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The Last Memory of Mindy Darling

“I’ve been living in my head too much as of late, and you…you’re almost always there. It’s almost as if I like bringing you back when you start to disappear. But that’s the thing. You won’t disappear, and I don’t want you to.

It was six in the evening when it came back to me. The sky shifted from those cotton candy clouds to the purple you thought I talked in. It was lovely, this odd little time before winters hit. I maneuvered the window down so the wind would rush through my hair. We didn’t get too much fresh air in the city, but this wasn’t so bad. Lavenders and violets all entwined as I let the cold air take me with it. The driver seems amused, but he doesn’t say a word. It’s the way I like it.

I had your favorite scarf around my neck, the maroon one that I promised I’d knit you a beanie with, but never got to it. That, paired with the too expensive lipstick we got for your graduation. Sometimes I wondered why you got me that on your getting a degree, but I suppose it was as much a gift for you as it was for me, maybe more. I used to wear it to special occasions, just to watch your mouth go round in reminiscence right before you’d make a sly comment on the colors I’d chosen to wear. I wear the lipstick almost every day now.

I remember the faintly glowing digital clock on the dashboard one similar night. Only, it was springtime, and you and I were sad to have to leave so soon. It was the brink of summers, one hotter sunny day about to push us over the edge. My bag did come in the way of us; your leg wasn’t pressed up against mine like it usually was and I think there’s some regret attached to that now. Then again, Darling you know how I like making something of nothing. It’s my job.

Your arm was lowered to prevent people from staring at us as we slowed down in the traffic, but they were already trying to peek inside so it wasn’t much use. I used to think people like looking at you. It was a while before I figured out they liked looking at us.

You raised it back around my shoulders and brought it forward to encircle my throat with it in a headlock. I pushed my chin into the crook of your elbow, and closed my eyes as you stroked the shoulder closer to you with the same arm, sending little ripples into the skin of your arm with the subtle movement. I could hear your breathing, as I deeply breathed you in. You liked it when I said you smelled good, humming in response.

I can recall how you softly stroked my hair, and my ears, tucking a strand in every now and then only to bring it forward again. As the lights became blurry and the little car sped up, time slipped away. We were beyond the gleaming clock on the dashboard, or the driver who seemed lost in his own bubble too. This little space between us, this was it. The home I’d stopped searching for. The purple was overtaken by the blues.

The next time your thumb stroked from my chin to my lips, I remember tasting your skin. You let me, just like you let me get away with so many other things. You claimed it was because it made me happy, but I’ve always questioned how you felt. I’m left with so many questions.

You’ve gotten stronger in the fields I’m sitting in. They’re filled with flowers. You know which ones. They stand tall in the soft grass and I’m lying down in a patch overflowing with them, careful not to hurt them. I pluck one – just one – unable to resist it, and place it over my throat. It’s almost like you’re here.

I finally start to feel it. My eyelids grow heavier in the twilight, as I sluggishly trail my hands through the grass, like I used to with your hair. There’s a slight twinge of pain, but I’m already past it.

The sunflowers are a reminder of your smile.

I won’t have to remember you anymore.”

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