This Is But A Memory: A Memoir

Based off a real event

It’s quiet. There is no sound. No light. Nothing but the darkness. I am asleep...or at least.. I think I am. I begin to hear a noise, a faint whistling sound. It grows louder and louder. I open my eyes and I’m on a beach, the waves crashing along the coastline. In and out. In, and out. Like taking slow deep breaths. The sun begins to rise, bursting upon the horizon. Hues of orange and red paint the sky and quickly transition into the dark blue and violet night. The sun is the color of a dark coral pink. The light, slowly creeping above the still horizon, reveals the ocean's foamy blue and green highlights. A cool, refreshing, breeze wafted upon my face. I take a deep breath in and recognize a certain, yet distinct smell. One I look forward to every year. A morning dew scent mixed with light coffee grounds, roses, dirt, and fresh atlantic sea salt. I can’t help now but feel sad. Longing the memories I had with her. The walks along the Nags Head coast, baking fresh cookies for our firemen across the street, the stories of her life and the pictures of long lost childhood memories that could’ve continued, if I hadn’t...I let out a deep, melancholy filled sigh. I remained in my spot on the sand, looking back on my life, reflecting on all the memories. Reflecting on my past life choices. A tear, rolls down my cheek. How could I have been so selfish? I pitied myself. I am alone. Stuck here on this beach. Forever remaining in the rolling madness of my mind. The waves of dread hit me. Then, He is there.

An old friend. I’ve never seen his face, but he has always been there, lurking in the shadows.  His face always covered in a shroud of dark cloth, a robe, extending past his feet, dragging across the sandy floor.  He extends a hand to me. His hand tells me his story. Long, slender cigar-like fingers. Cracked, dried, and scarred. They look rough, but I take the hand anyway. Smooth yet bony, so cold and dead, yet so warm and full of life. Not just his life, but the lives of many, the memories he has taken over the years. Walking people to and fro. Listening to their cries, their requests, always quiet, always listening. He helps me to my feet, and we begin to walk along the shore. The water is refreshing. It comes up to our ankles and recedes back towards the horizon. Each pass of the tide warms my long and wide feet and cools them. The sand between my toes is gritty and exfoliating. I am at peace. I know where I am going.

We pass by the sand dunes, naked, dusty camel humps with bits of long, green hair patched between them. We spot the first signs of life down the beach. A small herd of calicoe stallions. Brown and white, nibbling on the sweet sea grass. Not a care in the world. The leader of the herd, a large, beautiful, stallion, brown rings around his blue everclear eyes. Three white socks, and a brown sock that extends to his hindquarters. He spots us and lets out a whine  to warn the herd of our presence. He begins to gallop behind the dune and the others then follow, galloping in sync with one another, they disappear, their whines heard now only from a distance. We are alone again. Walking on the warm, wet sand.

It wasn’t long till I noticed the form in the distance. It was tall and it blinked in the distance. As we got closer, everything became brighter, like light was drowning out the surroundings, all except for the figure. We walked closer and closer to the figure. It became brighter and brighter. The figure finally came into my sights. It wasn’t a figure, but a structure. A light house. I recognized it as the lighthouse from my childhood long ago. The structure still stands. Black and white stripes, a glass cookie jar top. A beacon of my happiness. Of my memories. It still illuminated the sky, even though its surroundings deemed too bright to be scene from a far distance. As I stood there with my memories of my childhood again crashing onto me like the sea waves before the storm, the breeze began to blow. Then, her scent trailed along in the wind again. I forgot, my old friend was with me, holding my hand. I turned to him, His cloaked hood still remained covering his face as the wind began to pick up. I saw a shine around his eyes. Glasses. He looked, now, even more familiar than before. A face I haven’t seen for 14 years. Only this face was young. Still a hardened expression and a faint smile, he walked me to the heart of my memories. He walked me through the valley. He was there for me forever and always.

“It’s not your time yet.” I heard his voice, but I didn’t see his face move. He smiled at me and began to fade, it all began to fade. The light became dark again, the whistling sound was back, deafening to my ears. Then a sound. Beep...Beep..Beep...Beep..I opened my eyes. Monitors, I am surrounded by medical equipment, a heart monitor to my side, moving at a slow pace, an oxygen tank with a ventilator tube wrapped around my face, breathing for me, IV fluids dripped from a bag into the tube in my arm. The air is dry and sterile..Her scent is gone, the ocean, the horses the lighthouse...All gone...I am alone in this room, being watched by a man outside my hospital room. I lay there, on the verge of tears. I wanted to go back to that place. I wanted it to be real. It was just a dream. No...Not a dream… But a memory.