They told her she didn't pay attention to much. They said she didn't realize what was going around her, what was passing her by. Perhaps it was true, she hadn't seen this one last un-opened box. Shaking her head, she sighed. No, she paid much more attention to the world than they thought.
Perhaps this last un-opened box hadn't wanted to be found...until now. Until this moment when her fingers tugged at the heavy tape bounding it and pulled at the cardboard flaps. She pushed the flaps aside and was greeted with piles of notebooks, piles of old, old notebooks.
She slowly and carefully lifted the first notebook out of the last now opened box. On the front in messy handwriting were the words: "Private journal. Keep out." She slowly flipped through the pages and her eyes opened wide. She was reading her thoughts from fourth grade. She remembered that year...it was stuck on her like a post-it note. Like a flag, because of where she had been living.
She remembered that September, but not the start of school. A different event filled her mind as she read her childish thoughts scrawled on paper before her. Fourth grade, nine years old, the year 2001, the city: New York.
"I can't believe someone would do such a horrible thing." The little girlish voice filled her head as she read, "people can be so mean."
Mean was a understatement. She shook her head and memories came flying back to her, like birds, attacking. She could remember she father bursting through the school doors. "Come on" he said, calling her name. "We need to leave now." Confused and scared, she left with him and asked what had happened. As they started their two and a half mile trek home he tried to explain. But she just didn't understand.
People gathered around TVs and radios, she remembered all that. People crying and holding each other, she remembered that too. Her mother, posed in front of the TV when she got home, she remembered what was playing on the old TV set. Yes, she remembered.
The footage just kept playing over and over again as she lowered the notebook down and closed it. Yes, she remembered.
She picked up another notebook, this time, a small notebook full of old song lyrics her best friend and her had tried to write the summer before fifth grade. Opening it, she signed as badly written verses popped up before her. She had come a long way since then.
Notebook after notebook, memory after memory, she read and she remembered.