Memories

April 21, 2009
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I’ve been in love before I can feel it; the blood, the memories run wild with it. We were young, I remember that; I died...I also remember that.
“Alice, I love you.” The repetition of the words wakes me from my trance. It’s not him, the guy in my dreams.
“Alice! Alice!” the unfamiliar man waves his hands in my face, how rude. Then it comes rushing back to me; the perfect date, the proposal, the man in front of me is Alan. Alan and I have been dating for three years, tonight he proposed and right now he’s waiting for my answer.
“Oh I’m sorry. Have I not said anything?” I slowly massage my temples; the feeling of déjà vu isn’t subsiding like it usually does. I still remember his face.
“No you haven’t. Are you okay? You look sick.” Alan helps me into a chair; we’re dining in some expensive, over-the-top restaurant, totally Alan’s idea.
“Yeah I’m fine, just a little dizzy. Look can I talk to you tomorrow? I need to think.” I grab my clutch and waltz my way clumsily out.
Alan; marriage; love. The dreams; the feelings; the face. The air coils around my neck; I gasp for breath. The city becomes a big blur; it seems as if a thick fog has blanketed all of New York. Why are they coming back, the dreams? Who is he? Who was I?
“Hey lady! I’m driving here!” a car honks and the man’s voice is droned out.
“Sorry.” I mumble half-intentionally at the unknown voice.
The cars, why are they so fast? Yellow, green, blue, black. Big, small, long, short. Sweet, tangy, salty, bland. My head is spinning. His face, why won’t it leave. The scenes of forever ago flicker in my mind.
“Alice, I love you.” His voice rings in my ears. The perfect low voice.
“I love you too.” I whisper.
I try to reach for his hand, but it’s slipping away. I’m slipping away, I’m falling. Down, down, down; the wind is blowing in my hair, the air being knocked out of me, my eyes tearing.
~The next day. ~
“ Oh Alice, honey! Thank the lord!” Bebe shouts; a bright smile illuminating her face as usual.
“How long have I been asleep?” the sun’s bursting in the room.
“About 17 hours, sweetheart.” Bebe laughs; she has been my constant companion since I was a child, although she has been alive twice as long.
“Oh wow,” I get up slowly; his face hasn’t left my mind yet. I want to know who he is. It’s the only way to get rid of the feeling; the feeling of being burdened by millions of unknown memories.
“What’s wrong Alice, love? You were passed out on the doorstep, did you drink too much?”
“No. I just need to clear my head Bebe. I’m gonna go out of town for a couple of days, I’ll be back.” I push the sheets off.
“Did something happen between you and Alan?”
“No.” I start packing a small bag; I instinctively know where I have to go—Romania.
“Alice where and why are you leaving suddenly?” Bebe’s concern pulled at the strings of my heart, but I can’t erase her worries; I don’t know how to explain the feeling.
“I’m going to Romania and I’ll tell you why when I come back,” my head buzzes in preparation for the long trip, a trip I have been unconsciously planning for years.
“Romania!” Bebe asks, puzzled.
“It’s a long story I can’t tell you much now, in fact, I don’t know the whole story myself.” I shudder; I feel the ghost of an embrace. It’s him.
“What do I say when Alan calls?”
“Tell him I cheated on him and I can’t marry him.” I put on my coat; I’m ready to go. Leaving Alan seems too easy, is this a sign?
“What! Why?” Bebe’s eyes widen as she stands frozen in shock.
“I can’t tell you right now. I love you Bebe.” I bury myself in her arms, breathing in the scent that has protected me from all of the world’s dangers.
“Have a nice trip.” Bebe flinches a solemn smile; still frozen with bewilderment.
~At the Hotel. Six days have passed. ~
I have looked and looked for him, but I can’t find any trace of him. The only place left to look is this castle of some sort that haunts my dreams. It was built on the edge of a cliff, overlooking a raging river. The castle or château was owned by a wealthy Romanian family that rarely visited it. I had called to inquire about it, but nobody had called back. It was my last hope.
Ring...ring.
“Hello.” I answer the phone.
“Yes, is this Alice Copperfield.” A woman with a rich Romanian accent replies.
“Speaking, who is this?” I haven’t given my number to anybody in Romania.
“I can’t tell you, but I can help you.”
“Ahhh...okay, how?” What did she mean?
“You want to visit the cliff château, no?”
“Yeah,” my heart beats faster.
“Well I’ll leave the entrance open tonight, but only tonight. You can come after six, and look at whatever you desire, but I do warn you, the house is haunted. The family doesn’t visit it or allow any visitors because of its history.” The woman seems to shiver at the mention of the past.
“What history?” I ask; is this what I’m looking for?
“The daughter of the family that had owned the place, committed suicide.” The woman seems distracted by something.
“Why?”
“I can’t really talk right now, all I can say is that it was some scandal, all hushed up, of course.” Her words sound rushed; confirming my doubts, the chateau had to hold some clue to him.
“Oh can I ...”
The woman interrupts, “Goodbye, Miss Copperfield, I’m sorry we couldn’t have been of any service to you.” The woman hangs up abruptly.
~At the Château. ~
The door creaks open, unlocked as promised. The inside smells of mothballs and disease, the Château had served as a hospital in the Second World War. I look around; the surroundings are familiar, as if I have been here before. The floor has the same intricate patterns as the floor in my dreams. My eyes wander the walls, absorbing the artworks, hoping to find something that would make sense of it all. Then my eyes fall on a small painting at the end of a long hallway, which seems neglected compared to the rest of the house.
The painting’s of a young girl, possibly seventeen. She has the perfectly coiled black hair, the doll-like porcelain skin, and the glittering blue eyes; however, she seems broken—haunted. Suddenly the memories become vivid as they all play at once in my mind. He was the stable boy. I was the spoiled aristocratic daughter. He had taught me to be free and to love. I had taught him to read and write. He had declared his love for me under the birch. I had given him the kiss under the willow. He had watched as the suitors came and went. I had watched as he grew more distant. He had broken his heart for me and I had broken myself for him.

I gasp; my feet have subconsciously led me to the balcony suspended over the cliff edge.
“Alice, I love you.” His final declaration fills my ears as I watched his phantom body plummet over the cliff.
My eyes blur with tears; it’s happening all over again. The whole scene; Papa had given my hand to the duke; he had given the invitations for the wedding. Mama had started taking out the designs for my wedding dress; he had started planning the wedding with the staff. He had to watch as I was taken away from him; I had to endure the slow painful division of my heart.
“Alice, I love you.” His voice echoes.
“I love you too, Jude.” And I dive into the unknown, taking my memories with me.





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