Twin Bridges

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
My account of returning to my hometown after seven years, told in third person narrative. Beauty in the nature that changes, and the town that stays the same. A nostalgic experience.

Submitted: January 13, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 13, 2016



“Twin Bridges”-KC

Between where two mountains stand

side by side

runs a river so clear,

and gives thanks to the melting snow above.

fields of green grasses

dance in the humming breeze.

Quietly rests the sleeping town of Twin.

The forest speaks to those who enter

and to those who never wish to leave.

The buildings speak their age

bricks placed before any rubies were ever  first struck.

Although my time there has since passed.

One day the voice of the town

will call to me

to return home.

It was in a small ranching town, just shy of population 400, where August spent the most important years of her childhood. Eleven of those years to be exact. It was a quiet sleeping town, nestled on the vast open flatland, surrounded by the rolling Tobacco Root and Rocky Mountains. A place where the blue skies knew no limit, and the grasses loved to sway. With one winding river and trees that were home to her country’s sacred bald eagles; there was little not to like. As a child growing up, she knew nothing else other than the small community of people. It was normal to drive thirty minutes to do grocery shopping. It was also normal to drive an hour to get to a Walmart or a movie theatre. Those were some rare treats. Twin had two (give or take one) restaurants, including what she knew as “The Shack” and the “Blue Anchor”, which also doubled as the local bar.

There was a moment of hesitation when August returned after nine years. When she drove down the main drag, she couldn’t stop the feelings and emotions that came with her memories. As she slowed to a stop, she watched as three young children, raced across the cracked pavement and into the town’s single gas station. The small bell hung above the swinging door chimed as each one shuffled into the convenient shop; food and drinks all giving tempting murmurs as each passed by. But there was only one crinkled dollar and three silver quarters in the hands of the eldest, who knew exactly what him and his siblings came there for. The money was scavenged from the the center console in their father’s pick-up truck, and all with good purpose. The woman behind the counter smiled brightly at the sight of the three children, not quite tall enough yet to see over the ledge. Slowly, three quarters were placed on the scratched wooden counter, one after another, followed by a single crinkled green bill. The middle child pointed to the large heated cabinet sitting on top of the counter as the youngest grabbed three boxes of lemonhead friends from the candy rack. Two minutes later, the small bell above the door chimed three more times as the young siblings left the gas station with their lemonhead friends and fresh jojos; beaming smiles on each of their faces as they crossed back over the empty main road into their front drive.

In such a small town, there was rarely anyone ever on the road. Of course there were the occasional vehicles simply passing through, with no intention of ever stopping. It was along that empty main road that August learnt to ride a bike, and where she and her friends could take out their scooters. If, and when the rumbling sound of a truck motor was heard, they simply moved up onto the sidewalk. She was never in the way. No one was ever in the way. Everyone worked around everyone, and with everyone. There was a unique and delicate balance within the confinements of the small town.

With a quiet sigh, August turned off the ignition in her small baby blue 64’ vw beetle, and rested her head against the back of her seat. These were her memories… memories that she hadn’t consciously thought of in well over six years. Those children that she had seen running across the street had been her with her brothers when she was just five. But because she saw the memory so vividly, it was difficult to remind herself that the children weren’t really there.

Putting on her sunglasses, August took the keys out of the ignition and stuffed them in her pocket before getting out of the car. It was only a two minute walk down the sidewalk to get to the river. From where she stood on the street corner, she could already hear the quiet lapping of the water against the river bank for there was no other sound to be heard in the sleeping town.

The river was the one place she wished to visit before hopefully dropping by Jessica’s (her childhood friend), old house to say hello to her family. Turning left past the tire shop, onto the bridge, August immediately knew where she was.

Every year, when the heat of the summer sun get’s difficult to bear, residents of Twin Bridge’s essentially had two options. Drive to the swimming pool twenty minutes away, or go to the river right in the center of town. Of course, the one that is cheaper, that allowed everyone to do as they wish, was the river. 

A young girl quickly slipped off her light blue striped flip flops and set them at the base of a large oak tree where she and her friends had put their towels and bags. She was wearing a matching blue bathing suit with a rainbow striped back that peered out from beneath her light blonde hair. August’s attention quickly shifted to a few of the others who screeched as the fresh cold water splashed up around their legs and waists, welcoming them into its depths. They young girl followed ensuite, a bright smile on her face as she was immediately cooled down by the rushing waters. It was obvious why she had paused; to take a moment to crinkle her toes on the soft green river moss that was beneath her small feet.

“One day, I’m going to be big enough to jump off the bridge,” one girl that August recognized as Jessica, told the others with a defiant look in her eyes. Laughing, the young girl in the blue bathing suit shielded her eyes from the sun as she glanced up at the bridge where August was standing. If she saw her, she didn’t say anything. She was more focused on the height of the bridge. Everyone also knew how deep it was right beneath the bridge. Too deep for any young child’s toes to touch. The kids playing in the water could swim, but not that well.

“Well for now you can stick to jumping from the tree,” said the blue bathing suit girl, pointing to where their brothers were effortlessly clambering up the tree on the opposite side of the river. It had one large branch that extended out over the water, just waiting for someone to large or too fat to try and stand on it. The younger kids watched from the opposite side of the river as their siblings shouted at one another before one after another, jumped from the branch into the cold water.

August let out a quiet laugh, letting the memory to quickly fade away. There was no one down at the river right now, and the open green meadow to the left of it also showed to no signs of life. It was as if everyone had simply left things exactly how they had been. That was exactly how she wanted them to remain because there was a strange and wonderful comfort in knowing that no matter how much her life changed, she always had a steady hometown to return to.


© Copyright 2019 Kayla Coleman. All rights reserved.

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