It’s been a while but I’m still surprisingly writing. Thanks Mr. Durham. Below was a revised version of another short story that I wrote in college. Disregard the end.
*Starts right after the revised title “Leftover Memories”, removes the introduction quote and thought shot. Revised changes in perspective, background information, and ending creates a different story that emphasizes on the memories and focalization of my main protagonist.*
Back in high school, I had a best friend named Greg. Although before I could even call Greg my best friend, he actually started off just as my neighbor. I had just graduated from junior high and my family and I had just coincidentally moved to another house after my dad’s job transferred him to another branch of the company, which they did quite often. The new house was part of a new expansion of a neighborhood, one that was close to the high school I would be attending, and was one of the few that was built so far in place of what was a now half-cut down forest. Moving was a normal thing to me back then and eventually I just accepted it into my life. I tried to keep in contact with some classmates (acquaintances) from the different places that I’d lived, but those hardly ever held up nor did I ever really stay long enough to find good friends. However, now that I was stepping up into high school, I thought that maybe that this would be the time in my life that I would make some real friends. And to my luck, it wasn’t long before I met Greg.
My new high school was a public school, just like the rest in the past, in which I had to take the bus there and back every day since I wasn’t old enough to drive one of my dad’s cars. To make matters worse, my house was at the top of the newly built expansion that wasn’t yet registered with the school board. So in result, every day I had to walk from my house, down a narrow street, and cut through a few lawns to finally reach the only registered bus stop on the other side of the neighborhood, by 7:30 am since there as only one registered bus stop. The first few days of school, were spent adjusting to new classes, teachers, the school structure, and of course the people. Lucky for my first week, I made it to the stop just in time for the bus to arrive. However, the following week, luck didn’t seem to be on my side.
Overwhelmed by all the new material I absorbed in the week before, I ended up sleeping in past my alarm and waking up with little time to get to the stop. I remember jumping through my front door, wind milling down the hill, and sprinting through the neighbor’s sprinklers to finally arrive to see the bus pulling out of the neighborhood. Shiiiit, I missed it! I remember dropping my backpack to the ground and buckling over, my hands on my knees, sucking in heaps of air to try and catch my breath. My eyes were closed and cast down at the concrete as a mixture of sweat and lawn water dripped down my head and into my eyes. After a few seconds, I reopened my eyes but instead of seeing droplets of liquid splattered on the concrete below me, I was actually staring at a pair of muddy, dark green hiking boots. In that moment several years ago, I remember blinking multiple times before lifting my gaze to see who the shoes belonged to. Upon doing so, I found myself making eye-contact with another guy with light brown eyes and short black hair. He was also sweating, the perspiration dripping down the side of his neck and soaking the neck of his striped black and white shirt. I didn’t say anything and I didn’t break contact until he reached down into his cargo shorts and pulled out a bottle of water.
“Looks like we both missed the bus, huh, are ya thirsty?” the boy asked as he held out the unopened bottle of water before me.
As I stood up and straightened my back to talk to him on an equal level, I noticed that we were the same height, and while he held the bottle out before me, I saw how much thinner he was in all aspects of his body.
Dazed, I replied, “Uh, yeah that would be cool.” The dryness in my throat catching my voice, making rise in pitch.
“Haha, nice voice crack, well since we already missed the bus to school and I don’t have work until later, do you want to hang out with me for a bit?”
Before I could reply, the boy began to walk through the lawn lead leading the way back up the hill towards the forest. We spent the rest of the missed school day discovering what was left of the forest that was behind my house. We climbed and explored through the grove of trees as well as scoured what was left of a dried up creek, finding small fossils of metamorphic rocks and other creatures. He later showed me a tree that had a trunk three times the width of my body, as well as branches like arms that reached out and tangled with other trees, making it difficult to sway in the wind. The perfect tree for a tree house. (End part 1 of revision)
If I continue off the current revision, the main character of the story would learn about the struggles that Greg is dealing with and attempt to help him by creating childhood memories that he never got experience when he was younger due to his and his mother’s condition. However, the story would begin to zone back into present time of reality because the main protagonist visits the tree house that they made behind it. Thus shifting the previous first person past tense to first person present as he replays the emotional and descriptive flashbacks of their memories together.
Now today, five years later, I find myself climbing up that makeshift wood-pegged ladder and stepping into a room filled with all those leftover memories still inside. (End part 2 of revision)