the blurriness in my eyes would be washed away and I could have a chance to see what I so long to see. But I was wrong.

“M-mom what’s happening?” I managed to speak. But wait, that also sounds wrong. I put my hand over my eyes as distress, confusion and an immense headache is starting to form in my head. But even this is wrong. My movement and my body feel small and vulnerable. Everything here is wrong. I can’t organize my thoughts coherently. My eyes, awfully blur, that my surrounding appears like ghostly apparitions to me. I can hear mom’s sniffing and dad’s voice, “now, now, dear calm down,” in a tone where I can’t help but picture a soft smile in his face.

This isn’t home right? The scent is telling me this isn’t.. I thought to myself. Home smells like cypress and polyester putty, of sleep deprivation and anxiety. This isn’t the Library. The Meliora smells like fresh coffee, brand new books and old memories. Port Ami is famous for being enveloped by the scent of the sea and vibrant mornings. It’s winter where I live, but where I am at this moment smells bright, fresh and distinctly floral like a beautiful spring..

“Clemsey, dear, what’s happening right now is spring. It is spring and it is truly beautiful…”

“I see..,” I responded with a soft, childish voice.

I fell asleep. And it isn’t an eternal sleep that denotes death. It’s a kind of sleep which no good amount of essential oils could induce- comfortable, warm and peaceful, like a mother’s lullaby. After my earlier outburst and confusion, my mom managed to soothe my nerves and I was able to calmly doze off.

I can’t seem to recall the last time I had a dream as deep and as clear as the one I am having now. As to how I was certain that I am dreaming, point to the fact that, first of all, there’s no scent looming in the air and secondly, what I am seeing right now is extremely illogical as if things are not illogical enough. In this dream, I was in the corner of a small, dark room with a single window and standing in front of me, is my 5 year old self. She isn’t screaming nor does she looks traumatized. She is looking straight at me the way I looked at the mirror at that age and asked my own reflection, “how was I born?” I looked straight back at her, like how I gazed at the mirror before I left my apartment room in the morning, with sorrow and wonder in my eyes asking the question, “why was I born?”

As the single window casts a familiar angle of sun from the outside, days that had gone by from my past were brought forth into my memory once more, blossoming and painting back life and color to everything that had withered. Even in a confusing dream like this, histories created by memories will persist to exist.