Looking Up

A woman sits on the floor of her flat, surrounded by dusty, unopened, moving cartons packed seventeen months ago. Moonbeams, the only source of light, spill in the window…

I used to walk home late at night and look up at the stars. I had always found the night sky fascinating. In the summers of my childhood I would lie in the grass staring up at the swirl of constellations. The moon never failed to make me smile. My left side bears the mark of my growing obsession. The small tattoo of a crescent moon was my statement of personality. On clear nights it was not unusual to see me looking up instead of forward.

My stargazing activities wouldn’t normally be classified as dangerous. Except I never stopped walking when I tilted my head back. That was how thirteen months ago I walked straight into the path of a car.

The memory came back to me as I laid on the dusty carpet. The dark was punctuated by shards of moonlight through the windowpanes. Cardboard boxes covered every other inch of the floor. I stretched my arms above my head brushing my fingers across the rough lines.

The pile of boxes scattered around the room were signs of my life interrupted. My first memory was the blinding light and the plastic tubes wrapped around my arms. I woke up in the hospital with gauze wrapped around my head and bruises all over my body. My name didn’t sound familiar, my friends were strangers, and my life revolved around head scans and medical charts. The memories slowly came back to me in flashes as my wound scarred over. The doctors assured me that it would take time. I wouldn’t get my life back all at once. A month in the hospital, a year in my parents house, and a week ignoring the boxes that symbolized my life before the accident. And I still couldn’t catch the pictures of the last five years of my life.

I had moved into this apartment two days before my accident. All I had unpacked was the coffeemaker and the sheets. I turned my head to look at the mess. Still, the only thing out of boxes was the coffeemaker and my sheets. I told myself that I would get to it tomorrow, but I didn’t believe it. My fingers traced the scar hidden beneath my hair. Each box held a part of my life. It was a cruel game I played with myself trying to see if I could remember anything about their contents. My eyes were tired and puffy from the latest round. Crying seemed to be the only thing I was capable of doing lately. Those five years of my life were stripped from me.

The shadows created by the moon were unknown to me. I missed the familiarity of my parent’s home. I couldn’t remember the last time I was away from them. Apparently this was home, but it didn’t feel like it.

I sat up and looked out the window. It was a crescent moon tonight. I smiled at the sky. I remembered how much I loved the night sky. That, at least was not taken from me. I got up and padded to the nearest box. Picking up the scissors I let out a sigh as I slashed through the tape.

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One Response to “Looking Up”

  1. Warren Rochelle Says:

    What happens next?

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