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As summer is coming to a close, the dreary fall opens wide, sucking the color from the trees, from the grass, and from the old summer air. Autumn leaving no beauty in its path, only the shivery winds that head winter’s coming and the loathing of the day my father disappeared.
Diary Entry # 47 – September 4th:
I plan on staying inside today. The air only gives me more recognition of what the past holds. However, at some point I must confront this season because I have a dress to shop for. I want one with sequins, jewels, and a beautifully crafted back. Not one of those poof-princess dresses that girls wear to the sweet sixteen or prom. Since this is my 18th birthday, I would prefer a more grown up look. Something that shouts, I’m ready for anything! A simple dress can show so many things about a person’s character. I believe that if I look very put-together, beautiful, and elegant people may finally see I am okay. I am strong. I am independent. Even though life has been a rocky dirt road, I can still stand tall on my own two feet.
Diary Entry # 48 – September 7th:
The air seems to have grown crisper, yet I still haven’t found a dress which means I have to go shopping again. My mom keeps talking about these ‘prominent people’ who are planning on attending my party. What does prominent even mean? So much pressure is pushing down on me. “That curl is twisting different then the others,” “The second word of the third paragraph is spelt wrong,” “Straighten those shoulders, you are not lazy.” My mom’s usual encouraging words of the day, along with my Step Dad who usually keeps his distance. Although I know he says stuff to her when I’m not around. He has certain distaste for me and told me once I am like my father. However, I do not think that is bad thing. Yes, he left unannounced, yes he hurt me very deeply, and yes I may never know what happened that day before my birthday, but I know he cared for me.
Diary Entry # 49 – September 8th:
I found my dress. It is covered in sequins and fuchsia pink. My mom said “that’s the one!” So, I just let her get it for me. Very exciting to look at (and a pretty penny), but I just don’t feel right in it. Oh well, its only one night I guess.
“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Ayanna, Happy Birthday to you,” my estranged parents along with a room full of un-acquainted people sing to me.
As I am blowing out the candles, my hair falls to my eyes and almost become singed by the candles slight fire. I look up and see every one’s eyes are open-wide, like if my whole body took fire. The party continued on and I began to see the dark shaded sky overlap the pale blue afternoon through the oversized bay window. The stars show through not long after. Noise continues behind me as I see a mail-man peddle to my door. Opening in confusion, he hands me an envelope marked, ‘To Ayanna, my beautiful flower.’ The note enclosed reads: Happy Birthday, this day has been much anticipated, not only by you, but by me. You are now grown and deserve a grown ladies gift. Take this list of steps, for it will lead you where you need to go. I love you and miss you dearly, your father.
The list of steps takes me along our enlarged hallway full of useless portraits, held in golden frames and those petty sculptures, so treasured, yet so useless as well. The end of the hallway emerges, as I stand confused; for a wall with floral painting stands in front of me. All the doors already passed and nothing to my right or left. Glancing down to the note in confusion and it reads ‘my love to you holds the key.’ What love? I questioned as I grew increasingly more upset. Tears stream down my cheeks, as my eyes grow red and puffy. My fists start to pound against the wall, hoping for a release or understanding to come from the anger. I kick my fuchsia pink heels covered in rhinestones from my feet, grasp hold of the old treasured gold necklace my father had given me and rip it from my neck. So frustrated I stand to my feet, walk slightly back, and throw this treasure full force against the wall.
However, nothing shot back. I walked intently closer and studied the wall. The locket was embedded into a flower as if it belonged there. Rubbing my finger against it in astonishment the locket slides in further like a button on a keypad. Next thing I know I am blacking out, feeling a swirling motion form around my body like standing in the direct center of a tornado. My body feels as if it is warping in the wind blown current. Then my ears begin to hear a melodic tone, soothing my terrified soul. Feeling such motion, such exhilaration, a cloud-like feeling forms underneath me and brings me smoothly to a landing leaving no bumps, bruises, or scratches.
I see a familiar meadow form in my blurred vision with tall sun flowers and young oak trees. Two shadows show running through the grass, then I hear a pleasant laugh and following that a subtle and even more familiar tone. My fathers face shines in a ray of sunlight. He’s twirling me in the soft spring breeze. A memory I have treasured more then any before or after. Realizing I was ripped back in time to my childhood where my father and I are roaming the open fields that surrounded our once humbled, beautiful home, happy tears fill my eyes that take place of the raging, angry, and hurt tears that once streamed down the same cheeks not only seconds earlier.
The locket is yet enclosed in my nervous palm, with the letter from my father in the other. Another page falls faintly to the ground. ‘What is this?’ I thought. I had checked for a second page, but nothing was with the first. Maybe it was magic like what was happening or maybe it was just my mistake (I think it was magic).
The last page reads: Dear Ayanna; I’m sure you are confused, but take this just as it is, the ability to look back and remember when we shared these good memories. The locket will allow you to move back to any memory of us, good or bad, whichever you prefer. This gift has been ready for you for a long time and now you hold all of the power over it. I only allowed you a time between the two of us that you can track because I don’t want you to become lost in time as I have become. This is why I was not able to give it you myself. To overwhelmed by the power I held I became over excited and took advantage of my knowledge and the knowledge of the future and past that I now have no recollection of what year it is or what time or day. So, I through the letter into the time portal marked with date of your birthday and your name hoping it would find its way. However, things are not as simple for me. One day we may reunite. I will learn from my mistakes and learn to accept that life should not be taking for granted. Take a look at your mother. Mistake upon mistake, but in truth she hurts as bad as you because she can see you don’t care. She gives you pleasures in life that were not possible for us growing up. Just know that she loves you. Just know that even though I am gone you can still live on. Don’t forget me, but don’t be sorrow in my memories. Rejoice in them. See that you are blessed and see that seasons of life are changing. They never stay for long. Fall turns to winter, but winter turns to spring. Beauties come from things that have past and if nothing has passed no beauty will surface.
Diary Entry # 1: March 20th:
A new journal entry is my new start. It means giving up the grief in the past and moving forward in my future. My dad has not returned, but I know he is there. I feel his love every time I use the locket. Traveling in time is usually more common when I’m feeling down, but I still do it every now in then for a simple smile, a smile that fills me with happiness even on the happiest of days. A smile that overwhelms me with the knowing I never truly lost my father. A smile that realizes I can love my mom without feeling as though she is not burdened by me. The flowers seem to be brighter, smell better and grow conspicuously. Life has now become full circle and I am no longer lost or alone. I wear my sparkly dresses in confidence. I smile because I can not because I have too. I realize that those “estranged parents along with a room full of un-acquainted people” are my family. My parents no longer estranged and those people are my aunts, uncles and cousins, people willing to be in my life.
The sun envelopes the sky in the good mornings dusk. The smell of fresh ground coffee wakes me. Just like my father would make every Sunday. Lifting myself out of bed with ease my feet truck down the elaborate twirling staircase to grab a fresh cup of coffee. I tumble down the last step and as my feet steady my eyes glance up. My father sitting there grinding coffee beans on an early Sunday morning, just like he did years earlier. He simply smiles with that warm feeling. A sadness that was once so strong falls from my heart. I am crying happy tears, but all I feel are his arms grasping me. A feeling I had not felt for so long. Holding out a cup of coffee already creamed and sugared, my shaking hand accepts this and my dad back into my life, hoping it is not all a dream. The chair pretty much slides itself next to him. All I want to do now is simply begin grinding coffee beans with my dad. Wow, it feels so good to say that.