Memories of a Forgotten Past

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Part I - The Remembrance

It’s been a year since that fateful day. The day where I lost what I loved most. The one thing who supported me through thick and thin. For better or for worse. Two words. The most important ones of my life, Nancy Taylor.
The air was pitch black. Fog so thick you could taste it. All I could see was the hood of my 2008 Camry and Nancy in my peripherals. All of it happened in a split second. We were heading down a steep mountain road off the outskirts of town when a deer bounded out onto the pavement. She grabbed the steering wheel and we veered off to the side of the road, barely missing the doe. Little did we know there was no emergency lane, as there should be. All that was there were trees and more trees. We rammed an oak at at least 60 miles per hour. I was alive and well but I couldn’t say the same for her. A sharp tree branch stuck out of her chest as a tooth pick pierces a grape. Was that sweater always a deep crimson? I stared, mouth quivering, trying to discern whether this was happening. Then like the air of the forest, I too was engulfed in a black darken then a never ending abyss.
Six months of rehabilitation and a year of psychological help finally helped me adjust to the life I would have to get used to. But thoughts still occasionally bombarded my mind. Flashes of a face nearly forgotten after a year. Blank faces walking past and towering buildings blurred and clouded my vision. And scenes of horror. Of a car accident. Of a blood drenched sweater.
The final appointment with Dr. Phillips ended and I again returned to an empty apartment. Everything as I had left it that morning. Save for one slip of paper lying on the floor by picture frames long since left face-down. Two words were scrawled onto it next to some initials..“Find me. -N.T” Who was it that had the initials N and T? After a moments recollection. A name popped up in my consciousness. Nancy Taylor.



Part II - Pursuit and Paradise



Those 2 words spurred the life I didn’t think I had left in me. I searched frantic and desperately at first. Then a thought occurred to me. Search our favorite places. Our best memories. This led me to the spot where our life started together.

The “Mirror’s Face Lake”. Searching the possible areas was a work for a fit man, not one that’s been recovering. An hour of searching, everywhere but on people. That’s when I found the note. On the bench where we first met. Strangers sitting next to each other, destined for love. A flashback took me back to that day. Kites flying in the mid-summer breeze. Children laughing, dogs barking. Lovers and couples sitting together staring at the surface of the lake. Two people sat on the same bench to enjoy the view, the sounds, and the warm rays of the sun. The dark realization of the present sent me in a short depression. But hope made me persevere. Again, a phrase was written, “Where we became one.”

Saint Mary’s Church. The place where we became man and wife. There it was, another slip of paper just like the first and second, lying on the alter. Visions of white led me back to our happiest day. Smiling faces I didn’t recognize anymore. Her face beaming with joy and streaming with tears. This was again abruptly interrupted by reality. Gathering my last bit of hope and courage I read the note. “Our last encounter.” I had a feeling this would all be over soon.
A year had erased the mournful image of the cemetery. The final resting place of loved ones. Memories of our last encounter brought up scenes of a priest reading the bible in front of a crowd. All dressed in black. Mourners? In the crowd was a familiar face. One I see everyday in the mirror. Eyes puffed, red, watery. They are all sitting in front of a casket. In it was the one that I’m searching for. Snapping back to the present, I found that my body had brought me back to where it remembered. A grave stone marked, “Here lies Nancy Taylor. Beloved daughter, wife, and friend.” Grass had grown while I had been away. An even coat of emerald blades surrounded a metal box. One used for keeping precious items. In it were old pictures and letters I sent to her long ago.
A deep understanding of my life came to me at that moment. My wife loved me, and I loved her. She wouldn’t want me trapped in the past like this. I came to my senses and smiled at this place. And walked off carrying a box of memories of a remembered past.





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