"Do you want your father's watch?" my mother asked.
For over a year she had been asking variations of that question, asking almost everyone who was important to my father in any way. She could not bring herself to put the watch away somewhere, to drop it into a charity bin, to tuck it into my brother's jacket pocket while he wasn't looking. She wanted it to be wanted.
The watch is the sort that one might find at a flea market listed for ten dollars. (You can easily buy one for five with minimal bargaining.) At one point it shone with gold electroplate; you can still see sad patches of it on the stainless steel band. There is somehow rust within the detail near the watch face, and of course there is dirt within the band. The motion has stopped.
It is not a watch that people would, in general, want.
This is the watch that measured the last hours of my father's life. When my father became too gaunt for it, the watch was taped around his skeletal wrist. My mother made a mission of trying to make my father's watch fit for him, adapt it in ways that would not bruise his fragile arm or tear at his frail skin with the weight. And still, of course, the second hand swept on.
It is hard to imagine wanting my father's watch.
But it hurt my mother every time she asked that question. It tore at her fragile emotions with memories of my father's death. And, I suspect, it emphasized that all her efforts toward one of the only things she could find a way to attempt to control were for something that would not be valued.
Or maybe it was just old habit, a thought left from my parents' youths, when a watch was an important and expensive thing and not the sort of thing that had sometimes appeared as a prize in a cereal box.
"Yes", I replied. Then I tucked the watch into my small tech pocket, where it largely remains.
At some point, when my mother is no longer able to ask at after it, I will send it to be recycled. The materials can become part of someone else's life, perhaps simply someone else's problem. Meanwhile the watch resides in my small tech pocket, waiting for me to make some decision about where it should go. Maybe having it in the way when I rummage through earbuds and the like will motivate me. But there's always the chance that I'll just lose it, that it will find a way into the flotsam of my life and never be sorted.
It's safe enough where it is for now. After all, I suppose there is time.
But I should get better. Give me an unspecified but unfortunately long period of time.
I've sworn off amnesia fics and any story where a character is knocked out.
Prompt: by random_nexus on tumblr
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes, ACD
Rating: Tween and up
Thanks: to unsettledink, who graciously betaed. Any errors I added after she looked at it are not her fault.
( Snow, pine, angelic voices and Christmas Eve. What could possibly go wrong?Collapse )
"Legend has it, if you sit under a pine tree on Christmas Eve, you can hear angels singing." Cath smiled up at Levi, snowflakes tangled in her hair, one just melting at the edge of her eyelashes.
Levi returned her smile with his own, slightly crooked, version and swung their hands again, their mittens slightly stuck together where snow had melted at first and then refrozen during the course of their long winter walk. “Did you read that somewhere?”
“Tumblr. Would you like to try it out? I think I remember a pine tree… this way!” She set out, tromping across the snow, dragging Levi in her wake.
It was actually quieter under the tree, snow blocking much of the seldom-noticed sound always present in a city, even in its suburbs. But up, very high up, there was a murmuring song.
“Angels sound a lot like wind through the branches,” Levi remarked. He drew her close into the warmth of his arms.
Later they would go back to Wren and Cath’s dad, to the hustle and bustle of Christmas. It was all going well this year, so much better than last.
But that was for later, and this was for now. Cath and Levi held each other close and listened to the melody of the wind.