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Ghost of Memories Past

Anna picked up the frame holding a picture to her left. She looked at her beauty. Her face looked the same, but less wrinkly, and was not surrounded by greying hair. She was seventy two years old. She had lived a good part of her life, and she lived it well. Anna swapped the picture she was holding with one of her whole family sitting on the steps of her modest house on the beach. She had two children who loved her very much, with a husband who had done the same. Her oldest child was a boy, her youngest and second child was a girl. Anna had always dreamed of having children like this. An older son to protect her daughter’s fragile heart. And he did. Those two children of hers had given her six grandchildren. Three each.
She and her husband had met in college, during her freshman year, his sophomore year. They had been together ever since. Chris had fallen in love with her at her first appearance on the soccer field at Santa Clara against University of Southern California. It wasn’t her athleticism, beauty, or intelligence, but her whole manner. And somehow, he won her heart. She and her husband lived in Palo Alto California, not too far from her children, although it was thousands of miles away from her three sisters in New Jersey. They still kept close contact, and she visited them at least twice a year. The next picture lining the mantle was of her and her closest friend on their first day of nursing school. They both came from Santa Clara where they had played soccer together and were roommates. Anna set the picture down and took a step. The next photo she came across was one of her when she had committed to Santa Clara University for soccer. She could remember when she was in high school anticipating the day when she finally decided on a school, and had a school decide on her. Behind Anna were her parents. She missed them, but it was good to see them again when they were proud of her. Her mother was crying, and her father laughing as if her wasn’t ready for the picture. In front of her was a table with a packet of papers cleanly signed by her, and a tee shirt reading SANTA CLARA WOMEN’S SOCCER.
That was it for the pictures on the mantle, so Anna walked over to the wall lined with large frames and photographs. The first one she approached had four young girls in it. The same young woman from the first picture and her three sisters. Anna had recently gotten back from visiting her sisters but she still missed them. But not as much as she missed her husband. He was featured in the next picture she came across. She remembered taking this of him. He was standing on a cliff in a small coastal village in France. This was one of their stops on their backpacking trip through Europe. Anna had always wanted to do that when she was fresh out of college. Somehow the picture didn’t make her miss him.
Anna had done this very often. Walk about her living room looking at past memories, and the last one she always came across was her favorite. Anna wanted a picture she could send to her friends back in New Jersey. When is was taken, she had thought he ruined it by looking at her instead of the camera but now she saw why he loved it so much.
“Whatcha doin?” Anna thought she heard her husband standing behind her in the doorway of the living room.
“Hello?” Anna froze, then she turned around to check, but no one was there. Just her empty house flooded with sunlight. It was at that point Anna realized she was crying, but she could not figure out why.




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