"Lost Memories" is one of the January Writing Challenge entries that was chosen to be a featured story.
Photo by Natalie Chyi

Roaring city streets turned to lush quiet as the girl with the platinum hair entered the small garden area.

Seconds later the boy with raven hair came from the entrance.

At first neither said a word, neither noticing the second presence in the petite space. Neither knew of this place previously, only noting the way it’s front wall dipped in slightly, leaving room for curious minds to wonder what could lie within.

Yet still something pulled them in, an unknown force sending them to that very garden, timing almost in sync.

Slowly, painfully slow, each turned, for the first time acknowledging the other’s presence. They stared for what felt like hours, suspicious, confused, careful. Something so familiar as they gazed, but they’d never met, not that they could remember. It must have looked strange, the way they stared. Perhaps if someone were to stumble upon them they would think it strange to see these two contrasting people watching each other with both fascination and suspicion. Minds each running, racing, hurtling a mile a minute, so fast one could almost see the gears turning.

Yet neither spoke a word, breathing even and steady, and as he watched, he began willing this memory, story, something to explain why the girl in front of him was so familiar yet so unknown.

Then suddenly, a flash. Platinum blonde hair, shared giggles, tiny toddler hands clasping onto each other. He blinked, taken back, the images gone and faded. Leaving more questions than answers.

Her eyes flashed, pieces of memory danced behind her lids, something darker. Sunlight in a floral space, laughter, then. Tiny hands desperately reaching out, innocent eyes, sad and pleading. And a promise to find their way back.

But still silence remained, letting those images thicken the air around them. Questions filling the space.

What had they seen?

What could it mean?

Why could they only remember now?

Instead of seeking out the answers to each unspoken question, they made the choice to run.  Why try to find a story long since locked away?

This time in a manner not as slow, they turned, facing away, prepared to go their separate ways. As the first steps were taken, she turned, mouth dry but open to call out to the boy.

But something stopped her, and she closed her mouth again, turning away once more.

“Goodbye,” she whispered, an action against her own mind, some force driving her as she loses him again, but this unknown to her.

And so each walked away with the question of what they were missing lingering in their minds. Strangers with a history left only for those garden flowers to know.



Alicia Arellano

Leave a Reply