Updated: Jan 25, 2021
This year, Red and Black has partnered with Mr. Hawkins' Creative Writing class to bring you the latest fiction, poetry, drama and all else from the Northwood community. This week, a continuation of Spooky SZN with this chilling story.
A Tainted Memory
by Tzipora Miller
Her fingers traced out the book’s curves. They traced out the words that she had stared at so many times before. A year, a school, the past. Her fingers traced out what the cover read:
Class of 2015
Bilderidge High School
Lillian Rose Parker
She slowly opened the book, her eyes focusing on the cover’s inside, the inside that was covered in signatures of people she didn’t remember and people who never cared. She read out words that were filled with such emptiness:
“I’ll miss you!”
“Have a good summer!”
Nothing meaningful, just people trying to be polite to lonely senior so many years ago. Though one signature was bigger than the rest. It wasn’t filled with meaningless drivel, it was long and filled with thought, or so as she’d believed. Tears fell onto the long paragraph, smudging the words. Smudging a name long since forgotten, a name long since loved:
The book shut quickly in a moment of anguish. Tears soaking into the cover at the same time as a scream of a memory, long since forgotten, long since healed from, but always still there.
The journal on the desk next to the yearbook was full of scribbles of a hard to read handwriting. But it was so familiar, for only a moment ago, it had been smudged by tears on the inside of the cover.
The words moved to form something she already knew, on the page of the open journal. It was something she had refused to believe. In a dead girl’s handwriting was written fourteen very simple words:
“I don’t miss you Rose, I never have. I miss him and not you.”
Rose wondered as she cried why she ended up with this. Why she ended up with this journal that told her what she didn’t believe, what she didn’t want to believe. But she knew it, she knew in her heart that every word was true. That Frida had cheated with the man who’d killed her and that she still missed him even as she’d passed.
An open journal to a revealing page and a closed yearbook wet with tears that had once held such happy memories that had been so dear to her heart. Now all it held was betrayal and fake love.