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Memory Lane

The big silver metal box was sitting in the middle of the room. I have to try it. As I opened the door, the box was hollow with one singular red button. My curiosity told me I had to press it, and so I did. It felt like nothing happened, and I was actually pretty disappointed. I opened the door of the big metal box, and I was outside of my house. I figured the machine just transported me from inside to outside somehow, not realizing that it was merely impossible. I stepped out into the daylight, and it was strange what I came to see. I saw three little kids, probably around the age of five, playing hide-and-go-seek in the street. I told them it wasn’t safe to play in the middle of the street, but they did not hear me. As I got a closer look at one of their faces, I saw myself. I saw my friends standing there beside me sitting on the curb. I knew it could not be possible to see what I thought I was seeing, so I moved in a little closer, but not too close. I recognize my face from old photos from 2008. I knew it was me, but how? I tried to say hello, but nobody could hear me. It was as if I was not there. Because nobody knew I was standing there, I watched for a moment. I watched myself and my friends enjoy the warm summer air. I seemed so carefree, so innocent. All I wanted to do was tell my five-year-old self that it gets harder, and to enjoy those moments while I had them, but I couldn’t. No matter how loud I screamed nobody could hear me. It was like I wasn’t there, or like I wasn’t supposed to be there.
That tree was definitely not there when I ran past here before. I tried to tell myself that everything was normal, but deep down I knew that something was wrong. When I ran back to my house, it did not look the same. The siding color was a brighter yellow, the garage was made of white brick, there were black shutters on each window. I thought of what could be happening, but I did not want to believe it was true. Am I stuck in 2008? When I finally started admitting it to myself, I freaked out. Where is my family? What did that metal box do to me? The only possible thing I could think of was that I had entered a time machine. If someone had asked me if I believed in time travel ten minutes ago, I would have had a much different answer than I do now. All of these questions circled in my head, but I had to find out more.
Luckily my garage code was the same or else I seriously would have been locked out of my own house. It was like a time warp. All of the toys that my family owned, every bike, every pair of shoes, even my dad’s old cars were sitting in my old, musty garage. I continued into my mudroom and stood there watching the loud laundry machines roaring, shaking the entire house. Thank goodness we got new ones. I never really took a chance to realize how loud and annoying those things were until now. I wandered around my house as if it was the same as if nothing has changed. Even after years of renovations and changing almost every little detail, it still felt normal to me. When you live with something being a certain way for almost your entire life, it really never changes in your heart and mind.
As I walked down the stairs, it dawned on me that I was home alone. Where is everyone? Well, I do know where I am, as in my five-year-old self. It’s strange having to keep track of yourself as two different people. Where is mom? Where are my sisters? My brother was only four here so it’s not like he could have gone very far. My dad was probably at work. I learned his work schedule early in my life. Drops us off at school, goes to work, home by 6:00 right in time for dinner. Suddenly, I heard the familiar sound of my back door open, and slam shut. I tried to hide, but then I remembered that nobody could see or hear me. Through the door came first my mom, holding hands with my brother. Following were my sisters, yelling at each other as usual for who got to pick the television show they were going to watch. After them, my dad walked in. Usually, he arrives by himself, but I guess he had some pretty good timing today. About thirty seconds went by, and I still had not come through the backdoor, but that did not concern me because when I was younger, I usually had no idea what was going on. Actually, who am I trying to kid, I still never have any idea what’s going on.
Seeing my family interact with each other made me realize how much has changed. I watched my sisters and I fight with each other about the smallest things which was something I used to be bothered by. Now that they are away at college, I miss hearing them yelling from across the house. I miss when all four of us were together all the time. Now, there are still moments like that, but they are far rarer. I wish I realized that one day they would go to college and that everything would change. I wish I could tell myself that, but nobody can hear me.
As I stood in the corner, observing what was just a normal day nine years ago, I learned that I should have embraced my childhood while I still had it. Now I am in high school, I have only a fraction of the free time I had when I was that age. When I was five years old, I never worried about what people think. I never worried about a big math test I had the next day. I never worried about whether or not somebody liked me because, at that age, everyone liked each other. Here I am now, still trapped in a day in 2008, but I do not want to leave. Unfortunately, I had to leave my childhood behind and get back to my current life. Reluctantly, I climbed back into the metal box, or as some may call it, the time machine. I took one final deep breath of the air I breathed when I was five years old and closed the door. I wanted to stay and relive my childhood over and over again, but I could not. Once I pressed that button, I would have to accept the reality of growing up, but I did it anyway.
When I opened the door, I was back in my basement, back in 2017. I wished to have stayed in my childhood forever, but there are some things that cannot be stopped, and separating from your childhood is one of them.






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