Memory Lane – J. Hollandsworth



The rain beat down on my back, a constant reminder of the cloud of depression impairing my judgement. The cheap whiskey could still be tasted in the back of my throat as my eyes wandered around the near vacant street, searching the passing vehicles, waiting for one of considerable size, enough to end my miserable existence. Eventually my searching became a robotic, almost absent-minded process. The cars continued flying by without a care in the world. They turned to a blur as my mind drifted to the dismal events that, for the past week, chipped away at the last remnants of my sanity.

As a red Nissan sped past, it elicited a memory of our first date. A sandy, peaceful beach, tucked away in a cove somewhere in the Caribbean; neither of us remembered where, neither of us cared. After meeting at a business conference in Texas, I knew there was a connection, but reflecting back, my perception might have been mildly warped. Imagine my surprise when the bed and breakfast that I had booked my vacation at had been double booked with none other than the mystery woman who I had met at the conference.

As I soon discovered, both of us were incredibly stubborn, and neither wanted to come back a week later. We agreed to share the tiny house in the cove, and soon after became good friends. A year later we returned on the same week, and she lamented to me the disparity between her and her boyfriend of six months. By the end of the week we parted as something other than friends.

When a grey Mercedes drove by, the memories continued. After that second vacation she called me to tell me that she had broken up with her boyfriend and wanted to meet up for coffee. Things only sped up after that. My life seemed like it would never come down from the high of success I was feeling. The constant promotions, outings with friends, and always being able to come home to my affectionate girlfriend. I had never felt like this before: the rush of success. But as with all highs, there must be a low.

It started when a colossal error on my part caused my company to lose a little over half a million dollars. A black Hummer covered me in water as it drew me back into the slew of memories and emotions. Being unemployed hung over my relationships like the darkness of a night sky. The spark between me and my girlfriend was snuffed by the lack of funds. My friends stopped hanging out with me, in favor of friends with more money and purpose. Everything was going downhill. Then the unthinkable happened. I caught my girlfriend having an affair with one of my ex-coworkers. The rush suddenly felt like an illusion, a curtain that was pulled over my eyes. The happy memories and experiences all felt like lies. I felt as if I was drowning in the waves of remorse coursing through me. The excuses felt weak and despondent.

I heard my name called behind me as I left the apartment. As I left I grabbed some whiskey from the cupboard. I felt so utterly devoid of emotion that I left the complex and started walking down the street, all while wondering how it could have gone so wrong. Then, as if the universe could hear the sadness and discord rattling around in my head, it began to rain, and only then did I notice how dark it had gotten.

Another splash from a silver Prius brought my thoughts back to the present. The whiskey again scorching my throat as I finished the bottle, I knew that there were no other options. I had nothing left to lose; this is what I had to do. Realizing that the rain had not washed any of the depression away, I had finally found it. A large Kenworth semi gathering momentum as it barreled towards me. Seeing the truck solidified the resolve in my mind as I turned towards it.

As I prepared to jump, I recalled the smile of my ex-girlfriend, how the light shone in her hair whenever the sun came out, and how you could always read her emotions when you looked into her eyes. Wanting those to be the final thoughts in my mind, I calmly stepped out into the traffic. When I turned towards the truck screaming towards me, I could see someone running down the sidewalk towards me. I looked over and saw her, looking disoriented and disheveled. I looked into her eyes as she and the truck drew ever closer, and I could only see one thing. Fear.


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