‘I wasn’t the first man to put a pillow over a woman’s face, even with love. … “I don’t want to live anymore, let me go!” That’s what I’d heard her say, my mother. When it was all over, I stood beneath the cherry tree, the blossom growing whiter as I watched, more glorious than I’d ever known. I felt an awful relief…
But I’d forgotten about the child. The child who was there at the window, starring in at me, weighed down by a large and elaborate birdcage.’
Edward kills his mother, Celia, to prevent her suffering more pain from terminal cancer. Consumed with guilt, the sudden appearance of Eleanor, a ten-year-old child, intrigues and frightens him. Did she see him put the pillow over his mother’s face? How can he equate what he knows of the mother he loved with the woman Eleanor describes and from the letters he finds amongst his mother’s papers? Over the years, he continues to be haunted by thoughts of Eleanor so when she arrives as a young woman at the art gallery he runs with his partner, Tom, he is uncertain how to react. ‘Retrospective’ is a story of obsession and redemption.
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