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The Memory Thief

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The clouds wove together on the lush evening sky like the long train of a bridesmaid's pink chiffon dress, trailing all the way into the golden sunset, etched in the middle of the glistening ocean. Cool breeze frolicked the deck of the ship, playfully ruffling light skirts and fumbling through long flaxen locks.

Raj struggled with two chocolate ice creams in his hand, fearing the rogue wind would knock off the flimsy cones. Aziza's wavy raven hair fluttered dreamily, wafting the sweet scent of her strawberry shampoo to his nose. Her fair skin shone softly, wrapped in ribbons of velvet sun rays.

'There you go. Your favorite.' He handed the cone to a surprised Aziza.

'How do you know that it's my favorite?' She asked Raj, holding him in her quizzical glance and scrutinized his dense furrowing eyebrows. He let out a sigh and looked at the far off sun. He then answered her question with a crooked smile that brought out his pearly white teeth against his tanned olive skin.

'And who are you?' She questioned again, with a hint of smile and mock anger.

'I'm Raj. I would shake hands with you if it weren't for this ice cream that I think you have refused. I saw you on the dock when we were boarding. Are you from the biology department?' His speech was cool but confident as he held out the ice cream once more. She accepted the cone with a curt nod. 'Are you from the physics department?' She asked in exchange. 'So, I wasn't the only one stalking', Raj said mockingly, inviting a playful punch from Aziza.

'My name is Aziza. So what's up?' She asked. The horizon shone in a golden symphony, orchestrated by tiny seagulls hovering in the sky.

'What comes to your mind when you look at this beautiful sunset?' Raj asked, looking unflinchingly at the brilliant sun.

She stumbled. He noticed the cute way in which her rosy lips puckered, looking for the right words. 'Well, it is beautiful... Of course. It makes me happy... And...' She gulped noisily, blinked quirkily a couple of times while pleading him with her hazel eyes to step in and relieve her from the poetic breakdown. He laughed at her staccato speech. 'That was pitiful', he remarked, trying to mimic Jack from Titanic. Her lips pressed disapprovingly into a thin line. 'What do YOU think about this sunset?' She asked disdainfully, turning around and resting her back against the railing.

'What do I think...?' Raj trailed on, as if in a reverie.

'I think the sun is like a beautiful red rose, as red as your lips, that has bloomed on the garden of this magical sapphire horizon. And if you'd say yes, I would pluck it' - he
motioned his fingers as if to pluck a flower - 'And tuck it in the folds of your luscious flowing hair, gorgeous like this ocean, where it rightfully belongs.' He turned to meet her bewildered gaze and rose his eyebrows, asking for her feedback. She licked the side of the dripping chocolate ice cream and replied shyly, 'mushy. But strangely, I really liked it.' They broke into peels of laughter as they hurriedly licked the melting chocolate to avoid it from dripping to the ground.

As Raj impatiently gulped down his scoop in one go, Aziza's laughter started to fade and her face twisted into a shade of pain as she nervously bit her lower lip. 'Raj... Did this just happen? How... How could I?' She turned to face him, her eyes swimming in tears. He shook his head. 'No, Aziza everything went right. You see, you weren't lost. Just transported back in time.' He awkwardly put his arm around a weeping Aziza, trying to soothe her. The ice cream sent chills down his spine as it sucked all the warmth out of his mouth.

'No, Raj. This is just getting worse. I just forgot YOU! And this has never happened...I'm so scared...' She choked on her tears as she said the last sentence, filled with fear and despair. He pulled her closer, her face against his chest. 'Listen to me. Everything's alright. So what, you forgot me? We met anew once again and I fell in love with you all over again! Not many people get to make first impression twice. I even got the ice cream flavor right this time. Not vanilla, like our original first meet. See? Everything's great, sweetheart. Just like always.' He stroked her soft hair and gently rocked back and forth as if comforting a crying toddler. He kissed her forehead gently as ever. 'Everything's good as long as we are together. The sun will shine bright.'

She pulled herself away from his hug, smiled at the deepening sunset and handed her empty cone to him. She shrugged offhandedly and leaned against the railing. 'Raj... I've been wondering... About this Alzheimer's I've got. It's like a thief in my head. First he pilfered little things. Like my cellphone number and the whereabouts of my car keys and now he has gotten to bigger things. Like our first meet, our first kiss, our favorite date...' She tilted her head sideways and smiled. 'See? I'm not that bad a poet. Staying with you has made my prosaic mind sing', she said teasingly through the free falling tears that drew polka dots on her purple sundress.

'True that', he said. 'But guess what?', he said in a matter-of-fact way. 'Your little memory thief can keep stealing things from your head. It won't matter.'

'How so?' Aziza asked, smiling doubtingly at Raj. 'Because you see, he will get tired. I'll keep filling your head with all these happy and beautiful memories. So many of them, so that he will eventually have to give up and leave your head.' He the. widened his eyes and smiled ear to ear as if talking to a long faced five year old. With that, he wiped away the salty tears that stained her warm cheeks with his sturdy hand. She smiled back gently and held his hand firmly in hers. She knew that she would hold his hand tightly in hers till the day her fingers gave in. And he knew that he would hold her hand firmly in his, till the end, even if her grip loosened. They stood hand in hand, drinking in the sunset and immortalizing the moment.

The ship sailed ahead toward its destiny, gliding past a lovely sundown, as the people aboard made another wonderful memory, to be safely treasured in their vast but ephemeral albums called Life.

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This article has 5 comments. Post your own!

SaphiraBrightscales said...
May 25, 2013 at 7:27 am:
I am not a Romantic but this piece made me tear. I loved -- Wait.. I bet you can guess what part I liked best so I'll leave that for you to guess. Other than that: I loved the imagery and the way you gave a sense of intimacy, it was beautiful. You ARE Really Good at this!! One thing there's this paragraoh with a typo wait..The paragraph that starts with "How so?' Aziza asked.....   Read it once and you'll see. Other than that: Perfect!
AugustSummerFlingThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 26, 2013 at 8:38 am :
Hey saphira! Thanks for your feedback :) I hate Alzheimer's. it's like the worst thing that could happen to anyone. I saw this Korean movie about Alzheimer's that had me crying buckets in the end. It's called 'a moment to remember' and then I was inspired to write this. And this weird thing kept popping up in my head. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. And I'm like, really? Then I wrote this. Hahaha I guess I'm blind :D where's the typo??
SaphiraBrightscales replied...
May 27, 2013 at 11:24 am :
That "you never get a second chance to make a first impression" idea WAS pretty cool though as I forgot to say I do agree with wordnerd54 that you should'vesomehow incorporate their ages cause that was the only part that made me confused..>And I hate all sorts of diseases :(( They're all so so heartbreaking. But yes , Alzheimer's is quite one rascal! ...It's " He the. widened..." I supposed you wanted to write "He widened.."
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wordnerd54 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm:
Hi! This is really lovely - it's heartfelt and honest. It's a sweet story; I can feel the love Raj has for Aziza throughout the piece. The imagery is great; it's original (didn't feel like a bunch of cliches). Just be careful not to go overboard with it, though, because there's always a fine line between imagery that perfectly describes something and imagery that feels forced. Aside from that, the only area I see for improvement would be to incorporate the ages of Aziza and... (more »)
AugustSummerFlingThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 20, 2013 at 1:06 pm :
Hey words :) I'm glad you liked the story :) and thanks so much for telling me about the imagery. I've always wondered if it was ok. Cuz when I would re read it, it would sound awkward. Lol but the prob with me is that Im not able to digest the fact that I have to cut down the words I wrote. Lol. Thanks for pointing it out :) ill fix that in my other pieces :)
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