I'll find a way to my memories
Where hope is stuck somewhere deep down
I'll find the way to my memories
If I can find a path hope will be found
He sat cross legged on his bed, trying to read the biology textbook that lay in front of him. Even though he had a test the next day, he couldn’t acquire any knowledge from the book. Every word he read vanished into thin air before it reached his head.
He glanced at his phone for the umpteenth time. The phone lay on top of his nightstand, not emitting any light or making any sound. He let out a sigh before slumping down onto his bed and closing his eyes in frustration.
“________ barely talks to me now,” he said with indignation.
I don’t remember the last time she texted me.
And with that thought, fear filled his mind.
What if his girlfriend didn’t like him anymore?
What if she didn’t want to be with him anymore?
What if she’s leaving me?
His teeth clenched as those thoughts filled his mind.
Two years ago was when he met her.
Two years ago was when they first started dating.
Two years ago was when he knew he had fell in love with her.
And now all the sudden, things were going downhill.
And he knew why.
It was because of him.
“172,” You read aloud the apartment unit that was written on a crumpled note.
You stared up at a dilapidated apartment complex and nodded.
It was definitely that one, the same complex that you and Ivan walked home to every day.
And although you’ve walked home with him so many times, you’ve never actually walked with him to his apartment unit before.
You crumpled the note in your hand and walked towards the complex, walking by a few apartment units before finding the stairs.
Although you had only covered a small distance, you came across shattered alcohol bottles and small works of graffiti art.
At the side of the stairs, you found a simple layout, which listed the apartments on each floor. Apartment 172 was on the third floor.
You cautiously climbed the steps, trying to step over the shattered glass and alcohol spills. The corroded railing served a purpose as you held on to it, trying to avoid falling to your death while stepping over the mess that covered the stairs.
At the top of the steps lay a worn down apartment. The walls were decaying; the brick was visible though the large cracks. Much of the paint on the door had chipped away, revealing rotting wood. The rusty doorknob was loosely attached to the door, and it seemed like it hadn’t been changed in years.
Although it was in such a terrible state, the apartment was far more sanitary than the previous ones you saw. Its owner seemed to try to keep clean, even in these filthy conditions.
As you edged closer, you read the address number.
You’re heart sank.
It wasn’t because you expected Ivan to live a more extravagent life. Nor was it because you were disappointed in how poor Ivan was. No, you were definetly not the type that immediately looked down upon someone because of their poverty.
It was because Ivan’s harsh life wasn’t just kept in the boundaries of school. He also had to suffer in poverty.
You walked up to his door and gently knocked. You let out a sigh before planting a smile on your face. You couldn’t erase his poverty or put an end to his bullying, but you could try your best to brighten his life and make him happy.
Ivan opened the door.
"Hello _______," Ivan greeted, a smile planted on his face. "I'm glad that you could come. Come in." He stepped aside and held a hand out towards the direction of his house.
Although he was smiling, you could see shame written all over his face.
“Thank you,” you nodded and walked right in, taking off your shoes.
The inside wasn’t as bad as the outside, but there were cracks in the walls; although they were harder to discern. The signs of decay were still apparent, but once again, it didn’t show as much.
“Please make yourself comfortable. I’m almost done making the food,” he said.
“Ok,” you said simply. With that, Ivan left into the kitchen.
You made your way into the living room, sitting at a small table. The living room was neat, yet nearly empty. Other than the table, there were only a couple of bookshelves.
The hallway lay perpendicular to the living room, and you took a quick peek at the room lying at the end of it.
From what you could see, the room was empty, but you spotted two entrances to two smaller rooms lying on the right side of the larger room.
Your eyes shifted back to the living room. You were about to end your exploration of the house when you spotted a tiny photo resting on top of the farthermost bookshelf.
Curious to see who it was, you stood up and walked towards the photo. In the photo was a girl who appeared to be a one or two years older than your age. Her blonde hair was tied back into a braided bun, with the exception of a few strands hanging down the sides of her face. Her bright blue eyes were her most prominent feature, staring at you with complete kindness.
And suddenly, your sight became blinded by what seemed to be a recollection of lost memories. You watched the girl in the photograph appear in memory after memory; each memory appeared quickly before appearing as another, like you were watching a film on fast forward.
You witnessed her gentle smile and her kind eyes. You watched her embrace a small girl with (h/c) and greet the girl with the wave of her hand. She’d sometimes care for the child, making food and reading stories to her, and occasionally hand-making petite dresses.
In the midst of it, you’d hear her serene voice say your name, hand out compliments and occasionally sing in her angelic voice. And sometimes, you saw her with two younger individuals. One was a girl with long blonde hair, who wore a prominent white bow above her bangs. She never smiled; her face almost always appeared stern. The other was a boy; however, he always appeared as a blur in your vision.
The only things you could discern were his pale hair and oversized scarf.
“The food’s ready, ________.”
And with that, you were snapped out of your trance. Ivan carried two bowls down the hallway and placed them on the table.
You took a seat at the table. Ivan sat in the opposite.
“I made borscht for you when you told me you wanted to come over,” he said gratefully. “I hope you like it.”
“Thank you Ivan,” you smiled. “You’re so kind.”
He didn’t have to waste his money and food on you, especially under his circumstances.
Yet, he still did.
Ivan gave you a small nod, “It was no problem.”
And with that, you both started eating.
The moment you swallowed your first bite of food, your eyes lit up.
The familiar taste filled your heart with happiness.
For the rest of the repast, you reminisced over that girl.
Over Yekaterina Braginskaya.