Trying to Remember
She sorted through the letters, shuffling the envelopes in her hands. She read and re-read the address on each one. She looked at the stamps, the postmarks. Trying to remember. She smelled the letters, held them close to her forehead. Maybe osmosis would have some effect, the writings of the letters seeping into her clogged and fuzzy brain. Why aren’t these familiar?
Her frustration grew as she continued exploring the contents of the box. It seemed like a box of keepsakes. In her house. A collection of mementos that someone cherished, and that someone was supposed to be her. Yet, she felt nothing gazing upon these tokens, she recalled no stories that accompanied the old button, the Scrabble tile. Surely she could make herself conjure the memories. Perhaps if she want through everything one more time.
She opened one of the letters and began reading. She felt a hopefulness as she read the date, the salutation. She sunk into the letter, taking in its rather ordinariness — talk of the weather, classes at school, plans for the holiday. This wasn’t a passionate love letter, but a steadfast connection came through. And that was all. No jolt of recognition. No thunderclap of insight into her past.
A sadness took hold of her. She felt her hopefulness slip between her fingers. She felt the loss, all over again, of the life she had lived.
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