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Memories

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The young woman walked along the white-sandy beach. She let the gentle breeze tousle her hair every which way while the dress, a crimson red, danced a tango of its own. The young woman inhaled the sweet salty air. Water droplets formed on her skin from the humidity and heat of the island climate. Her gentle meandering along the shore brought her to a mother sea turtle laying her eggs. She stood aback, so that she would not frighten the mother sea turtle. Admiring the mother's gentle care of burying her eggs in the sand, the young woman remembered the times when her own mother would tuck her into bed. Her mother had a special touch. As a child, she would first dive under the covers. Her mother would race after her and unbury her from the piles of blankets. Then taking the blankets, her mother would lovingly layer them as though she was building a multi-tiered cake. The stuffed animals would then follow as the decorations of her mother's work. As a child, the young woman had her mother surround the nape of her neck with stuffed animals; they were the guardians of monsters and nightmares. Sometimes the young woman's mother would use the stuffed animals to make an alphabet letter. Recollecting a memory and commemorating a moment, the woman took out a Polaroid camera and snapped a picture of the mother sea turtle. She then stowed away the camera into her bag.


As she continued her journey along the beach, the young woman listened to the waves that rolled gently onto shore. The waves made music that no other sound in the world could make. Sometimes they would beat upon the shore like a drum and other times they would make a lighter tone as though they were chimes tinkering in the wind. The young woman listened intently to the song of the waves. The waves were not as soft sounding as the tinkering of chimes. That day they were strong yet tender. The waves made a determined push towards shore, but then they would let momentum carry them as they glided softly onto shore. From the calmness and determination in the wave's song, the young woman remembered her father trying to make a musical career for himself. Every night he would go to a different club trying to rack up money to pay the bills. She would sometimes accompany him to these various New York night clubs. As her father would play the saxophone, the young woman would let the notes soothe her. They would wash away her sense of guilt and shame and ease her sorrows and regrets. They would make her forget all the day's worries and enjoy the little moments of bliss. Absorbing every pitch and tone, the young woman wrote the wave's notes into her mind.


The young woman ventured onto another chapter in her journey. She became more observant of her surroundings. She surveyed the beach's landscape noting the many things that had been left by previous visitors: a cigarette butt that still curled up smoke, a plastic spoon that had a soaked cheerio on it and beer bottle that had been emptied. Then the young woman stepped on a flip flop. She looked down at the single flip flop, made incomplete without its partner. Curiosity filled her mind and she picked up the flip flop to examine it more closely. The young woman thought to herself about the flip flop's past life. It must have been a vibrant lime green, and in the center, brand name letters must have been etched in a fine pale yellow. The rubber thongs lived happily attached to each other and the soles were of new luscious foam. Then she stopped dreaming and looked closer at the damages done to the flip flop. The vibrant green weathered into an unfortunate moss color. Black imprints of a person's foot tattooed the inside replacing the plushy foam. The thongs had become detached from the frontal part of the flip flop. A critter had chewed on the flip flop leaving a large hole in the heel area. The young woman sympathized with the wounded flip flop, for she too had cuts and bruises done to her.


Her parent’s divorce had caused emotional gashes on her insides. As a child, there were many nights when there were arguments that would go on for hours. Sometimes there would be a clash of plates or the slamming of a door. Some rare nights the house was silent. The young woman felt confusion and loneliness during those harsh times. One day she came back from school only to find that her father had left her and her mother. So many years of wounding and weathering had left her feeling unwanted and troubled. The young woman closed her eyes and continued to hug the abandoned shoe. She dug her feet into the powdery white sand and let the wind tousle her hair again. She breathed in the sweet salty air. Letting the song of the waves work its magic, the young woman forgot her childhood troubles and plunged into the sea of bliss.





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