Another mundane morning of driver’s training. Three kids. An instructor who said, “go 40 on 40.” His way of attempting to be funny. Long story. Along with many other sayings he used. You would only understand if you grew up in our two-bit town.
So glad to be out of that car. I was leaning against the bars, in front of my high school, waiting for one of my parents to take me home. My shirt and shorts stuck to me and I shifted uncomfortably. My hands had taken on that smell of the iron bars, and they began turning red. I brushed the flecks of silver off onto my shorts.
Just another summer day. June 23.
Fifteen years old and very self-conscious, I was sure hoping someone would come soon. Often the last one snatched up from every school event. Some kids were laughing nearby.
Audrey and I had gone down the country road the night before. She was riding bike alongside me, as I jogged. We talked and laughed, mocked a few people going by. Normal teenage sister things.
Not far down the road, we decided to come back and listen to some of Audrey’s albums on the record player. She had all these “78” records of new bands. We danced and ate snacks. The daylight lingered and twilight shone into the living room long.
She had gone off to college and left me home that year. In our tumultuous household. So many letters written back and forth. How I longed for that summer of catching up with her. The M.S.U little sister weekend was in the distant past. Now she was here with me- to play tennis, talk about boys, take me out to the movies. Four weeks of idolizing her.
She was my big sister. Only mine.
Plans for the summer. Telling secrets about silly boyfriends I had crushes on. Being eighteen already, made her an expert in my eyes. Many slumber parties in her room. Talking and giggling until my dad’s deep voice would echo up the stairs, with a warning to quiet down. Then we’d giggle some more with our mouths covered, biting our fingers to stifle the noise. What was so funny?
I thought the sun rose and set on her.
Fleeting thoughts of the night before ran through my mind again. I wondered what Audrey and I could do that day, when she got out of work. Maybe we would go to the beach.
Instead of one of my parents driving up, I saw my Aunt and Uncle. They were elderly and never came into my school yard. My Aunt walked straight to me, moving faster than I had ever seen her move. She uttered words that burned deep and changed my life in drastic ways.
Have you had times which are etched so deeply into your mind? Why do you think that happens?