. . .
Sara is running. Her head is shifting from left to right as she searches for her memories. The long corridor is filled with boxes stacked from floor
to ceiling, each marked with what’s inside. Single bulbs hanging every ten feet or so dimly light the way. Cobwebs and dust cover almost everything
as she reaches the oldest part of Jessica’s mind. She reads the boxes quickly as she runs by. First Word, First Step, I have to be getting close
She hears a noise behind her and glances back as she continues to run. Hurry, you’re almost there.
Her eyes are stinging from salty
drops of sweat as they slide down her face, making her vision blurred. Her heart is beating a mile a minute. She finally comes to the end of the hall
and frantically looks around for her box.
In the deepest corner of my mind, that’s where I put them.
Finally Sara sees the door. Makes sense that a lifetime of memories would need
a room, not a box.
She reaches out and turns the knob.
Bright light illuminates the hall as she pulls the door wide. A dark figure stands in the doorway, his hand stretched out, blocking her path. Sara
falls to her knees and starts to scream.
“It’s o.k. baby, it was just a bad dream, that’s all it was.” Jessica’s mom scoops her up and holds her tight against her chest. “You were
screaming so loud, I swear you woke up everyone on the block.”
Jessica eyes are burning from the sweat dripping down her face. Her heart is beating a mile a minute. “Mama, can I sleep with you tonight? I don’t
wanna sleep in here anymore. There’s a man in my closet.”
Jessica’s mom walks over to the closet and pulls open the door. She turns on the light and steps inside. “See? There’s no one here.” After a
moment she walks to the bed, pulls the covers back, and tucks Jessica a second time. “You gotta be a big girl and sleep in your own room, sweetie.
But if you want, I’ll leave the hallway light on and crack the door a bit.” A quick kiss on the forehead and she leaves the room.
The light from the hallway is dim. It makes everything look dark and dirty, and Jessica sees cobwebs in the corner. It all seems eerily familiar to
her and she just wants it to go away. She grabs Oscar, her favorite teddy, and pulls the covers over her head. Finally, after what seems like hours,
she falls asleep.
. . .
Jessica dives into the pool. Swimming down to sit on the bottom, she looks around to see what underwater activity is taking place. She comes up for
air, pauses a moment to see what her mom is doing, than dives under again. Just when she reaches the bottom, she remembers.
The girl is sitting at the edge of the pool, her feet dangling into the water. Her head is hanging down and she looks as though she is deep in
thought. She moves her feet back and forth, creating small ripples on the surface. A young man sneaks up behind her and pushes her in. As she falls,
her head hits the side of the pool. She feels a sharp pain, then another, and then blackness. She sinks to the bottom, and just before she blacks out
totally she feels strong hands grab her, pulling her back up.
Jessica feels strong hands grab her arms and pull her back up. Lifting her out of the water, they lay her down on the side of the pool. She looks
around and sees her mom standing over her. She feels a sharp pain in her head, then another, and then blackness.
. . .