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Bitter Memories This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

I sighed as I threw the rock and watched it lightly skip along the surface of the water, marring the perfect velvet surface with tiny ripples. The night air was cool, and I was doing my best not to think of anything at all, just revel in the beautiful night. The rock I sat on was cool, and the water gently lapped at it, the waves seemingly content to stay where they were. This really was the perfect place, a place of solitude and beauty. So far away from the noise of the modern world, all one could hear was the solitary call of the loon, resounding off of the empty water.

The sun was gone, far beneath the trees, and I picked up my camera, hoping to capture the deep purple that stained the night sky. I raised my lens and focused the picture. Looking at it I snorted in disgust. No matter how good my camera was, I wasn’t going to capture perfection. I set my camera carefully down, and lay back, crossing my arms beneath my head. Perfection, was it then? But it was perfection in more than just beauty. It was the unnatural feeling of calmness that had radiated from the night through me, that I immersed myself in. It was easy to take a deep breath and let everything go here. I wanted to forget my life and just stay in this place forever. Leave behind my fears, my wounds, my tears, and make a new life for myself.

But one cannot just fall away from their past, hoping to leave it all behind. For I knew as much as I wanted to do just that, I couldn’t. There were good moments, and some good people, people I would miss; however obscured they were, darkened by what was around them. They were just harder to hold on to. It was easier to remember the deliberateness of her not meeting my eyes than the smile she had given me in the hall, just another person. I wasn’t what I was then, and neither was she. But she had moved on, and I had shattered. I was stagnant; not moving forward, and only looking back, yearning for what once was. The careless fun we once had had. The giggles as we threw mud at one another, the fire in your eyes as you told that girl that you weren’t going to be her friend if you were mean to me. Was I the one who had gone wrong? I didn’t think so, but I had lost a friend.

They say you never know how much you value something until you’ve lost it. I couldn’t agree more. I felt the calm that I had gathered shatter. The memories were too much, and I closed my eyes as bitter tears ran down my cheeks. All I could think of was what once was. What would never be again.



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