The circus is a masterpiece: an orchestrated performance executed by talented actors who bring exhilaration to those who are watching. I remember when my mother took me to the circus. She glorified it; consumed her love and passion into a magical place filled with people flying in a blur of colours, whilst I inhaled pink, fluffy clouds that danced on my tongue and listened to the mighty roar of the king. The king was so fierce even the ground quivered in fear. I remember the touch of the cold, metal chairs against my flesh, causing goosebumps. I held on tight as I jumped up with excitement. I remember the adrenaline coursing through my veins as the king jumped through the flames and emerged unharmed: the sound of his victory rang in my ears.
When I looked up into the heavens, my heartbeat elevated. It was my favourite part of the show, to see the angels of colour. The mastermind of these angels wore a tight purple suit, swirled with glittering magic that stretched from head to toe and reached out to her majestic white feathered wings. I remember as she leapt out from her tower with such grace where her wings guided her down but never reached the ground. No, instead her majestic wings soared over the audience like the rising sun. She would perform many tricks, but the one everyone was waiting for was ‘The Rise to Heaven’. The angel elegantly danced within her own grace and lifted herself back up into the air. I remember looking around the audience and seeing everyone off their seats. And in the silence of her own elegance, she disappeared into dust. I’ve seen this dance many times, each time more spectacular than the last.
The time had come. The angel was preparing, slowly moving around the ground, her legs spread and turned much like a ballerina would, spinning and leaping towards the centre, until she spun low, her body hugging the ground. Her wings wrapped around her body briefly before pushing up, sending her towards the sky. Only this time, she did not disperse. The angel’s wing had broken; her body flailed as it plummeted towards the ground.
The crowd fell silent; a heavy reality had lingered as the angel laid still. Her wings had ripped, and her smile faded. I remember sitting at the edge of my seat, the cotton candy dropped out of my hand, waiting for a signal; a movement; something to say the angel was not harmed. I remember the screams and sobs of the audience that cursed our ears as they announced her departure. A silence poisoned me. Unable to move, I stared not at the angel or the crowd, but at the sky. I stared at the heavens that never received a visit from its beloved angel. While the crowd around me scurried through the seats, it felt like my veins themselves were cemented. No power on this earth could move me. I remember the clown who embraced me with a warm, sorrowful hug.
“The angel may have fallen, but your mother rose to heaven”.
I remember the day my mother died.