A memory of you?


I was up in the attic the other day, sorting through boxes and chests that’d been packed and left up there to rot. Mom had finally agreed to put the house up for sale and move in with me. Getting the old place in shape to put on the market, though, was going to take a lot of work. I agreed to start by cleaning out the junk, donating or finding homes for things considered valuable, and trashing the rest.

Taking a break, I sat on an old chair pushed up against the corner near one end, and a dormer window. Most everything so far was more junk and garbage than anything salvageable. I had a small pile of boxes set aside for both of us to go through when you arrived - Christmas things we’d grown up with mostly. A familiar chest in the corner caught my eye and I pried the clasp open.

It was filled with things out of your room from high school. Things you’d left behind when you ran off with that boy who played guitar and had such high hopes. You were too embarrassed to come home when he did exactly as everyone said he would do. When you’d call me, I would plead for you to come home, that no one would say anything, but you were stubborn, and your pride was too raw. It wasn’t until you found the man meant for you that we saw you again.

I poked through the chest, remembering the track meets, recalling the friends we had then. Towards the bottom, a puke yellow color drew my immediate - and amused - attention. Pulling it out, I held it up to the light, and chuckled. How many times had you worn that shirt, dancing in your underwear to Sean Cassidy, Leaf Garrett, and the BeeGees? I traced over the words you embroidered over your heart – Luke’s Girl. You were so in love with Star Wars and wanted to be Princess Leia so badly, you’d wear your hair in honey bun circles over your ears, and one of mom’s bedsheets. The tee-shirt was the only one you could afford and you wanted one.

My break was at an end, and I rose, taking the shirt with me. I stopped at the Christmas box, and picked up a couple of items before going back to work.

Your surprise was so worth the extra minutes after opening the tin foil Santa Claus wrap present to find that damned ugly shirt nestled in tissue paper. Da do run run, sis.