Chapter 2: The First Memory
My bedroom wasn't small but it wasn't large either. I guess you could say it was just the right size. My grandmother told me that she hadn't changed my room around, not even a little bit. I wish that I could say I remembered how much I loved or hated this room. It was a fairly simple bedroom. The walls were stained white and it didn't look like there was a scratch on them. There was a queen sized bed with brown bedsheets in the middle of the room and brown curtains hanging from the window to the left of my bed.
There were no posters or paintings on the walls except for a white rectangular canvas that had a hand drawn, muscular bird on it. In the top right hand corner in what looked like black marker it read, The ones. The Great. The Best. We are the... In big orange and green, bubbled letters it spelled Hurricanes and just above that in smaller letters were Miami. Behind those words were what looked like rock, as if the big bird broke through it.
I walked over to my bed and crawled on top of it, laying on my back and staring at the ceiling. I was so exhausted; all I could wish for right now was some sleep. I didn't want to sleep though, I wanted to stay awake and try to remember something, to remember anything. I looked to my left and saw a photo of a man and a woman holding a little girl in their arms. The little girl appeared to be about seven years of age. She had brown hair, big brown eyes, and a huge smile on her face. She looked really happy, as did her parents.
The mother and the little girl could not look more alike. The mother had brown hair too, only her eyes were light brown. Her husband, or who I can assume to be her husband, had black hair and blue eyes with a big, white smile to match. I didn't recognize them at all but something tells me that I knew them and something else tells me that I was the little girl from the picture. I picked up the wooden picture frame and slid my hand along the glass that protected the photo. Even though I couldn't remember a thing about them, I somehow missed them.
As I stared at the photo in my hands, I felt myself start to cry. It was the first emotion I had since I've been home. I had been robbed of my memories. I had been robbed of two of the most important people in my life. I was scared, I was hurt. And even though I didn't know her, I wished my mother was here so I could confide in her. And as I sat there in tears, I began to remember something. I began to remember a moment with my mother.
A knock on my bedroom door interrupted my thoughts. "Hazel?" My grandmother called, opening my bedroom door and taking a peek inside.
"Yes?" I answered.
"Would you like to go to the market with me?: She asked. "I wanted to go buy some fresh meat. I wanted to make some sandwiches."
"No, thank you though." I softly smiled. "I'm still so tired."
"Okay. I'll be back in an hour. Will you be okay by yourself?"
I nodded. "I'll see you later, grandmother."
I watched as the little old lady exited my room. As soon as she was gone, I set the photo back in its rightful place. I got up from the spot on my bed and closed the curtains that hung on the sides of my window. I want to try to remember what it was that I had begun to remember before my grandmother walked in. I walked back over to my bed and snuggled under the covers, trying to get cozy and warm. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, trying to relax.
I was calm, no longer upset, and it seemed to me that whatever I was close to remembering was triggered by my melancholy state. It could have been my first memory, but sadly it slipped away. Sleep called to me. My eyes would no longer open. I hadn't had the chance to fall asleep yet. I was scared to sleep again. I didn't want to forget anything else and more importantly, I didn't want to fall asleep for another six months. I feared not being able to wake up, ever again.
"Hazel! Hazel come over here!" My mother called, beckoning me to get into the photo with her and my father.
"Quickly! We haven't got all day!" My mother was impatient, but it never really bothered me much. The quote, "Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?" simply did not apply to my mother. I must admit, though, if there was anything I admired about my mother, it was he determination to get things done. Not only did she get things done, but she got them done as accurately as she could. If I had that quality in me I'd probably end up with A's on my school papers instead of C's. I'd sure love to see that day.
"Why are we taking this stupid photo anyway?" I asked, not bothering to hide how annoyed I had gotten.
"Hush honey," My mother was becoming frustrated now, that wasn't a secret, but I couldn't help it if I despised taking family photos of any kind. "It's for your grandma. She won't be able to make it for Christmas this year so we're sending her a post card."
"Why don't we just-"
"Say cheese!" The photographer interrupted, and I put on the best smile I could give. After all, it's the least I could do seeing how I don't see my grandmother much. "Now for a photo with just the parents." The photographer ordered. I couldn't be any happier to step out of the next photo and watch from the sidelines. All I wanted to do today was go home and relax, take a hot bath, and calm my nerves.
I looked at my mother smile. She was a real beauty. Of course I have never actually said it to her face, my mother and I hadn't gotten many chances to compliment each other in my seventeen years of existence. My mother wore little to no make up, a little bit of eye liner, mascara, blush, and red lipstick on special occasions. The eyeliner and mascara definitely made her light brown eyes pop, and the blush she applied to her cheeks made her sparkle. Her long brown hair often hung down in curls and I must admit that I was jealous. Everyone tells me that I look exactly like my mother but if you asked me, I simply could not compare.
My father and I weren't the greatest of friends but it didn't mean I didn't love him any less. He had the personality to go with his dashing looks. He had a huge, bright smile, and piercing blue eyes. His black hair was combed back but somehow it was still a little tousled. He had facial hair, a beard to be more exact, and it suited my father well. My father was stern and strict when he needed to be but he could also be the funniest man you knew.
"Okay, now that that's over," My mother walked over to me and took a deep breath. "What was it that you were trying to tell me, sweetie?"
I smiled at my mother, wanting to hug her and squeeze her with everything I had. "I was just going to suggest that we visit grandma for Christmas. I miss her and I'm sure everyone else does too." My mother wrapped her arm around me and gave a big smile, kissing me on my forehead. "Of course we can honey. That sounds great."
I woke up after a few hours sleep and I instantly look toward my window. I walked over, wondering if the moon was out tonight. The night sky was filled with bright stars and it seemed to me that I could not have picked a better moment to wake up. There was a crescent moon hanging high and the sky and it was beautiful. I grabbed a sweater and stepped out of my room and headed toward the front door. I knew it was late so I tried my best to be as quiet as I possibly could be. I reached for the doorknob and heard footsteps behind me.
"Sneaking out already, Hazel?" I turned around and saw my grandmother standing there with her arms crossed, disappointment written on her face but a smirk playing at her lips. "I'd expect those kind of actions when your memory was fully intact."
I sighed. "I'm sorry grandmother. I just wanted to go outside for the first time since I've been back. The sky looks beautiful and I just wanted to see it from a place other than my window. Does that sound stupid of me?"
My grandmother let out a chuckle and walked over to my side, slinging her arm around my shoulder in the same manner that my mother did in my dream. "Of course it doesn't sound stupid. Could you be back in an hour?" She asked.
"Yes, grandmother." I smiled. "I'll be safe and I won't walk far. I promise."
"Okay. But try and get some sleep when you come back." My grandmother hugged me wearily. I could tell she was exhausted and truth be told I couldn't blame her. I went to sleep for hours once my head hit the pillow. "You have school tomorrow."
"School," I echoed. "Something tells me I didn't like school."
"No," My grandmother laughed. "You despised it. But you did sustain your grades to a B average."
"That's good, right?" I asked.
"Very. Now go before it gets any later."
I opened the door and felt the breeze hit me and I instantly fell in love with the feeling that washed over me. It was a calm feeling, it was a happy feeling. I started to take my first step but before I could, I knew I had to ask my grandmother a question. "Did you ever receive a post card?"
"From who, sweetie?" She asked.
"From me," I answered her nervously. "And my parents."
"I did. It was the last I saw of them before the accident." My grandmother looked down to the floor and I could tell that I had saddened her. She clasped her hands together and inhaled deeply. I instantly became sorry I asked.
"I'm sorry grandmother," I said sympathetically.
"Oh it's okay, honey." She smiled. "It wasn't your fault."
I hugged my grandmother tightly and kissed her on the cheek. I was thankful to have her, especially since I didn't have anyone else. "I love you grandmother." I rubbed her back and comforted her in the only way I knew how. It was in that moment when I realized how similar my mother and my grandmother were. They both always called me honey or sweetie, and their eyes always smiled when they would smile. But more importantly, I could tell that both of them had a big heart and they cared for me greatly. My mother truly was beautiful and I could tell that my elderly grandmother was beautiful herself; she still was.
Tonight was a special night. Tonight I remembered my first memory and more importantly, it was a memory of my parents. Tonight I was going to take my first steps outdoors without my grandmother assisting me. It was as if I was a child. It was a special moment for me and by walking outdoors and into the night, I'll finally be creating my own memories. Memories that will hopefully stay with me forever