Strawberry Hill

December 5, 2008
By
The car pulled over to the side of the old country road as its passengers looked out the rain streaked windows at the child lying in the grass. Drops of rain ran down her face, smoothed her hair, and drenched her clothes. Her eyes stared blankly up, unblinking, as if she wasn’t seeing the grey sky above, but a place far beyond that. The only movement was the gentle rise and fall of her chest as she took in the damp afternoon air.

A man, who previously sat behind the wheel of the car, walked slowly towards the girl, his arms raised, their palms turned outwards in a reassuring gesture. The girl didn’t stir from her catatonic state. Scooping her up in his arms, he took her away, never realizing that her tears joined the rain.

White walls can close in on a person. Faces come and go, blurred beyond recognition, people say that she knows. But she doesn’t, she doesn’t know anything except that she knows she doesn’t remember. She doesn’t remember a thing. She doesn’t remember her name, she doesn’t remember her life, she doesn’t remember her voice, and she doesn’t remember what they did to her that night.

She doesn’t close her eyes.

If she closes her eyes, she’ll remember that he smelled of apricots and Strawberry Hill. If she closes her eyes, she’ll remember the crunch of autumn leaves, the smell of dying grass, and the dirty brown of the sky. She’ll remember the moment that the smell of apricots left, replaced by cologne. She’ll remember the choking heaviness of it.

But she doesn’t close her eyes...

Memories slumber in the deep dark. She doesn’t remember anything. If she remembered, the monster would crawl out from under her bed. If she remembered the pale blue moons that hung in the sky that night, she’ll remember how the rain felt when it came falling.

The car pulled over to the side of the old country road as its passengers looked out the rain streaked windows at the child lying in the grass. Drops of rain ran down her face, smoothed her hair, and drenched her clothes. Her eyes stared blankly up, unblinking, as if she wasn’t seeing the grey sky above, but a place far beyond that. The only movement was the gentle rise and fall of her chest as she took in the damp afternoon air. Around her lay the broken shards of the Strawberry Hill bottles. The rain pounded the ashes of the once-was-campfire.

A man, who previously sat behind the wheel of the car, walked slowly towards the girl, his arms raised, their palms turned outwards in a reassuring gesture. The girl didn’t stir from her catatonic state. Scooping her up in his arms, he took her away, never realizing that her tears joined the rain.





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