Saturday Morning Memories

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Saturday morning. Before three months ago, I would have been delighted to wake up to the morning of the new weekend, the start of two fabulous stress-free days. But now, the once-blue skies were bleak, dark, gray, and no birds chirped their happy songs. Silence echoed through the sad little town. On the upside, I no longer had to pretend that the world matched the gloom that rested in my heart. Winter had come.

The doorbell rang, stirring me out of my unhappy slumber. I groaned and rolled onto my stomach, pulling my pillow over my head. I’m not here, I’m not here, I’m not here, I mentally told the person outside of my tiny apartment. Ding-dong! Ding-dong! Whoever was outside really wanted to come in and would not give up without a fight. I opened one eye. 6 AM! Ugh…

DING-DONG! DING-DONG!

“I’m coming, I’m coming!” I yelled. I pulled my lucky sweatshirt on over my grey tank top and grumbled my way to the door. I slowly opened the door. “Yes?”

“Uh, delivery for… McKay Wilson?” The UPS man asked.

“Yeah, that’s me,” I told him, confused.

He stuck out a pen and paper. “Sign here.”

I took it, but couldn’t help asking, “Who’s it from?”

“Don’t know. No return address.”

“Huh.”

I gave him back the sheet, and he used it to salute me. “Have a good day, Miss,” he smiled.

Watching him retreating back down the staircase, I was struck by a sudden feeling of curiosity. He seemed almost… familiar somehow. If not a feeling of familiarity, then it was a feeling of… knowing, maybe? He seemed to know more about the package then he was letting on…

I shook my head and closed the front door. Me and my silly over reactive mind, I chided myself. He’s probably exactly what he seems to be- a simple UPS man. Why else would he be giving me a package? I looked down at the intriguing box, staring as if by looking hard enough I would reveal its secrets. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

“Alright,” I muttered to myself. “Let’s open this baby up.”

I carried the box to the kitchen table, pulled a pen out of my pocket and tore into the thin plastic layer that stood between me and the mystery inside. Right before I opened the flimsy cardboard flaps, I hesitated. What if it was something bad? Something that could change the world? I rolled my eyes. It probably couldn’t change the world.

But would it change my life?

Only one way to find out.

I opened the box with a large intake of breath. The first thing I saw was a picture of me, halfway covered by an object covered in bubble wrap. What the….. I wondered, my thought trailing off in my head. I took it out of the box slowly, like it was going to bite me. I pulled the small object in bubble wrap off of the picture…
Oh. My. God.
Suddenly, my air flow was blocked off, stopped up by the aching sobs that filled my mouth and poured through my lips. Tears flowed freely, running their salty streaks into my mouth as well. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t breathe. Hyperventilating, all I could do was stare at the picture of me and Owen.
No. No. This couldn’t be that picture.
I burned that picture. When he died….
But there it was, right in front of me, that picture of me and Owen in the park, two weeks before that stupid fire that took everything I loved away from me. He has his arm slung casually over my shoulder, smiling at the person hidden behind the camera. My- I should just say the girl’s- eyes were closed, and she was laughing, smiling….
Happy.
The tear flow began to slow. I stared, stared, stared at my past, captured in a small photo. After several minutes, I tore my eyes away from the scene. There are still more objects in the box, McKay, that little voice in my head told me. Look inside. Look inside.
I reached inside, and pulled out the object that had been covering the photo. After unwrapping it, I saw that it was a small velvet box. I don’t ever remember this box, I recalled. What is this?
A locket lay in satin silk inside of the jewelry box. I had a moment of confusion, then recognition.
Oh, god. Here come the tears again.
The locket. It was THE locket. It was the heart-shaped locket Owen had given me for my 18th birthday. A rose, beautiful even implanted into metal, decorated the outside. It was all I could do to not open it up, knowing that the picture inside held the two of us kissing, happy, oblivious to the world around them.
Why, past, must you come back to haunt me?
And yet there were still more objects in the box. I pulled them out one by one, my tears never stopping. There was the chocolate rose he had given me last Valentine’s day- hadn’t I eaten it? Oh, this was the ticket he got me to The Script concert. I realized I loved him at that concert, underneath the hot stage lights, listening to The Man Who Can’t Be Moved in the background. And here was the book- Romeo and Juliet- that we had found in the park, underneath the bush, the fateful, beautiful day when he first asked me out.
The box was nearly empty now. I peered over the edge of the lid, almost afraid to uncover the mysteries of my past that were still wrapped up safely inside. What else could they be?
Just one left….
I pulled it up and held it in both of my hands, conserving my emotions for the time being. I knew this one would be the worst, but I also knew if I didn’t open it that the suspense would kill me. I tore apart the bubble wrap, and found….
Two halves of a heart?
What?
I didn’t remember this at all. It was two pieces of a large clay heart, cut almost directly in half, grey and cracked, but charming in a rustic way. The clay was dry, but my fingers still made slight imprints into the surface. If it got wet, it would most likely become moldable clay again. It enchanted me in a way I could never explain. Almost as if in a trance, I pulled the two halves together, molding the clay to form one whole heart.
Tracings I hadn’t seen before formed words. McKay, it read. My heart nearly stopped as I read the message. Owen needs you to let go. Move on. We know you love him, but there’s no way you’re going to get him back. The tears flooded from my eyes and splattered the clay. They ran into the cracks, and the words began to disappear. Oh, no! The water! Desperate, I read the final messages quickly. These memories are to show you what was and what shall be. Good bye.
There was no signature.
The heart then fell apart again, wet from my tears, ruining the words forever. I sat back. I knew any attempt to fix it would be futile. Is that really what I’ve been doing? Holding on? I thought back to my grim mood this morning. I hadn’t even wanted to talk to the UPS guy for fear of remembering Owen. I straightened up again.
“The message is right,” I spoke confidently aloud, talking to air. “I need to move on with my life. Hell, I’ve still GOT life ahead of me.” I picked up the memories surrounding the box and laid them carefully aside, bubble wrap strewn crazily across the room. I carried the box to the living room and grabbed a lighter off the fireplace mantel.
“And there’s only one way to move on,” I muttered as an afterthought.

I closed the box.

Flicked on the lighter.

And said goodbye to my memories of Owen.





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