The Heart in the Sand

13.12.2022 19:09

Autor : Timea Lara Šipovská, Gymnázium Ivana Kupca, Komenského, Hlohovec

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Thinking back, it’s all still very clear in my mind.


Those so deep I drown.


The touch so soft I melt.


The laugh still rings through me.

So much time have passed by and still all is here/The courage gets weaker by every year/Too many ways all could’ve gone better/Oh, I thought that I’d be more clever…

I never used to be a poet. Though, I suppose, all this overthinking turned me into one. Those sharp thought occupying my mind like a parasite, wondering why is it that this world is so unfair?

Audrey is the name that refuses to leave my head. Jeremy’s the name of mine. The sand and the heart I left on it once. The beach and the sun shining upon? Seagulls flying around? Believe me, I’d rather write about the smell of summer. But there was a fall when I have lost her. And it was a cold autumn that year.

The first cliché of all: her parents never liked me. And when I got the nerve to announce the thing with the long-distance relationship, their loathe only grew…

I sat on the couch typing into the laptop when I felt her arms wrapping around me from behind.

“Don’t be so stiffen all the time. Just because they don’t agree on something doesn’t mean I’m not a grown adult and I cannot take care of myself. Also, it’s only for two months. I know how to use my phone.”

“You know, your parents don’t particularly like me,” I replied.

She denied it as always. “Nonsense! They ask about you from time to time,”

“I know better than to believe that it’s because they care. They are just keeping an eye on me. It’s discomforting when your girl’s parents would like you better on the spike. Like, guys, I’m really trying.”

“You’re overacting. Don’t try to impress them. If they don’t want to like you, you’re the last person that will convince them to.” She climbed over the couch and sat beside me. “Give them some time and they’ll possibly get over it. Until then don’t mind them,” she added.

“That’s easy to tell.”

“I know.” She took a laptop from me and placed it on the table. ‘But it’s also the only option.”

A week ahead I was on the plain. Everything went unexpectedly well which was itself strange while nothing ever goes perfectly great. It’s not in the world’s nature to be that fair. Thus like a month and a half past Audrey stopped responding. I never used to be naïve but at first, I allowed myself to hope that there’s only something wrong with her phone. I held on to that for a week until I called Audrey’s sister Grace. I still recall the tired voice that answered the phone.

I’d like to claim that I returned the moment I heard about the accident. But I went too numb to do so besides I hadn’t the slightest idea what I would do then. Even when I returned, I felt completely lost. Though my first thought was to visit her immediately, my plans got ruined the moment her father got into my way. After an ugly argument which he contained things like ‘Don’t you even dare to visit her’ and ‘If I ever see you again, you’re a dead man’ (not necessarily using these words), I texted Audrey’s sister to come over.

We met at the café where we often used to go.

“What do doctors say?” I asked.

“That it’s hard to tell. They’re not sure whether all of her memories will return. They expect her to remember most of the things from before three years.”

I was silent. As I was for most of the time those days.

“Are you going to meet her again?” Grace asked a little bit too carefully.

“Your father would put so many bullets in my head if I returned to her life that she wouldn’t recognize me even if she could.” I could hear the bitterness in my own voice and didn’t especially like it.

She grimaced at the inappropriate comment but spoke anyway: “Worth the risk though?”

“I don’t know. I mean, of course but I don’t think I’m able to get to know her all over again when I already know so many things. At least not yet.”

“I understand. She remembers who I am and still I feel the rift.” My thoughts got rude against my will. She thought she knew what it was like for me but I didn’t think she understood. How could she? I said nothing while she didn’t mean it wrong.

‘How are you doing?’ I asked instead.

‘My family is having a hard time accepting the fact that their daughter had problems with recalling even her own name few weeks ago.’

‘I was asking about you personally.’

‘It’s difficult. But it’s nothing I wouldn’t get over.’

‘I’m sure it gets better.’ I checked my watch. ‘I’m sorry to leave you but I have something. I don’t want to be late.’

‘Of course.’

‘It was nice to see you.

‘You too.’

‘Jeremy?’ she added when I stood to leave. I stopped and turned to her.

‘It’s a nice vision to have you two together again. She was very happy with you. I know that it’s maybe more difficult for you than for her but don’t take the previous joy from her. Think about it.

’ I nodded. ‘I will.’

Afterward I met my mother at the diner. Just then I embraced the fact of what really happened. My girlfriend had a car crash. She got amnesia. There was nothing I could do for her even if I was there because she would probably never recall my face.

I thought about what Grace have told me. That she saw how happy Audrey was. I knew that but I also wasn’t ready to act yet.

That was the day I started writing the story. With consciousness that even if she’d read it someday, she’ll never know the story is true, will never know it’s about her. She won’t remember I was the one who loves her so, and won’t recall that I am the one she loves no more.

Either that or she will read it and know exactly what is it about. Maybe I will get the courage someday and tell Grace to take her out for us to meet again.

But until then I drank down the grief like it was the finest wine. Like it was the purest blood. After a while, you can never tell the difference between the pleasure and pain. And I thought about the A and J written down in the sand, wondering what could’ve been if things have gone different and couldn’t decide if I’d even like to see her again.