A soft light shines through the darkness, casting shadows upon the floor. It bounces around the room, alighting upon the countless numbers of items that rest on the shelves. The light catches glimpses of color- of glitter, glass, and reflections of the light.
Infinite miscellaneous objects fill the room that seems to go on unending. Objects in the place of memories; memories that have been lost and forgotten, never to return to their owners but laid to rest inside the room for ever after.
In a far corner of the room, on one of the numerous shelves, there is a teddy bear. Its pristine fur as white as the moon, shining through the gloom yet still darkened. It slumps against a shadowed wall, covered in gleaming cobwebs. A teddy bear that had never been played with, but it belonged to a little girl named Susie. Written on a plaque below the teddy bear is an inscription; "She had never known her mother."
Susie knows she has a mother, because everyone has a mother but she can't remember her. Her daddy says that it's normal; she was very young when her mother left, but Susie knows that she should remember something. After all, she remembers other things from when she was even younger but she just can't remember her mother. Even when her daddy reluctantly takes out the pictures of a blonde haired, blue eyed woman that's all she is to Susie; just a woman, just a stranger.
The other kids talk about the ways their mothers hug them, and kiss them, and fix them food, and it's not that she's jealous because her daddy does all of that for her; it's only that she gets a funny feeling deep inside her when she listens to them. She just wishes that she could remember something of her; like her laugh, or her smile. But all Susie had left of her mother was the vague memory of the morning she left. When Susie had come downstairs that morning to get ready for school she found her daddy sitting at the kitchen table, a white furred teddy bear in his hands. Later, she learned that her mother had left it on the doorstep, but not a note or an explanation. That image was burned into her mind, never to fade.
Sometimes, a hushed strain drifts through the room and settles, like a fog, in the air. It hangs in the space, expectantly, as though it was waiting to be acknowledged. However, the tune is never the same.
This particular song resonates from a shadowed shelf upon which rests a beautiful, merry-go-round music box. The merry-go-round turns round and round as it plays its somber melody. A long while ago its vibrant colors faded, and a film of dust formed upon its surface but still an almost tangible atmosphere surrounds it; once it was a cherished treasure.
Mr. Henderson cannot recall his first love.
He can remember all of his crushes; even the ones from when he was a little boy and the girls had pigtails and ribbons in their braids. He can remember in high school, where the girls wore short skirts and low-cut shirts. He can even remember, sometimes with a bit of guilty pleasure, his college trysts with girls that had even shorter skirts and lower shirts. But they didn't mean a thing to him. He never loved any of them. He only ever loved her; she was the One.
Aaron met her on a hot summer day when she was nine and he was ten. They met in the park on Brooklyn Street by the swings. He remembers sunshine and laughter and the warmth of her smile. But most of all, he remembers the merry-go-round. It had been new, only finished two months prior to their meeting, and he had never had anyone to ride with before. He remembers racing her to see who got first pick of the horses; of course he let her win. He remembers the joy on her face as she climbed on the white horse and him on the black. Oh, how it spun and spun and how the joyful symphony of the music and her laughter enveloped him in a blissful haze.
But then something happened, as it always does, and she was gone; taking with her the summer sunshine of her smile and a piece of his heart. All she left him with was a hole in his heart and a few fleeting memories that faded more and more until there was nothing left.
And so the cycle repeats. People forget what used to be their most precious thing and their memories are saved in a room where they can never be lost.
Though they are forgotten, they are never gone; they live on forever, In Memoriam.