“What do you think?” Jake looks down at me, uncertainty writ across his handsome features. “Is this how you remember it? Are you sure you want to be here?”
I smile up at him. “I think the place is even more overgrown than it was back then. Just as well the path’s still here and clear, or we wouldn’t have made it.” Jake’s brow smoothes out, the frown all but disappearing, but the concern doesn’t fully leave his face. “Yes, I’m sure. It was time. It’s been ten years after all.”
I don’t know how long both of us stare at the lake in silence, and I have no idea exactly what Jake’s thoughts are, while my mind conjures up clear and vivid images of that fateful day.
We’d been a couple for nine months when we went on our first holiday together. Our old, fifth hand car took us to wherever our whim decided we wanted to go. We were so very young and carefree back then.
“D’ you remember, Cian?” He asks and I laugh before giving my customary answer.
“Will I ever forget?”
Back then, when we stumbled across this hidden spot we thought we’d found our own private piece of paradise. We took a walk around the large pond and returned to where we’d started from, hot and sweaty, our hair and clothes sticky and wet.
“Let’s take a swim,” I’d suggested and Jake had been all for it. Oh the foolishness of the young.
Taking a running leap had seemed like such a wonderful idea—to move from overheated to cool and clean in one quick moment was so tempting both of us kept most of our clothes on. Jake, a far better swimmer than me, gracefully dove for the water, closely followed by clumsy me jumping up high.
I glance at the wedding band around my finger. It’s been five years since we said ‘I do’; today being the anniversary of both our wedding and the day we first came here—the day everything changed.
Jake’s hand squeezes my shoulder, as if he can read my mind, as I close my eyes and experience it all again. Jumping up high, seeing Jake hit the water before instantly turning around and opening his mouth to shout something I would never hear.
I hit the water hard and fast before my world went black. When I came around again my surroundings were white, my body hooked up to machines and I couldn’t feel or use my legs.
“That’s why I didn’t want to come back here,” Jake says. “You won’t ever be able to forget, why make it worse by reinforcing the memories?”
“Why would I want to forget,” I ask as Jake grips the handlebars on my wheelchair and turns me around. “That day I learned how deep your love truly runs.”
Thank God for showers. I didn’t know what to do with this image. I adore it, but no matter how much time I spent staring at it —no hardship, mind you—I couldn’t come up with a story for these boys. Not for the first time, taking a shower gave me the inspiration I needed. Considering my current struggle with my WIP, I may be squeaky clean for the next few weeks J
‘D’you remember, will I ever forget’ are words I stole from an Irish poem which you can listen to here: D’you remember, Jem.
This wonderful picture was suggested by Kelly Jensen. Other flashes based on this same image should appear on the Monday Flash Fics Facebook page. Enjoy.