• I sucked in the sweet air, walked beneath the blanket of leaves high above me, branching from giant oak trees, the smell of honeysuckle, and violets evoking a memory from a long time ago. A flashback: He sat on an old wooden plank, complete with ropes tied to each end, he had made me a swing. It creaked a little as the rope wove around a thick branch we had suspended the swing from, but otherwise held his weight. I had white flowers in my blonde hair, a black-eyed Susan in my hand, and I was happy. The swing was long gone, and so was the boy. He died later that spring from some kind of terminal illness I still can’t pronounce. But with the boy, that happy, fun loving girl also passed on. Now memories are all I have left of them both, and I cling to them with such force, my knuckles are turning white.
    I walked barefoot along a beaten path we had made in the woods when we were younger, clear of decaying wood and leaves, all that remained was smooth, stamped down earth. Still, due to rain earlier in the day, by the time I reached my destination the soles of my feet were black and caked with mud that had also managed to make its way in little sprinkles up to my knees. I rested on a fallen log, swinging my legs to and fro over a small shallow pond. A dragonfly whirred past my head, and a ladybug landed on my big toe. I lay back on the old tree, rubbing my feet on two circles of rope still cutting into the bark, from a long time past. I stared up at the cloudless blue sky, dirtying my tank top, and reeking havoc on my spine. I surveyed the trees and their limey green leaves, a color I despised. I prefer the barren look of winter. No emotion, cold, lifeless, a vast plateau of nothing, a blank canvas. So I may paint my memories onto paper, instead of reliving them in my dreams.