I Remember

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It is so cold and I want to get home. My feet won’t move fast enough to get me there without my face being whipped mercilessly by the November wind. Every day is too long and overwhelming, and today was no exception. At last I’m round the corner to my street. I’ll be home so soon. I will sip vanilla chai tea, wrap myself in my fuzzy blanket and never leave the house again. As I turn the corner I see you.

You look the same as you did when you were ten years old. Taller, more manly, but somehow the same. It’s something in your eyes. Kindness. I instantly recognize you and want to say something. You look me right in the eye.

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…Fifteen years ago we sat together on the farmhouse steps. Everyone thought you were the strangest boy in the class. I never saw you with a friend, but you seemed content with that. You were never seen anywhere without a crisp black suit on, for some reason that made perfect sense to you. That day on the farm was no exception. Your dress shoes, tie, and white dress shirt were each characteristically spotless despite your surroundings. I was only seven, and did not laugh at you. I thought you were beautiful.

I fell down the stairs and skinned my knee. I tried unsuccessfully to hold back my tears of pain and shame. You approached me and helped me up. You sat with me and waited until the teacher came back with a bandage. I had never seen you sit on dirty steps before, risking the perfection of your small suit. You made me laugh by telling a funny story off the top of your head. My mom always said you were a genius. I knew it was true as you whispered to me of knights and armies and a little princess who skinned her knee. An entire kingdom rallied to ensure the lady’s swift recovery. Once the bandage was on, you were gone. I sometimes saw you after that and you’d always smile and say hello to me even though I was only seven.

…You look me right in the eye. I notice you are not wearing a suit anymore. You have a long coat and black jeans. You are not alone anymore either. You are with a friend who must appreciate your genius. I am alone.

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Then, you look away. You turn the corner chatting with your friend and are gone. This time I know I might never see you again. It makes me sad that life is so different now that we couldn’t even bring ourselves to say hello. Two people can matter to each other for a small moment in time, and in another moment walk by each other as strangers. I wonder if you remember me at all. It probably meant nothing to you, but I recall your kindness that day in an instant. You might not know who she is, the young woman looking back at you on a cold November street. But she remembers you.

I remember you.

 

By Ashley Foy // featuring artwork from  Jennifer Lauren 

 

TORONTO! come say hi

Ashley Foy

“To BE means to never give up. On ourselves, on the future, or on each other. Keep trying, keep hoping, and keep writing!”