TITLE: What We Were Missing
GENRE: YA Contemporary
I can’t remember the day my dad left.
Those twenty-four hours yawn like a black hole in the story of my existence. A blind spot between total happiness and familial unraveling.
It’s been six years and I still catch myself sipping coffee and googling memory retrieval. Therapy. Hypnosis. Optogenetic technology.
But I don’t pursue any of it.
Successful retrieval of lost memories hinges on one common factor. You have to want to remember. And believe me. I don’t.
I’m standing on the front porch when Jo’s black SUV swings into our short driveway, two steaming cups of coffee warming the palms of my hands. Tiny Christmas lights wrap around the railing, lending our house a cheery glow in the late afternoon fog.
“Um, you do know it’s November?” I said earlier as Mom hunted the extension cord.
“Riley, let it go. They look inviting.”
Your house tells a story, after all. And we need ours to be a happy one.
The engine shuts off and I bend back my thumb, snapping it forward with a loud crack. Nervous habit. Jo emerges first, her blonde hair pulled back in a sloppy ponytail. The twins, pent up from the four hour drive, shoot like rockets from the car the moment their buckles pop open.
I set the mugs on the small table next to our porch swing and hug them tight, spinning around with one pint-sized human tucked neatly under each arm. I like the way the world blurs around me, softening at the edges.