JULY 31, 2006
The morning of Monday, July 31st:
The sun’s bright light broke though the blue, clear barrier that was the sky. A dedicated husband pushes his sick wife around the house in her wheelchair, her first time out of the home since she came back from hospice. He pushed her gently down the back-door ramp, round to the left side of the house and they followed the fence. The front garden awaited them, the ground coated with dew. The day was crisp and beautiful, hardly any wind. Water sat still in the basin of a delicate birdbath. The garden remained pleasant – the grass well trimmed against a pathway. This was a wonderful sight for Violet, a time to take in the fresh air and just relax while admiring her gardens. They crossed the lawn, onto the path and down a small dip into the driveway. A man arrived, who shared resemblance with Violet. He seemed so happy and glad to see her looking so healthy, so bright after so much suffering. This man was her younger brother Denis, who had decided to stop by and see how she was doing. However this was only a brief visit, and he soon left.
Violet’s husband Jim wheeled his wife up the driveway, round to the ramp and back inside. The birds outside were chirping as the sun gleamed on the dew. Denis smiled to himself as he drove home, full of relief at the healthy sight of his beloved sister. Violet was on the road to recovery, and this was the first step.
The afternoon of Monday, July 31st:
Denis waited over the road from New Plymouth Boys’ High School, waiting for his son so he could take him to the bank. He stood, watching a elderly teacher cross students over the busy road. Denis did not realize that just a week ago, this man told his son and partner not to visit Violet much as it could affect schoolwork. Denis spotted his son Kyle crossing the road among a group of students, and waited. Kyle walked over and the two walked to the car.
After finishing business at the bank, they started to drive home. Denis started talking about how Violet had started to have trouble breathing. Kyle had always been able to predict things, and this strange occurrence often happened around the months of Winter. He said to Denis: “It would be better if she passed today, rather than later. I’m hating seeing her suffer”.
Passing the high school on their way home, the recently turned 14 year old decided that he would like to visit the bank in Merrilands (a nearby suburb) to get some of the ‘new coins’. On this day, the coins of New Zealand changed to smaller, lighter currency. Not happy about this, Denis gave in and passed the family home to go to the nearby, smaller bank. Noticing that there was someone waiting at home with a computer, he didn’t wait to take any longer than necessary. Money was tight, and if there was a customer waiting, then he would class that of high importance.
Kyle ran into the bank, and swapped some old, heavy coins for the new lighter ones. While Kyle did this, Denis considered visiting his sister so Kyle could say hello. But this, was not going to be in the future. This was not going to happen.
10.43pm, evening of Monday, July 31st:
Kyle lay in bed, observing the coins and reading information on the changeover. In a distant room, a tune started to play. Familiar music that was only played if Violet or Jim were calling. Springing to his feet in nothing but a shirt and boxers, he dramatically sprinted to his bedroom door, slammed it open and ran to the phone. His mother, Lily was also in pursuit. “That’s Violet!!” she yelled, which triggered the release of fear and worry into their bodies and minds. Kyle grabbed the phone (who spotted ‘VIOLET&JIM’ flashing on it’s screen), handing it to Lily who answered without delay. Denis was standing behind her with a worried look on his face. The house was dark, but the kitchen lights blazed in aid of this call. “What?!” Lily yelled into the phone, just moments before she assured the mystery on the other end that she was coming over. At the end of the call, Denis and Lily’s next moments were clear.
“That was Jim – the can’t resuscitate her we gotta go over”
Kyle stood, dumbfounded at the events that were unfurling. Told to ring the neighbor, the worried boy rang Teena, instructing her that something was going down and that she was needed to come over. Denis and Lily raced out the door, opened the garage doors, started the car, screeched onto the road and speed off. Violet and Jim’s residence was not far away – just past the bank in Merrilands. Denis’s sharp and quick driving could be explained two ways. Yes, he was extremely worried about what was happening to his sister, but he had also had a night of drinking.
The neighbor arrived, and went to boil the jug. A worried and insecure Kyle stood in the hall, not too sure on what he was to do next. Teena advised him that he should probably go pack his bag for school tomorrow, but the boy knew deep down that he would not be going to school the next day. But this aside, he went to do the bidding while he waited for news. Wanting to talk to someone, he turned on his computer, hoping that someone would be online to chat too. But there wasn’t any time to check – The phone rang with a distinctive tone, a tone assigned to Denis’s mobile phone. Kyle rushed from his bedroom to the lounge, grabbed the phone off their babysitter and answered it.
“I’m coming to get you”
“Why, what’s happened?!”
“I’m coming now”
“Okay, be careful-”
Telling Teena his father was coming to collect him, he raced to his bedroom, trying to look okay, but expecting the absolute worst. But then he thought to himself that the worst couldn’t possibly come true – it never does. So he got dressed quickly, put his coins away and logged off his computer.
Now standing in the lounge, Teena advised that he should probably wait on the outside porch. He did so – and just in time. Yelling “He’s here!”, he sprinted down the path to the road, almost got run over, swung open the door and jumped in.
He was greeted by sad, upset words. “She’s dead – my only sister is dead”
The boy filled with shock, guilt and tears slowly started to flow, marking a date in time that he would never forget.