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Amelia - Chapter 1
“You can choose to be happy or sad
and whoever you choose is what you get.”
...the truck swerved into your brother’s lane and sideswiped their car…
…by the time the ambulance arrived, neither had a pulse…
…I’m sorry, miss…
These thoughts, they woke me up. And as I reached to touch my face, tears – tears began to fall in remembrance of that night almost a year ago. The night I regret the most, and painfully wish to change, if possible. But it isn’t; that’s the problem. No one’s capable of erasing such vivid memories, no need trying because it will always be there haunt you; taunt you; of how you could have done better – made a change. And you simply drown in the thoughts, in the guilt, and sooner or later; you can no longer take it anymore. You’ll lose your mind, and do something stupid. You’ll do it because you want nothing but to forget. Because you want every single drop of pain to vanish, and for you to finally feel free once again.
That’s what I want.
But like everything else in life, it’s not that easy. To have such a burden weighing down on your shoulders, reminding you of the past every single time you give the world a chance and try to find happiness. Then, you return – return to your little corner, create a wall that separates you from all others. One that you believe can protect your soul and your ever fragile heart from anymore hurt…and so…you begin by avoiding your friends – slipping away from the group of people that may be able to break the metal chain that surrounds your heart; then you become another chameleon in the outside world – hiding your face, keeping to yourself… Some even give up the love of their lives: their precious dreams. They simply throw it out the window, thinking that there’s no longer a reason for it. You know why? Because after whatever terrible incident might have happened, people may feel at a loss; that there’s no point in life anymore.
I’m one of those. The only difference is: after I abandoned everything, including the house where I grew up in; I found something. Or rather, it found me. Something that I can use to express how I feel without having to say a single word. A way to communicate with others without having to get too attached; too emotional towards them - at least, in my opinion. Photography. It gave me something to live for - something other than my brother and Melanie. Something to occupy my mind with in order to forget, or attempt to do so, about the accident. About the fact that I have nothing, nor anybody, but my camera.
But that’s enough. After everything that has happened, it’s more than enough.
The first thing I saw was the letter. Then the box - and I knew exactly who it was from. My father. You know, the one that transformed into a completely different person. The one who drowned his sorrows with a beer in hand and a smoke in the other. The one who lost control and took his anger out on his daughter – on me, after Jonathan’s death. These letters, these are his way of reconcilement with the daughter that chose to drain every drop of memory that included him the minute that rough hand of his made contact with her face…the minute he swung his fist, the target none-other than her. He lost her a long time ago – he lost me a long time ago. And there’s no going back.
So, as I walked down the hall, dropping my bag on the couch and my camera on the counter; I simply tossed the crinkled blue envelope into the bin in the corner along with the others. Nice try, old man, I thought, however, the package still arouse my curiosity. Who could it be from? It can’t be from my father. I mean, what can he possibly send me – from rehab. Who, who else is out there? Not my mum, that’s for certain. She disappeared years ago, even before the accident. Disappeared to find a better life.
Now, interest conquering, I grabbed it off the counter and plopped down on the couch, turning on the radio on the way.
That’s it. No return address. Nothing except for my name slapped right in the middle. Suspicious – and eager, I slowly opened the flaps. What I found inside, now that’s…I don’t know. I just never thought to see these. And as I stared down at the items longer, memories begun to flood back. Years and years of meaningful moments. They’re back. Whoever this guy is, I loathe him.
My eyes, I can feel them start to water as I carefully remove the laced pink album with a picture of a brown-haired woman pushing a little girl in braids back and forth on a swing...a worn out soccer ball which has multiple signatures on it in faded black marker…a small tiara with the words “Happy Birthday” engraved on the top…and then there’s the frame. The Best of Times, it says. That one. When I laid eyes on it, I broke. The brick walls came crashing down, and I, I held it close to my chest and cried myself to sleep.