Box Of Memories
There’s always this bright light, miles down this path I cannot see clearly. I often trip over tree stumps and branches that only appear after I fall, if that’s even possible. Everything on this path is unknown, except for the feeling of desire to reach the light at the end of the path. I have to get there, I have to feel its warmth and set myself free. This place holds me hostage. I can run for miles and the light seems further than it was before. In a place full of blinding light, one noticeable silhouette forms in the corner of my eye. I turn to look.
I bolted upright as I felt my heart pounding in my chest, and my head throb as my vision adjusts to a dark room. I must have fallen asleep writing my essay. My first day back to college and I’m already running late. With only half an essay finished and no coffee in my system I jump up to head to the library.
Every day, I get on a train at the same time. No exceptions. There is no way I could take the train at a later time, without Ashton. He tries to keep me sane most days. We always meet up at the train station and head to the campus library to finish my essays together.
As we sit down at a computer together, a group of the popular girls stares at Ashton with cheerful giggles flowing through the air.
Ashton was tall and brawny, with hair as dark as night and eyes as blue as ice. Being friends with Ashton since my parents untimely death, he is more attractive than I care to admit, especially to him. I’ve always wondered why he never seemed interested in anyone, even though everyone seemed more interested in him than anything else. Once again, we printed my paper and left the library, leaving the giggling girls standing there watching Ashton as he paid them no attention.
After class, I found Ashton waiting for me outside my classroom. “Well, how was class, princess?” His voice was both gentle and firm as usual.
“How many times have I asked not to call me princess? It’s the same thing from when I was seven, why not come up with something new? Like.. Analia, my name!”
“As you wish, princess. Although Analia is pretty and all, princess just suits you better.”
“You will never let me win, will you?”
“Nope. Heading back to the apartment, princess?
After another thirty minutes, we say goodbye for the day and part ways. As I walk up to my apartment, I notice that everything feels different. Instead of my loud neighbors yelling at each other from different rooms and slamming doors, I hear nothing but silence. Just silence. Silence so loud it feels like it’s yelling at me that something isn’t right. As I walk into my apartment, the hairs on my neck rise up with goosebumps from going into such a cold, different atmosphere. My once dark apartment now filled with light from the torn down, ripped apart curtains. The kitchen table was thrown across the room and broken into pieces. My artwork and notebooks rummaged through and tossed around. Scratches running through my mattress like a beast ripped it apart.
Nothing was right. Nothing was how it was supposed to be. Not being able to shake the feeling of being watched, I turn around ready to run away until I feel safe, but instead see Ashton standing in the doorway in complete surprise. Somehow, he always manages to show up unexpectedly when I need him the most.
Lost for words, I run into his arms scared of what I just witnessed. Everything was ruined. I finally get my life together and then this hits me. I get robbed.
“What happened? Are you okay? What all is missing?”
As I look around the apartment, everything is still here. Most of my things are broken or shredded, but it is all still here.
“I think you should stay the night at my place, just for tonight, I don’t want them to come back for something while you are here.”
“Yeah, me neither... let me pack a bag before we go, if there’s anything left for me to take.”
As I pack my bag, I notice one thing that was nowhere to be seen. My memory box. This box held all the pictures and memories of my parents before they passed. It held everything from their wedding rings to my mother’s journal, to pictures of us together. And it was gone. Out of everything in this apartment, who would want my memory box? The one thing I had left of my once perfect family.
Even though I have been best friends with Ashton since I was seven, I have never seen his apartment. Not even once. When we get there, the first thing I notice is how minimalist his place was. At first glance, he only seemed to have the essentials. Basic furniture, no curtains, no candles or plants or extra belongings lying around. He always seemed to live a simple life, I don’t know what I expected of him.
He’s spent the night at my house countless times. Growing up, we’d always lay on the bed and watch all the classic movies. It never got old for us. So we quickly came to the decision that sleeping in the same bed this time would be no different. After I’m comfortable, the only thing left on my mind is that memory box. As the lights dim and the world fades into darkness, I find myself on this mysterious path I can not seem to escape from.
I feel trapped. I feel suffocated. I run as fast as I can manage only hoping to reach the light at the end of the path. Tripping over objects that I can not see until after I fall to the ground. It seems like the forest grabs my feet and pulls me down to the ground. Relentlessly, I rise up and start to run again. It never seems like I am making progress.. It feels like I am running backwards for some reasons I can not explain. Until a strange, familiar figure appears, this time grabbing me. Startled, I turn to face the man..