❝Love who you love while you have them. That’s all you can do. Let them go when you must. If you know how to love, you’ll never run out.❞
-Ann Brashares, My name is memory
There was a time when I was happy. When everything just felt right. When my wonderful candy blue dress was the best thing I ever had. When my swing was the most fun thing in the world and hot chocolate was a tradition at wintertime. When my parents told me tales before I went to sleep and then kissed me on the forehead. When my twin and I got in trouble. When going to school meant lots of fun and many friends. When I had a family.
They say that time can heal, but I think time brings memories back, lets you reminisce more and more about what you had but never will have again. Time doesn’t heal. It only makes you get used to something, to a situation.
It breaks your hopes that maybe all this didn’t really happen. That it is just a dream.
At some point you wish you could wake up with amnesia. To forget everything, to bear the pain.
Then, you have nothing. Nothing to remember, nothing to think about, nothing to cry about, nothing to let you down. Nothing to blame yourself for. Just nothing.
Every day you find yourself thinking about what happened, wondering if anything could have changed. And then memories come floating back making you cry. You break down every day again. You drown every day even more and when you hit the bottom... It’s the end.
When I was a child, people would always compliment mom since we were a really beautiful and happy family. In every way.
I had light brownish medium-length hair, almond coloured eyes, small but full lips and a cute little nose. My twin brother and I resembled each other very much except for our height, him being a bit taller, his hair shorter and more masculine lips and his perfect jawline. And his blue eyes I wanted so badly. Mom was a beautiful woman even if she was approaching her forties. Her tall figure, accompanied by her long wavy brown hair, those two green eyes and the freckles all around her cheeks were every woman’s dream. Not to mention dad. He was also really tall, with dark brown hair, blue eyes and a really marked jawline. We were really perfect together. There wasn’t a day where we wouldn’t smile or laugh.
During the summer, our tradition was to go to the cottage my parents received as a wedding present from their best friends. Since our first day out there, my brother and I had a passion for swimming. We were constantly in the water splashing around, diving and training for the races.
Now I should fear water but it only makes me feel at home. I can relax and clear my mind. It’s the only thing that doesn’t let me go.
I’m still here because of something not someone. I have no one. No one stands by my side. No one to laugh with, nor to have a Friday night film marathon. I cry myself to sleep every night and blame myself for everything... If I had shut my damn mouth. If I had stayed silent, mute. Maybe today, now, I’d be laughing and running around the cottage with Blake. Maybe mom would be in the kitchen cooking something cool and yummy, humming a soft tone of her favourite song. Dad would come to us later at night. Later...
A tear rolled down my cheek, falling on the word ‘later’ and almost cancelling the black ink on the paper. My vision became blurry and a shaky breath left my mouth unintentionally. Slowly I raised my head diverting my gaze to the sea.
The full moon in all her glory was shining in the sky surrounded by the stars. Her reflection illuminated the water’s surface; like a perfect mirror, the water welcomed the rays letting them enter in her darkness. It was so peaceful.
Placing my black leather journal on the rock, I stood up. I let my feet guide me, feeling the need to wander without any real destination. This moment of the day was my favourite. Writing all my thoughts down and then walking on the sand, my feet touching the little waves. Walking along, in the cool water at night felt like home.
Slowly I raised the rim of my white silky dress pulling it over my head, pulled off my underwear leaving it on the sand that was still dry and hot from the day. I entered the water guided by the wish of a peaceful moment. No mom, no dad, no Blake. Just me and the water. Like a lullaby the wind blew and the palm leaves moved producing a low buzzing sound, accompanied by the crushing waves on the rocks near the cliff. I slowly closed my eyes freeing my mind. Soon it will be dawn and a new week will start. Another boring, lonely week.
As I felt the sky lighten, I opened my eyes and swam to the inlet. As I exit the water a gust of wind hit me, making me shiver. I quickly ran to where my clothes were lying and put them on lightly jumping. Collecting my diary from the rock and giving one last glance at the ocean, I headed for the boardwalk. In less than 4 hours I would be going at school and I needed to move.
After half an hour, I arrived at my destination. A tall spiked iron bar enclosure surrounded the building. Cameras were placed almost everywhere. Almost. A partial wood was beside and some oak branches intersected the old bars. There weren’t any windows in front of the majestic tree but a faded brick wall which was the only part of the entire building that was very near to the gate. From there on, you were able to go to the kitchens and then, since some of the rooms, mostly those inhabited by older students, were on the ground floor, it was easy to sneak in.
Silently I reached the woods, graciously climbed up the oak and to help myself I used some tree branches and protuberances. As I got to the highest branch, I crawled to the end of it and slipped off, falling on my feet with a little thump. I started running and when I arrived at the old wooden kitchen door, I slowly opened it trying not to make it creak. Without being seen I walked through the corridors which weren’t very illuminated. The greyish paint was falling off the wall in some places covering the antique carpet with dust. Finally, I reached my room and with an old key I opened my black wooden door. As always, I needed to be quick or my absence would have been noticed.