The Curious Case of Clemsey
It all started on a Sunday morning. I was in my third year of high school. Of course, how could I forget...
A failed operation performed by a renowned Neurosurgeon to the equally renowned Chairwoman of the Soreno Group;
a nasty rumor about my Mother and her illicit relationship with the Hospital director;
a broken family... broken promises... broken spirit.
Those were the truth. But God... how I wish for all those things to be a lie. I was staring at the tall pile of books waiting to be catalogued while sorting out my own emotions and questioning how everything went terribly wrong. As if things aren’t chaotic enough, learning that Van will have to study abroad as arranged by his late grandmother, add up to the pile of bitter truths I have to cope with.
My firm will to protect Enith from all these ghosts became my strength, as I struggled to process what transpired before me. My mother lost her position at the hospital following the incident. My father resigned from his job and left the town. Empty beer bottles and despair began to fill our home. I was left with no choice but to continue moving forward in a world that completely halted, in the hopes of saving whatever’s left. That said, one of the things that I admired most about my parents were their genuine passion for saving a life. They were doing the same to me by exposing me to the real world at an early age. Now, I guess, they gave their relationship a fighting chance when they had Enith.
“Clemsey, please wait for me…” were Van’s last words which he sealed with a kiss on my forehead before he left the country. I said, “I will,” and that’s the truth. Though, I would’ve muttered another truth have I not been affected by the immense fear in his countenance. I would’ve said, “I will Van, because I love you.”
He left, and soon afterwards, things were taken out my life, as if I never existed in the first place.
“Hello, Sis!” Enith exclaimed on the other end of the phone.
“Enith, something the matter? I’m at the university right now working on my applications.”
“Sis, Mom got a call from the hospital. She seems excited but also a bit weird. Probably a hangover. I’m worried, so I’ll come there with her.”
“Oh... I see. Ok, love you.”
“Yeah, I love you, always.”
“Always” is a strong word and its immeasurable weight destroyed every bit of fiber in my being. It was my brother’s last word. That day, I lost my Mom and Enith in a tragic car accident. My spirit fell into a chaotic disarray, like a great part of who I am, left along with them.
It dawned on me, how silent a pain can be. One can cry their loudest and most harrowing cry, but it will never be enough. I can’t hear my own scream. It was way too distant, like it’s coming from the depths of the ocean. I was dying to tell my mother how immensely sorry I am for missing her most important voice.
The moment Aunt Gigi wiped my tears, I was taken by the scent of her hand. It was my scent. I thought, she must have been comforting my shaking back. How I hope to do the same for her and for my Dad.
Following that dire incident, I left Port Ami and lived with my father. However, after contemplating for months, I made a firm decision to go back to my hometown. Instead of pursuing a career in the medical industry, I decided to take up classes on toy scuplting. My dear brother Enith would have loved that, so I will live his dream for his sake.
“Clemsey, are you giving up?” My father asked with a sad, worried look on his face.
“No Dad, I am not giving up, I’m just going to change my direction,” I answered with a clear conviction in my voice.
The Meliora is the first destination I had in my mind when I arrived in Port Ami. As I walked the quiet street on the way to the library, a flyer taped on a lamp post caught my eye.
An ash gray cat with golden eyes, “Elsker!” I said out loud, as I stepped closer to the lamp post. So, someone with a kind enough heart took you home when I left the town. But Elsker, why have you gone missing? I thought that, as if I am hopelessly asking the question to the whole of Port Ami, and to everyone who used to be here—to my parents, to my brother Enith, to Van Soreno, to those whose smile I will never see again, or those I never had a chance to do so, to every season that passed by, to every dream left unfulfilled, to Saya, my lucky bamboo that had withered, to every letter I never sent, to every book from the library that was never returned…
Why have you gone missing? I asked that same question to my very own soul as I woke up from a very deep sleep, bearing the weight of my memory. I felt tears filled my eyes.
Ah… I remember now. I am not home anymore. At least, not the home I used to know. Perhaps my body died, yet my soul refused. Just now, I was dreaming about my memories. This isn’t... “home,” I said that last word aloud.
“Yes dear you are home,” Mom said as she leaned closer and embraced me. “Your Dad and Uncle Gionne will be home soon.”
Here’s what I deduced so far based on what was presented— I am in a parallel world that mirrors some of the aspects of my original life. To what extent, I am still unsure. In this reality, I am a 5-year old Clemsey, a child with a very weak constitution—a dying body and a dying soul. Born with visual impairment, my surrounding is swarming with ghostly apparitions.
She must be so afraid… As for me, I believe, I know what real ghosts are.
This might be a reality formed by explored “what-ifs”, of detours and second chances, of things that were pursued or saved or cherished and didn’t turn into regrets. This is my soul’s way of finding a reason to still exist. This might be an answer to a dying wish. Regardless, this is my new truth.
It sounds ridiculous, I know. Highly improbable or borderline fictitious. But as to how I came up with this conclusion, blame it to the book that Van Soreno never stopped insisting for me to read—"A Brief Account on the Ancient Theories of Soul."