One City One Story 2016 Writing Contest: “A Vivid Memory”
Category 3: Grades 9-12
“A Vivid Memory”
by Alana Connor
Blair High School
It was nearing the end of the day and the sun was setting, cast low in the sky and steadily disappearing behind the low mountains that stood meekly just on the outskirts of town. The clouds were orange and the sky was littered with a different shade of every color that my young mind could recall.
From my position by the window, I could not see the sun, though I imagined—as I twisted and jumped and pressed my face to the glass in an attempt to catch even one of its bright rays—that it was ten times as beautiful as the sky, as it often appeared in my vivid memories at my old house. In my mind, I saw a lovely pastel image; the clouds were arranged around the sun in fluffy yellows and pinks and blues like cotton candy, and the sun stood proudly in the center of their display, like the shining pale yellow jewel of a crown or fancy scarf. My hands itched to capture the beautiful scene pictured in my head, though any thoughts of attempting to recreate it were quickly dispelled as I got caught on another train of thought. I jumped out of my seated position and ran to the larger of the two living rooms in my house, where I kept my sketchbook and in which I often drew because of the room’s large windows. Once I got there, I had planned to draw some simple spontaneous things, like a flower, or my cat, or whatever else came to mind, but as the room came into full view, I found myself unable to move.
No family member spent more time in this living room than the two twin daughters of the household, of which I was the youngest. As a child who was often off in my own head, I usually spent my free time either drawing or creating the imaginary worlds which my sister often helped me build, where we precariously through our dolls experienced being horses, princesses, superheroes, or anything else we could ever want to be. As such, being in this room without her often brought about unpleasant feelings of loneliness or even anxiety, as the living room with its high walls and large windows seemed even bigger to a smaller me. This time, however, the room managed to stun me to silence; not out of fear, but out of complete and utter awe at the sheer beauty of it. The purplish brown curtains usually pulled to the center of the window and drawn into pretty knots were hanging down at their full length and width, hiding the view outside of the house from its inhabitants but not stopping the light from flooding into the room anyway; albeit it was a lot dimmer than usual, but still beautiful. This filled the room with a purple glow, complementing the brown couches and making the dark purple rug seem even darker, like a mysterious round pit in the middle of the wooden floor. The living room was freshly cleaned as well, and a purple lavender scene further accentuated the purpleness of the scene.
I suddenly found that I no longer felt the urge to draw, and instead dragged myself, still awe-stricken, into the center of the room where I lowered myself onto the soft carpet and stared at the ceiling for what felt like hours, breathing in and out calmly. The warmed areas of the rug which made contact with my arms seemed to wrap around them like tar, and I thought lazily that I was being dragged into the comfortable blackness. I would have sworn by my cat’s life that I was getting deeper by the second.
Despite this, even after I snapped out of my trance and got up, I never told anyone what I experienced, be it out of embarrassment, or me just wanting this memory all to myself. Either way, this is still my most prominent childhood experience.