I remember the tent in the hallway, pretending that we were on holiday.
I remember the Christmas Days, sitting around the table. I remember the food, the laughter, the chatter. I remember feeling part of a unit, a team, a family.
I remember his jokes. He would always sing songs and ask me if I was ‘courting’ yet, despite the fact that I was only ten years old. I remember how much my sisters and I loved him.
I remember ‘I Won’t Send Roses’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.’
I remember the last day, where I was the only one that wasn’t crying. I remember running down the road, signed T-shirt in hand, elated that I would never have to see them ever again.
I remember the long hours, the Ajax and the boredom. I remember the embarrassment of the face paint, and footballers on Sundays. I remember the smell that would permeate my clothes and linger for hours after a shift.
I remember waiting for him to call.
I remember the smell of his aftershave on his sweater that I wore.
I remember the Miller Man, the bikini, the music and the British Chippendales. I remember the lock ins, the cigarettes and the burnt holes in the carpets. I remember the Aqua bar.
I remember the B&B and the jealousy. I remember the black dress that was totally unsuitable for the occasion.
I remember Barber, Greig, Saint-Saens and Beethoven.
I remember the letter that offered me the chance of a new life. I remember that my whole life easily fit into eight boxes.
I remember the cocktails, the dancing and the hangover.
I remember sitting in the long grass in the sun and watching them run up and down the hill, shrieking as they lost their shoes.
I remember the Empire State Building, the piano and the bag. I remember the sand, the Ferris wheel and the graffiti. I remember the sore feet, the chess and the sunburn.
I remember the feeling of being utterly alone and helpless as I walked into that room almost every day.
I remember the kiss.
I remember staring at her in the cage, and knowing that she was the one. I remember the mornings she would wake me up at 4.00am, wanting to be fed. I remember the cuddles, the TV, the snoring. I remember her face at the window every evening.
I remember the tower, the sunset, the lock on the bridge and the river. I remember the gypsies, the tambourines and the latch. I remember the graves, the maps and the language.
I remember the first young faces, staring at me with the assumption that I knew what I was doing. I remember pretending that I did, hiding my terror behind a smile and a song.
I remember lying on the beach, watching the world go by. For those short hours, responsibility didn’t exist. Fear didn’t exist. Life didn’t exist.
I remember the box on my doorstep.
I remember the answer machine messages of my song.
I remember the microphone, the mad Irish girl, the promise, the snuff and Sinead O’Connor.
I remember the superheroes, the spaghetti and the phone call. I remember the awkward waitress and the free cranberry juice.
I remember the amphitheatre, the pool and Whigfield. I remember the waterpark, and the screams that she made as she was going down the waterslide.
I remember watching as he unwrapped the paper, after I waited for nearly two months for him to do so. I remember the expression on his face.
I remember the cheque, the train journey, Varsity and her tears as she realised I was standing outside her building. I remember the text and the meal.
I remember The Villa, Skunk Anansie and the concerto.
I remember the American girl. I remember his face when I surprised him. I remember the Gap sweater, the box of twinkles and the concert. I remember the flutes, the car journey and the programme.
I remember the Eye, the sunset, the teddy bear and the city during a wonderful weekend.
I remember saying goodbye.
I remember the screaming the lyrics until my voice was sore and spilling my beer down his back in the Golden Circle.
I remember the bracelet and the cards.
I remember finally knowing. For the first time, all was clear.
I remember opening the door…
What about you? What memories do you have?
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Written in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge