A Remedy for Reminiscence

Today, I left the office in tears, shaking from head to toe.  I rushed into my car despite all the reprobating eyes on me. I had no idea what I was doing at that moment but, somehow, I ended up in a market, filling up my trolley with burgundy bottles. After climbing up the rusty stairs to my apartment, I released myself into the hot bathtub. ‘’There must be quite a few things a hot bath -won’t cure,’’ said Sylvia Plath, who had been even more depressed than me. I can hear you poking me to tell you all about my day in the office, dear diary. However, it was just an ordinary, bedeviling day at work…

I closed my diary gently as I stared at all the empty bottles on the floor. Despite feeling nauseous and overthrown, I had to stand up to feed the cat, which was wauling for half an hour. When I bent down to fondle it, I saw the lottery ticket my co-worker gave away. Just as I stretched out my arm to take it, I realized a pink-covered notebook was lying under my bed. I immediately realized that it was a diary from my college years.  I don’t know why but I felt very eager to go back to bed and take a look at it. I remember the closing of my eyes as I scrolled through the pages full of enjoyment, choices, and also disappointment.

The buzzing sound of the alarm clock has always been a call of duty for me. However, I was bound to not to go to the office that day. After all the things I read in the candy-pink diary the night before, I was aware of all the wrong paths I have taken. By the way, I almost forgot to introduce myself. I am Claudia, a 35-year-old accountant. And why am I writing all of these? Just to tell you about how a particular incident changed my life.

Whatever, I stayed in my flat staring at the ceiling for a couple of days until I had to go back to work. At the exact moment that I knocked on the director’s door, I realized the name written on a wide, shiny plaque: Mark Hills! Although I was stunned, I had no choice but to go in. While my cheeks were turning red, he welcomed me with a merciful smile. Then, he started to speak sweet nothings as if he had forgotten all the past. He even invited me to dinner with all of our friends from college right before I left the room.

I was all at sea thinking about past incidents while putting on my ivory-black dress. I couldn’t stop thinking about that awful graduation ball, the last night I saw my friends. Nevertheless, the glamorous collar shining on my skinny neck and the dress showing my figure gave me enough confidence. I felt nervous when I saw that we were only four people at a huge table. It was me, Mark, his wife Beatrice and Alissa. I expected a cold, unkind atmosphere so I was ready to sit tall in my saddle. However, everything was so relaxing and cheering for the first couple of hours as we talked about the reminiscence of our youth.

Of course, I was so foolish to think that the night would go on like that. Beatrice, who was my best friend and roommate, pulled a photo of her, Alissa, Mark, and Carl! I recognized it right away. It was taken by me on the night of the graduation ball. My eyes brimmed to tears as I stared and stared at the photo. After a while, I just took away the photo from Beatrice and rushed to the restroom with wobbly steps as I let down my tears like a rainfall…

I know you wonder what happened on that dreadful night. But don’t worry, I will just tell it straight away. I was taking bizarre poses of my friends and Carl, the love of my life back then, when I had to go back to my room to take some instant films.  However, because of the rush, I stepped into Carl and Mark’s room. I started looking through the desk without even thinking when I found an approved application for a job in America and a one-way ticket to New York, in the name of Carl. I was devastated, I couldn’t think of anything but to run back to the ball to ask Carl. I asked him if he was going to New York without even telling me but his meaningless, vague face broke my heart to pieces. I never called him or looked for him after that day.

After sitting on the toilet seat and thinking about all of these for hours, I finally felt strong enough to go back home. Everything went downhill for me in the following week. I stayed on my sofa, snoozing and staring at the TV with blank eyes. If Mark hadn’t visited me, I wouldn’t have been bothered to stand up for a much longer time. I wasn’t aware of how terrible I looked until I saw the dazed expression of Mark. He sighed and timidly told me that there is something he had been desperate to tell me. ‘’That application was mine, the ticket was a gift from Carl,’’ he whispered. ‘’Do you know why Carl didn’t say anything that night?’’ he asked. I nodded calmly. ‘’Beatrice hadn’t known about the job yet so he didn’t want to spoil it,’’ he continued. I was swelling with rage as I asked Mark why Carl had never called me after that night. ‘’ We lost Carl in a car crash just as he was leaving the party to find you and you haven’t answered a single phone call from us ever since,’’ he uttered as he burst into tears. Unintentionally, I pulled my eyes out of Mark and looked at the television. It was talking about how the owner of the lottery-winning ticket remains unknown. I pulled the ticket out of my pocket and started reading the numbers out loud. Both Mark and I were astonished. He tried to smile with his red eyes and told me how fortunate it is for me to realize the ticket after a long while. ‘’Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone back to the office and we wouldn’t have a chance to talk that day,’’ he added. I looked at the ticket again and at that moment I understood that every moment we do not cherish, condemns us to live another life.

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