"Happy Memories" CW Fiction

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Robyn Denby Watkins
Creative Writing
Fiction

This piece was written to be submitted in my AS Creative Writing coursework.

Submitted: July 27, 2015

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Submitted: July 27, 2015

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Short Story

‘Happy Memories’

It isn’t like I don’t remember the good times because God knows that I do; I just prefer not think about them. I keep those memories hid at the very back of my mind amongst the cobwebs and dust. It makes breathing less painful.

I keep my sweaty palms together and bow my head, away from the oversized crucifix that hangs at the front of the church. I’ve been here for four hours. Sometimes a lady comes over and asks if I need anything, something to drink or eat, but I politely decline.

I had grown up in a Christian family; we went to church every Sunday and we always prayed before we went to sleep and before we had dinner. I was an only child so my parents doted on me. We were a close and happy family. We went on picnics together, they always came to my school plays and ballet recitals and they always cheered the hardest for me on sports day. We loved one another.

A few summers ago we went camping with some family friends, where we all shared a big tent. One night, we all gathered around a fire to tell stories and roast marshmallows. My father told us a particularly scary one about a man with a hook for a hand. Now that I think about it, it was a very silly story but at the time I was eight and naïve and, as children often do, believed it. I was too scared to sleep, but Noah, the son of my parents’ friends, stayed up with me and taught me about the stars and the constellations amongst them until I fell asleep. I can still spot Cygnus.

His family were dearly close to mine and we spent many a vacation away together. They even lived across the street from us. Noah was a year and a half older than me and he was my best friend. He changed when we entered adolescence – he began listening to Metallica and smoked king sized cigarettes. He denounced his faith and hung around with the junkies whereas I wore soft pinks and periwinkle blues ad enjoyed cheerleading and romantic movies. I thanked God every day. But we remained friends, despite our differences.

I remember once, we were in my garden, sitting on the trampoline in the middle of winter. I was wrapped up in a Disney blanket with a mug of hot cocoa and he was laying down with a cigarette between his lips. I recall the way he looked at me; his eyes, darker than a black hole and more mysterious, were focused on my lips. We had been talking about church.

“I wish I could burn it down.” He stated.

“Why do you hate it so much?” I asked. He lifted his sleeve to reveal jagged cuts layering his pale flesh. I gasped.

“I’ll pray for you.” I said. He had scoffed at that, but kissed my cheek and thanked me anyway.

That was the first time I had ever been kissed and although it was on my lips, it was still very special.

My parents had disapproved of Noah’s drastic change from a good Christian boy to what my parents described as ‘a good for nothing criminal’. My parents tried to discourage me from ever seeing him. But they couldn’t stop me. I would meet Noah in secret instead of going to cheer practice and we would lie on top of primrose hill, watching the clouds go by. He would say that people are cruel and I would tell him that not everyone was. He would mutter ‘I know’ before slipping his hand into mine.

I should have taught him more about love and how beautiful life could be. But it’s too late.

Last week he called me, sobbing and shouting for help. It was two in the morning. I rushed downstairs, frantic to help him. My parents had been waiting in the kitchen for me, keys in hand and stern looks on their faces.

“This is what God has intended.” They said.

Noah died. The doctors wrote it off as suicide – he had crashed his car on purpose. But I knew better.

As I think of his terrified pleas for help, I leave the pew and walk to the front of the church, Noah’s zippo in one hand and a gas can in the other.

[732 words]

 


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