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Living in Memories

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She felt his presence all around her. She was in love with him. Audrey. That was her name. Forever she loves Connor, and yet he has no way of loving her back. Old and crippled, she sat in her bed in the tiny town of North Star, Ohio staring at the picture from the night that no one knew would change their lives forever.

She missed him terribly and he was always on her mind. His name was Connor, and it suited him very well. He was tall and muscular, and had a head of beautiful, curly brown hair. Connor was confident and anyone that saw him would be able to tell. He was well-liked and the sweetest person you would’ve ever known. And he’s gone.

“If you didn’t know, today is the anniversary of the shooting at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. Thirty-two people were killed that day, including twenty-two year-old Connor Mason…” The TV anchor’s voice faded away as Audrey started to shed the last of a lifetime of tears. She missed him dearly and could not wait for the day she would join him in heaven.

“Why the heck did he have to die? Why didn’t you take me, good Lord? I was there! I should’ve been the one shot! Why did you take Connor?” And out of nowhere a beautiful memory came into mind.



“One day I’ll find a beautiful woman and marry her, and we’ll have plenty of kids running about our little house out in the country. One day, it’ll happen.” A young man about her age was giving a speech about his future in class. As Audrey walked by, he looked at her and paused.

“You, out in the hallway, what’s your name?”

“Audrey Daye,” she replied. “Why do you want to know?”

“I would like to know because I am Connor Mason and I think you are the most beautiful woman in the world. Can we talk after I’m done? Meet me in the garden?”

Nodding her head, Audrey agreed and she and Connor talked for hours after his class. He was the nicest man she had ever met, and she could tell that this could go somewhere.

Memory after memory of happy times were now flooding back to her, like their first date (making pizza), when he proposed (written on the side of a bus), and the one that was only in her imagination, their wedding day.

And with these memories came tears, and with the tears came more memories. There was no way out of this cycle, and all Audrey wanted to do was see his face again. Not a picture, but his actual face held tightly in her hands. She wanted to feel young and in love again.

As she felt her final wish coming true, her most precious memory started to come alive.

She was in the room where she had first met Connor. Audrey had been without him for six months and the wound in her heart was so powerful it had taken over every fiber of her being. She was lonely and depressed without him, and she saw no reason to try and survive.

And then she saw it. It wasn’t real, but Audrey had no reason to believe that. She was seeing their first date, right before her eyes. Both their faces were shining with pure happiness and love. Connor tossed his pizza in the air and caught it perfectly, while Audrey’s landed on her face.


She had not been embarrassed like the real Audrey would’ve been, but instead it was the funniest thing in the world. They were in love, and nothing could keep them apart, at the time. The only thing that mattered was each other.
“Everything was funny back then”, the real Audrey said. “I miss that.”
But of
course she did. Who wouldn’t miss being happy all the time when the love of their life was shot and killed by some maniac stranger on campus?
It was so real, so vivid. It’s hard for Audrey to believe that it was only a memory. Her constant companion of grief and heartache began to fade as soon as she saw his face. Not just in her mind, but actually in front of her. Actually real. If she was dead, then how was it possible for her to feel so alive? So in love? So happy, and excited, and joyful, and lighthearted?

But Audrey didn’t care how it was possible. She didn’t care about the people on Earth that would be mourning her death. All she cared about was that she was feeling that way because she and Connor could finally live the life they’d always dreamed of-together, forever.


Audrey Daye died on December 3, 2069 at the age of eighty-four.



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