There use to be a time when the laughter of children was a balm to my soul, a musical medicine that could be rub into the wounds of my heart but last summer ended it all for me. Quietness is all I truly long for now, even the happiness of adults agitates me and makes me want to go into a rage, which is very unacceptable.

Her name was Savannah and she said it with that typical southern drawl. I hated her the moment I laid eyes on her and vowed we wouldn't be friends but I'd never met a true southern girl before, they don't know the meaning of no. She just knew I'd like her if I'd try.

Damn it. She was right.

I loved her even. She had this way of talking that drew you into her world and made you want more. Tantalizingly with just enough of the details to be scandalous but yet innocently not gossiping. One of these day I am going to spend some time in the south, just to find out if all women that live there posses this talent or if it was just her.

She joined my Woman's Group and called us all honey. And sugar. Told us delightful stories about her hometown however I was the only one who noticed the clouds in her eyes whenever children were mentioned. She'd breeze right past the probing questioning with: "Why, sugar, why would I bore you with stories about them?"

Then dart onto the next subject.

We adored her, although I think it was because of how she made us feel about ourselves. Savannah poured life into me and made me feel hope. Yes, hope. Something I was certain I would not ever feel again and yet this little southern woman, with the accent that almost purred, melted me.

Savannah kept one white sandal on her mantel in living room. I asked her about it many times. It seemed odd, this sandal on display and she'd always smile and say: "Oh, that silly old thing?" That was all she'd ever say.

But southern women are good at gathering information and she managed to discover why I resented the laughter of children quickly; my own daughter had been killed in a car accident the year before. The accident was my fault since I had been drinking, a little. No one ever thinks that they've had too much to drink and I wasn't an exception. I was not only to blame for my daughter's death but I wasn't legally drunk. Thus I was now free and not in prison for manslaughter but in jail sure enough...in jail in my heart.

Until, that is, a woman from Georgia saved me.

And she told me that sometimes we have to cling to what's left, even if it is only a shoe. She lost the other white sandal the day her daughter slipped from her arms and drowned.

by: Christina K. Brown


Bon & Mal Mott said...

Amazing ... and disquieting.
Bon & Mal

Sassy said...

Haunting...Makes me believe it happened to you; I sure hope it did not. Very well written! Sassy


Bedazzzled1 said...

"..the laughter of children was a balm to my soul, a musical medicine..."

Oh, how I love how you expressed that.

A work of fiction that many people have sadly and painfully lived.

Red said...

Beautiful Christina, just beautiful.

V said...

....................And she told me that sometimes we have to cling to what's left, even if it is only a shoe..............

Aww, Christina. This is lovely. You`re really cookin` with gas!


TJ said...

on the mantel, oh that creeps me out!What a story,had you jumping from word to word.

Spencer said...

The story is compelling and gripping. For reasons which shall remain mine (smile) each time you mentioned true southern girl it was like me getting a jolt.

Wonderful write

ckays1967 said...


The story is completely fiction. Especially since I have been to the south on many, many occassions and happen to know that they are a diverse bunch of people too. Not to be labeled but they are very good smoothing things over, polite and soothing in general. Much different than say, a trip to New York City.

The only losses I have suffered have been adults and never any children, God forbid. I don't know if I'd be strong enough for that.

Then I shall think I'd really need Savannah.

Thank you everyone else, the sandal just looks lonely to me and the story needed to be sad and little hopeful. xxoo

Tammy said...

Wow, I'm so glad this did not happen to you! Very moving and sad.
Great Job!!!!!!