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Memories speak louder than words

By Joshua MaggsPublished 8 months ago 7 min read
Top Story - October 2023

The room was dim and quiet. Dust lay scattered on the windowsill as rain trickled down the glass of the lone window in the room. A tall lamp stood in the corner, with its large white lampshade lit from within with a warm white ambient light. The wooden floorboards aged from years of wear held the secrets of many before them. Two chairs sat in the middle of the room equally opposite from each other with a large rug that spanned from the door to the wall. A small table sat between the chairs with two glasses of water and a book, and a small burning tealight.

The door opened and a young child walked in. The child nervously walked over towards the window and placed his hand up against the cool glass. The rain continued to trickle down as the child starred into the grey overcast clouds above. Sounds of footsteps became closer and louder as the handle of the door turned. The child quickly looked towards the opening door. A young man, that looked to be in his late twenties, walked in. The boy looked at the young man, anticipating something but unsure of what. The boy walked over towards the chair facing the door and sat down. The young man walked towards the window and placed his hand on it just like the young boy had just moments earlier. He looked up and gazed at the clouds above – before smiling as he noticed the fading imprint of the boy’s hand on the glass.

The young man turned and saw the boy sitting on the chair, moving his legs back and forth in eager expectation of something exciting. No longer cautious or nervous, the atmosphere of the room had shifted. Yet, within moments, the young man’s smile slowly turned into sadness as the boy looked up at him.

The room became quiet as the rain slowly calmed and the tin roof became silent. The young man walked toward the chair and sat down. The boy looked at him and he looked back. Out of the quietness between the two of them came the sound of a toy train whistle, with its little steam engine powering along the floor on a rounded track. The boy sprung out of his seat and leaped to the floor and picked up several pieces of idle train tracks and began fitting them together like a jigsaw puzzle. The young man looked down and smiled as memories flooded back to when he had his own train set – an identical one - when he was younger. It reminded him of spending days at his childhood home, playing with toy trains, spending hours unaware of the world passing by with his father watching over him.

The young boy suddenly stopped. He placed a piece of the track onto the floor and sat back, holding his knees with his hands. The young man was watching every move and tried to push himself up out of his seat, but he couldn’t. He opened his mouth and tried to speak, but he was unable to utter a single word. The young boy began rocking himself back and forth, with tears flowing down his cheeks. The young boy looked up quickly, towards the corner of the room. The young man turned just as quick, trying to see what the young boy was looking at. The boy stood up off the floor and picked up a school backpack that had appeared next to him. In the corner of the room was a teacher. The young man sat there, watching the young boy approach the teacher with his head bowed in dishonour as the teacher yelled with a mouth uttering silent and empty words, shouting at the child. Suddenly, a loud bang hit the tin roof above them with the sounds of bells. The young man looked up but couldn’t see anything. Across the other side of the room suddenly stood an adorned Christmas tree with twinkling warm white lights. Underneath was sprawled with dozens of different shaped gifts, wrapped with glittered bows and wrapping paper of reds and greens. The young boy was sitting there, eagerly awaiting to open the first one. The young boy looked up at his mother and father who were sitting near the boy. His mother nodded, and the boy began ripping the paper off the first present. The joy on the child’s face was immense as he realised what was inside. The young man still sat on the chair watched with joy as the young boy overwhelmed with happiness got up and ran towards his parents and hugged them tight.

A school bell rang, and the room was suddenly transformed into a classroom surrounded with students at desks. The young boy looked a few years older now and was sitting in front of the young man. The teacher wrote with chalk on the chalkboard an array of math problems as another student hurtled a pen at the young boy from the back of the room. He turned, reached down, picked it up and threw it back. The teacher walked towards the young boy as the young man unexpectedly felt pain in his heart. The teacher signalled at the young boy to follow him as they both left the room through the door behind where the young man was sitting.

The young man sat there as the rain began to trickle down the window again. He was alone in the room. The room became cold. It was now empty apart from the vacant chair in front of him. The table with the lone book and glasses of water were long gone. The door swiftly opened, and the young boy walked back in - with tears streaming down his face. He walked towards the chair and sat down. This time, he looked directly into the eyes of the young man. Both were locked in an intense, emotional embrace with the pain and sorrow being equally felt between the two of them. The young boy held a photo of his parents in his hand. The young man looked down, and tears filled his eyes. The young boy raised the photo towards his face while looking at the photo with eyes swelled with tears, while wiping the falling tears from his eyes with his small hand. The young man tried to reach out to the child, but he was sitting too far away and still unable to move out of the seat. The child slowly stood up. The young man continuing to reach his hand out still, noticed the boy stop and lower his face to the ground. An older woman approached from behind the young mans chair. The boy walked over towards two coffins on the other side of the room, with his grandmother now holding his hand as he wept. The young man closed his eyes. The memory was too much to handle. This was his memory. The day of his parents’ funeral. The coffins slowly faded away as his grandmother turned and looked at the young man. They both locked eyes as hers filled with tears, as she too, faded away from his memory.

The room began to slowly spin as memories of the boy’s adolescent years began to circle the room, like living flashbacks as the joys and sorrows of the years to come engulfed the room. The young man, overwhelmed by the immense memory of growing up with no parents, and the feeling of overwhelming isolation, poured into his mind as he watched the young boy absorb these emotionally charged memories.

The young boy, in the midst of these hurtling memories, stood up and walked directly towards the young man and reached his hand out to him. They locked eyes. The room went quiet. The rain slowly stopped again as silence filled the room. The boy looked down at their embraced hands as the young man watched. After a few moments, the boy pulled his hand away and walked over to a table that was now under the window at the side of the room. The table had a notepad and a pen. He picked up the pen and began writing something on the paper. The young man still had his hand outstretched as the boy returned with a single sheet ripped off the notepad. The boy handed the note to the young man, face down as he returned to his chair. The young boy smiled ever so softly, as the young man turned the paper around. The young man broke down, weeping from what he had seen. He cupped his face as tears rolled down. Drops of tears splashed onto the wooden floorboards below. He lent forward, with elbows on his knees, weeping and sobbing. A few moments passed and the young man sat back up, as he reached his hand out to the young boy. But he was gone. The boy and the chair were gone. It was only him left. No one else and nothing else in the room. The note fell from his hand and floated through the air down towards the floorboards. The young man looked up and out of the window as the words became visible as the paper came to a rest on the floor, like a soft feather.

The young man stood up and walked towards the window as the clouds broke free and the sun shone down in magnificent rays of light. Birds flew past as they chirped while the sounds of laughter echoed in through the glass window of children playing outside. The young man turned, smiled, and walked towards the door.

The young man opened the door and left. The empty chair and note still lay on the wooden floor of the room where they remained.

The piece of paper was blank. The words never spoken were exactly the words he needed to hear.

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About the Creator

Joshua Maggs

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Comments (5)

  • Alisa İnnokate8 months ago

    A hauntingly touching story that reminds us of the profound impact of unspoken words in our lives.

  • Antonella Rustica8 months ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story🧨💞💥

  • This is good writing! I was scrolling and the first two sentences grabbed me. Great job!

  • Great job and Congratulations on your Top Story🎉✌️💯♥️😉

Joshua MaggsWritten by Joshua Maggs

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