Phone in hand. She laughed at a text. One hand on the wheel, the other on her phone. The radio blasting her favorite song. Her best friend in the seat beside her, heading to the shore.
Windows down, wind tossing their long locks about. Summer’s heat warmed the leather back seat, where suitcases lay.
She showed the text to her best friend, who laughed and gave advice of how to reply.
A reply that was almost finished, and almost sent by a teenage girl whose hair was tossed about, who almost made it to the shore with her best friend.
The band’s music echoed throughout the entire room, it’s melodies soothing my anxieties, while the lyrics had me singing love songs to my Saviour. My body swaying to the rhythm, and my eyes closed.
There He was. No, not a tangible figure, but He was with me. I could feel Him. His peace wrapping around me, warming me and calming me.
He whispered to me He had never left, and would never leave me. He truly loved me. I could feel Him smiling as He assured me.
No one else in my life had kept such promises.
I smiled back.
He held a quarter in his hand, and extended it to the child.
“Go ahead, touch it!”
The child paused, looked up at his mommy. She nodded and smiled warmly, indicating he would be okay to do as the man said.
He took his thumb out of his mouth and used only his pointer finger to poke the coin.
The man chuckled, and closed his hand.
The child sucked his thumb again, wondering just what this silly man was doing. When the man put his hand up to his ear, he laughed!
Out came the quarter from his ear!
I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I tried texting her for the umpteenth time…and I was shocked when I finally got a reply from her. One I never expected (nor wanted) to see.
We met at a picnic, just the year prior- it hadn’t even been a full year yet when I got that text.
She wanted me to respect her wish to give her space…and if and when she wanted, she would reach out to me.
Tears welled up in my eyes, which hadn’t blinked since opening the text.
And my hopes of a new best friend?
Pain, stabbing and forceful, filled her chest. Cold seeping into her abdominal cavity, forcing life out of her with every breath. She kept her eyes squeezed shut, hoping to stop the tears from flowing. No matter how hard she tried, each memory with him returned, replaying like she was right there in that moment. Like that moment he held her hand…or brushed her hair…or kissed her cheek, so sweet, so tenderly.
Where was he now? Who would she turn to now?
She’d made in him a refuge, a strong tower, of which he proved unworthy.
It broke her.
She cradled a box of memories where photographs from birthday parties, autographs given in yearbooks, compact discs created by best friends, and tickets from movie theatres were enclosed. Boxes lined up against the bedroom wall, packed with books, picture frames, movies, and toys. She stood in what once was her bedroom, where posters covered so much wall space she’d forgotten how the walls looked. She turned to see a bare door propped open, where signs that read, “KNOCK BEFORE ENTERING!” and, “ABIGAIL’S ROOM- GIRLS ONLY,” once hung.
A tear formed in her eye and fell.
It’s all only memories now.