The Language of a Memory

We were both sixteen, something I will never forget as long as I live. As long as I keep in my heart the memories of us that summer – running through the back fields, setting up a plank swing with some driftwood and two old ropes, and generally acting half our age – a part of me will be sixteen forever.

I honestly believe that.

When it’s cold out, and the wind blows through the trees, making that hollow, keening moan, those memories are the reason I get up in the morning.

Memories of her and her big brown eyes, face and hands dirty and dusty with side walk chalk residue. Because that was also the summer she decided to write poetry up and down the street she lived on. It was the summer I got a job at the drive-through. “Be nice to everyone,” she’d said. “It makes ‘em smile.” It was the summer she made up her own language and taught me how to speak it.

I’m old now and she’s gone. But those memories that I keep in my heart are enough to keep the both of us alive.

I honestly believe that as well.

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