Posts tagged ‘past’

The Glue

by: Rebecca Taylor

When the glue no longer sticks

And the strength fades away

When what you have in front of you

Is no longer the thing of yesterday

Do you pick up the pieces

And try once again

Do you cling to the past

Or can the future be embraced

Is it possible to have both

Even with new glue

Cracks and creases still remain

A foundation never the same.

Burning Bridges

“You can’t uncross your bridges.”

“I know,” I said.

We sat on the edge of the river, hanging our legs over the edge of the concrete bank. The water glittered a few feet below us.

“So what are you going to do?” Walter asked. He was always so pragmatic.

I looked at him. He’d just found out my deepest secret, the secret that I wasn’t who I said I was, that I had a shady past, and yet he seemed as calm as ever. “Aren’t you even curious?” I asked.

He shrugged and looked at me with those loving brown eyes. When I met him two years ago I had an inkling that we’d become best friends. I was right. “Your past is your past, Emily,” he replied. “If you want to tell me, I’ll listen, but I won’t ask.”

I grinned a little. “It’s Avery. My name’s Avery.” I paused for second. Of course Walter wouldn’t ask about my past, he was too gentlemanly for that, but he still deserved to know. “I witnessed a murder a few years ago. Back when I was a part of a gang.”

He tried to hide his shock, but he’s not that good at pretending.

I chuckled. “Yes, I was part of a gang. I was a newbie, and not comfortable with making hits or really hurting people. I saw something I wasn’t supposed to, they knew that I saw, and I freaked. I ran. I had my name changed. Dyed my hair red – did you know I’m a natural blonde? – and cut my hair short like this. Oh yeah, I got glasses, too. Since I ran I thought it was going to be okay.”

“You never went to the police?”

I shook my head. ” If I did that, I knew the word would get out eventually that I was the snitch, and I didn’t want that. I wanted to live.”

I was silent, and he stared straight ahead, thinking. The whole conversation had started with me telling Walter that my past had caught up with me. My old gang had found me. I saw a couple of them outside my house this morning, and another one while I got my groceries at the General Store. I thought that I was safe here.

He looked at me now. “Back to the original question. What are we going to do?”

“You said ‘we.'”

“I did,” he said, and I managed a tiny grin. “We could go to the police now.”

“But they’d ask why I didn’t go to them before.” All of the accumulated worry from the past couple years swam around in my mind.

“You have nothing to hide.”

“But they’ll be suspicious.”

“Avery, you didn’t do it. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He looked straight into my eyes as he said it. “I’ll go with you to the police station. Tell them what you know, and you can be put in real protective custody, and the real murderers will go away for good.”

I looked out at the river, wishing it would wash away all of my worries. “I thought I’d never have to deal with this. I thought I’d burned my bridges when I ran here.”

“We can’t burn our bridges. Well, we can try, but there are always ashes. There are always the parts and the memories that we can’t hide from. The only thing we can do is acknowledge that bridges cannot be uncrossed and keep walking.”

I nodded. At least I wouldn’t be walking alone.

Hope is a Moment

I strongly believe that everything in life can be broken down into smaller parts. For example, the water in my water bottle is two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen. The ham sandwich I ate for lunch is made of molecules. I am made of cells, literally trillions of cells. And life – life is made of moments. We experience so many moments, yet most we don’t even remember. Many that we do remember are glorious. Some moments are filled with laughter. Some are blissfully peaceful. However, many of the moments I’ve experienced are not. As a kid, the dysfunction I was enveloped in bred many painful memories. You see, families can be cohesive and bond through tragedy, but in my house, misfortune brought out the worst in our human nature.

One day I looked in the mirror and told myself, “Zoe, this is it. This is what life is. Grow up. Watch your back because no one else will.” And that’s all I thought existed in life. Most of the moments I’d experienced had given me reason to loose faith in humanity.

My mentor figures all told me the same thing – someday things would get better. Life would start looking up. I’d find reasons to trust the world again. I waited. I thought my big break would come like a flood, a continual flow of relief from my previous worldview.

That’s not what happened. When a bit of healing did come, it left me just as quickly as it had washed over me. Still, it left an impression. It came one morning while I stood on the city bus. A little kid was standing on my shoe, the bus was stuck in a traffic jam, and I suddenly felt at peace. Not a peace about the traffic; for I knew that would pass, but a larger sort of peace. The thought came to me that if God cares so deeply about the birds of the air, than he must surely care enough about me to not let my past engulf me. The thought came and went, yet it’s had an invigorating effect on me ever since. That was six years ago. Sometimes hope is just a moment, but that’s all I needed.

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