Scenes From A Memory

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Memories can be beautiful or horrifying. Lyra learns this when she can't stop remembering.

Submitted: May 11, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 11, 2017



Thirteen years. Thirteen years staring at these blank walls and now I was finally going to get out. I’ve had enough of this place just like I was sure that it had enough of me too. I was so tired of wandering through this place and I wanted a change of scenery. I pulled myself out of bed and shivered when my bare feet hit the cold wooden floor. It groaned under the new weight and creaked its protest with every step I took. I made my way to the kitchen and opened the door, only to find it raining. I reached my hand out and let a few drops hit my hand. I closed my eyes as a wave of cold broke over me.

************************************** I stomped my feet through the large puddles on the sidewalk, the only remnants of the thunderstorm from an hour ago. My favorite Hello Kitty rain boots were slick with water and I clutched my dolly in my right hand while I held daddy’s with my left. I was singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider while we walked to the bus stop. Daddy sighed loudly and looked down at me.

“Stop singing so much. Not everyone is going to like your voice”

I immediately stopped and looked down. I wonder why daddy is so grumpy today. I heard mommy and daddy shouting earlier. Maybe that was it.

“Lyra!” squealed a voice from across the street. I looked up and saw my best friend Rylynn standing at the bus stop. I grinned and immediately let go of daddy’s hand to go give her a big hug. I jumped off the curb and suddenly an arm snatched me midair and pulled me back. A car roared past, horn blaring its annoyance.

Daddy put me down hard and shook me, fear in his eyes. “Lyra, what the hell were you doing?! I told you this a thousand times! Always look both ways before crossing the street, you don’t want to be hit by a car! You gave me a goddamn heart attack!”

“Sorry daddy”

“Always be aware of your surroundings. Don’t space out. It could cost you everything”

************************************************************ I shuddered and came to again. I haven’t thought about dad in a very long time.I shut the door and walked into the living room, feeling troubled. I sat down on my couch and suddenly, another voice popped into my head. ************************************************************

“This is how you fake a smile even if you are feeling like you can’t anymore”

I came home from school after my first day of 6th grade.

“Hey mom, I’m home” I called out as I let my backpack drop to the ground with a loud thud. I paused for a second, listening for her voice. If it was a good day, I’d be greeted with a hug and immediate questions. If it was a bad day, I’d walk into the living room and find her passed out drunk. Instead of snoring or a cheery hello...I swear I could hear muffled crying. It couldn’t be mom...that wasn’t her. I walked out into the living room and there she was. On the couch and sobbing like one of those stereotypical soap opera characters that she loves so much and clutching a half empty wine bottle.

“Mom?”, I whispered out softly, still taken aback by the sight.

She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and quickly wiped them, “Oh. Hi honey, how was your first day?”, she sniffled.

“What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”, I asked, ignoring the question directed at me. Oh no.

“I’m not crying...I just...I’ve caught something in my eyes”

“Yeah, they’re called tears”

“Don’t be a smartass, not everyone will appreciate your smart mouth”

“Mom. What. Is. Wrong?”

“You’re too damn stubborn for your own good”

“Yes, you tell me every day. Seriously. Mom. What’s happening?”

She opened her mouth to answer me, but her face crumpled again and she held out her hand. In them were papers. I couldn’t really read what they said but I saw one word. Front and center.


“He didn’t!”, I snarled as I took the papers. Mom nodded and I was getting ready to launch into a rant when the doorbell rang. Mom suddenly stood and wiped her eyes once more. I was getting ready to ask what she was doing before she put a smile on her face. Now anyone that knew her could tell she wasn’t truly happy. Her eyes weren’t lit up like they usually were when she smiled.


“Lyra...this is how you fake a smile even when you feel like you can’t anymore. You’re most likely going to have to do this a lot when you’re older. So pay attention”, she said as she walked to answer the door. She stopped and turned to me again. “And don’t change for any man. You are you. At least learn from my mistakes. If you’re upset, just breathe through it.”


Tears were coming now and I couldn’t stop the voices. Why was this happening? I looked around, trying to find something. Anything that would distract me. The glass of my framed high school diploma gleamed, catching my eye. The familiar cold came again. Oh god here we go. ******************************************************** “You are extremely intelligent but you need to let it show more”, scolded my English teacher when she held up one of my papers. She had asked me to stay after class and I couldn’t understand why. I didn’t talk too much today, so I shouldn’t be here.

“What do you mean?”, I asked as I looked out the window.

“Lyra, your writing. It’s absolutely amazing and one of the best things I’ve ever read.”

“Thanks. Guess I found something I’m decent at”, I said dryly. God let me go. I don’t want to be here.

“You let yourself slip, Lyra. I’ve known all this time that you’re not as dumb as you try to make yourself seem. I told you this several times, but see what happens when you apply yourself? Take your time. Everything will be a mess if you rush.”

“I always have to rush. Look ma’am, if that’s all, I gotta go. I have no future in writing. Trust me. People like me never end up successful”, I snapped as I grabbed my stuff and began heading out the door.

“You’ll never do it if you have a negative attitude”, I heard her call after me.

I turned around, clenching my fists, “And who the hell would publish me? Who would even consider me? In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not the poster girl of popularity.”

“Put yourself out there more. You’ll never know until you try. Do whatever it takes to get noticed. Sing more. Be carefree. Show the world that you’re different. Show them you’re comfortable in your own skin. I believe in you, Lyra.”

I couldn’t help but beam at her, “Thanks Ms. B. I appreciate that.” **************************************

God, my 9th grade teacher now? What the hell was happening to me? I got up and stumbled down the hall, trying to get away from whatever would trigger the next one. I grabbed the handle of a random door. I threw it open and saw my dad’s old office. Cold washed over me as I was thrown into yet another flashback with my father’s voice. ***************************************

“At least TRY to act normal, would you? You can’t show everyone your weirdness”, he snapped as I walked through the store with him. Not by fucking choice, believe me. But mom had asked me to go check on him after hearing some rumors that he was having a crisis. Turns out it was just a ploy so he could come and make her feel like shit again.

“I’d rather be thought of as weird than be thought of as someone I’m not”, I hissed back.

“You could stand to learn something from Alexandra”, he growled as he gestured at his skank’s 17 year old daughter. “This is how you act if you want people to like you.”

“I don’t want people to like me for being fake! I didn’t get one of my stories published for writing about normalcy, now did I? No. I’m pretty well-known for writing about things that people consider to be weird! And they like me for it!”

“Don’t act too overly confident, people will think you think highly of yourself. You’re just like your mother!”

“There’s nothing fucking wrong with being confident in yourself! I’m going to be a well-known female writer! I’m going to change the world with my stories! I’m going to encourage a whole new group of girls!”

“News flash. Women can’t change the world. Not you or anyone else. You’re just like everyone else. So try to blend in. You don’t want to be noticed all the time, do you?”

“So what if I DO want to be noticed! It’ll be the first time I’ve EVER been noticed! You hurt mom and all you’ve done is criticize me and put me down! Mom and I are better off without you so have fun with that fucking skank of yours! NEVER COME BACK TO OUR HOUSE!”, I roared. My heart was pounding in my chest and I could feel this odd...feeling...rise in me. It was unsettling. Like that moment in a horror movie when you know that the killer is going to pop out from somewhere.. My head was pounding and I turned my back and stormed away before I hit him or worse.

“You’ll never amount to anything if you don’t change. You’re not that goddamn tough, so stop acting like it!”, he called after me.

“Tell it to someone who gives a fuck”, I growled under my breath. Later on, mom would hold me and rock me when I recalled everything through quick gasps about the explosion.

“Remember what I said before, sweetheart”, she cooed as she stroked my hair. “If you’re angry, count to ten. By ten, you’ll be okay again. I promise. Everything will be okay when you get to ten.” *****************************************

I gasped for breath as my lungs constricted. Why couldn’t I stop? I didn’t want to remember anymore. I threw open the bathroom door and tugged on the handle of the sink. I splashed cold water in my face and gripped the edges of the sink so hard that knuckles whitened. I opened my medicine cabinet that was behind the mirror and grabbed my medicine that my psychiatrist prescribed. I shut the mirror and my pale figure gaped back at me. A voice echoed in my head as I stared into the eyes of a stranger.

“This is how you dress if you want a good job...and look at them when they speak to you, it’ll show you have confidence”

I smiled a little. That was my mother. ************************************ I stood, looking in my bathroom mirror in my torn up jeans and a Bullet For My Valentine t-shirt. I have my first job interview today. I took a deep breath, trying to slow my racing heart and hoping my palms weren’t as sweaty as I felt they were. I opened the door and walked out, ready to face the world.

“Hey mom! I’m heading out for the interview!,” I called out. In a flash, my mother was walking out of her bedroom. I was shocked to see no whiskey bottle in her hand. Guess she hadn’t started yet.

Her cherub-like face suddenly twisted in exasperation.

“Not dressed like that, you aren’t! Why are you dressed like a bum?”

“I’m not dressed like a bum!”, I protested. “It’s for an interview at HOT TOPIC! They wear this stuff all the time and I’m going to shop around after!”

“That isn’t how you dress for a job interview! Come here, we’re finding you something more appropriate!”, she said as she tugged me back into my room. Amazingly, she didn’t even stumble over any of the books that were scattered on my floor. She gently pushed me back onto my bed and sped over to the closet before I could make another sound of indignation. She pulled out something and tossed it at me. “Put that on!”

I picked up the garment and smiled a little at the feel of the cool silk against my hands. Obediently, I slipped on the dress and I let myself once again be tugged into the bathroom. Mom had me sit on the toilet’s lid as she pulled out her makeup and hair curler. I was trying to argue but she would just hush me until I shut up. I decided to relax and growled when she lightly tapped my head.

“What?” I snapped.

“Don’t sit with your legs open. You’re not a man”, she said without looking at me. I fought the urge to roll my eyes and chose not to respond. After what felt like forever of her prodding at me, she told me to stand up. With a sigh, I stood and was shocked by what I saw. A girl with pale blonde hair in a white dress gawked at me with wide, grey eyes. Confusion and a little bit of pleasure swirled in them.

“Is that…?”

“You? Yes it is. This is how you dress to get a good job”, she said with a smile. Then she placed her hands on my shoulders and met my eyes in the mirror, “and look at them when you speak. It will show you have confidence. And always be yourself. They’ll either take you the way you are, or they’ll leave. Good riddance to them”

For the first time in several years, I shared a smile with my mother.

I gasped for breath as my lungs constricted. Why couldn’t I stop? I didn’t want to remember anymore. The memory faded as quickly as it came before another voice came into my head.

“Don’t act like you’re as smart as you are. People will isolate you for it”, mocked Eric after overhearing one of mom’s rants to me. He usually did this to make me laugh.

I rolled my eyes and lightly punched his shoulder, “Shut up, you idiot. She’s my mom still.”

“Your mom has absolutely no idea what she’s talking about, Lyra. Just admit it.”

“You just caught her in one of her moods”, I said as I gripped his arm.

Eric frowned and immediately pulled away, “Babe. What have I told you about that? Don’t show an excessive amount of affection. You don’t want to appear clingy. Guys don’t like clingy girls.”

I frowned and immediately let go, “I’ve barely touched you. I wanted a little affection.”

**************************** Please somebody make it stop. I don’t want it anymore. I didn’t want to remember anymore. **************************** I was holding mom’s hand as she laid there in the hospital bed. She took off her oxygen mask, “Hurry up and get things done. You don’t have a lot of time. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. You never know when...everything will end”, she gasped out.


Stop it. Please stop it.

“Lyra Marie, what have I told you about flirting? Don’t flirt with too many boys. You’ll give yourself a slutty image.”


“Don’t waste your life. Be good, won’t you?”

“I’m so sorry….” I whimpered as the house started disappearing. Pain burned its way through my body as darkness began to surround. I couldn’t breathe. I had to make myself breathe but I couldn’t. I heard screams and saw the headlights of an 18 wheeled truck barreling towards us. Then it was gone. Why was I seeing all of this? I was in the safety of my own house! “I love you so much. Never forget that.”

I should’ve been a better daughter.

“It’ll be alright.”

I should’ve driven home that night. I shouldn’t have let you get in that car.

“C’mere sweetheart! Let me see your painting!”

Finally, memories of that night came flooding back. Mom swerved. I grabbed the steering wheel. Her grabbing it back but I jerked the wheel. The rain made us lose control and we careened off the mountain. All because I didn’t know how hard I was pulling. “All my fault…but I’ll be there soon mom. Just wait for me..” I whispered as I laid down and began closing my eyes. Before the darkness swallowed me whole, I could hear voices from the outside and could hear the machine that kept track of my heart rate finally flatline. They were finally letting me go. I could truly go home now. I heard one more voice echo through my head as my grip on this body was beginning to slip.

“Just keep holding on, baby. You’re stronger than you know.”

© Copyright 2018 Kat Alfred. All rights reserved.

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