Writing prompt: What if memory lane was a real place?
It was a place that I often tried to avoid, not for anything other than the fact that it was easy to remain entangled in the beautiful memories of your past, instead of living in the present. Why live to make new memories when the ones that I have already lived are so perfect? The first door stood stoic and tempting, and it took no emotional coercion to to step through the threshold.
The sweet sensations engulfed my senses in the nostalgia of the not so distant past. The heady scent of the books surrounding us. The sound of students whispering and the nearly inaudible click, click, click of people typing up assignments. The taste of energy drink lingering on my tongue. The sight of him staring at his laptop in front of him, eyebrows furrowed in concentration. The melancholy weight in my chest knowing that it was only a matter of time before the ability to live in a moment like this would become obsolete.
The beautiful thing about memories is that they are already set in stone. I can’t fight against what has already happened, or change the way these events unfolded. I can only relive them, revelling in the beauty that once was. I reach across the small study table where we’re working and lay my hand over his. I can feel the warmth of his skin beneath mine and it nearly makes me cry. He doesn’t look up for a long moment, but eventually raises his gaze from his screen to stare at me.
“Please stay,” he says quietly, “or let me come with you.”
“I can’t.” I’m sorry.
I pull myself out of the nostalgic reverie before I can see the hurt flicker across his face, the violent desire to change the course of my past shaking me out of my memory with a force so strong I find myself thrown onto my back, staring up at the closed door. A lock is now set above the knob. I’ve been kicked out of my own memory. Thrown out from my own pent up regret, repressed longing.
I made a mistake, and now I must live with the consequences. I can never go back to what once was. I’m forced to live in the present and think about the future.