Frozen Memories

The below story has been applied to four flash fiction magazines and duly rejected. Yet, this story is very special to me. So, I’m putting it out for you all to read. Do let me know what you think of it in the Comments.


Frozen Memories

When I lie on his lap, my head nestled in him, he tells me stories of all the good times we have spent together. He remembers every date we met, every conversation we had. He remembers every time I have said something nice to him, praised him for keeping a promise. When I hear him narrate the days of a previous summer, it feels as if I am in a story. I see us together in that story, sitting cross-legged on the green, grassy field under the stars, watching kids play football at a distance.

As I listen to him, I wonder what it must be to be him every single day – to have little compartments in his mind, filled with happy memories, like shiny wrappers filled with dark chocolate balls that melt within moments in your mouth. Oft times I have wondered, how is it that he recalls the plainest remark I made on any day when months later I have no memory of it? Is it because he hangs onto every word I say with the kindest attention, because he loves me so much? His memory is like an ancient family heirloom – something I have learnt to cherish ever since I discovered it. His memory makes me feel powerful: even though the day is long gone, I know he can make it as real to me as if it were today.

Today, it is different. Today we had a bad fight. It is past midnight and I am lying on the sofa. He is in the bedroom. I bristle in the uncomfortable heat, cursing the broken air conditioner. I am ruminating on the bitter words he and I exchanged earlier.

The thought comes like a sudden chilly wind of a winter morning. If he remembers every date we have met, every word we have spoken between the two of us, he probably remembers every single fight we have had, every venomous word we threw at each other too. Does he compartmentalize his memories in boxes then – pink-red boxes for the happy ones and dark, ominous ones for the poisons?

What it is really, then, to be him, every single day? What is it like to be someone with an infinite reservoir of memories, memories that you cannot erase away? Can you, then, ever escape from naturally drawing on happy memories when the times are good and on the bitter ones when the tides are rough? Is that possibly why he froths a little more venom with every next fight? A little more intolerable, a little more uncaring?

The prickling heat of the sofa is engulfs me slowly, completely, like a water demon. Suddenly, I am breathless. I walk to the balcony and wait for a breath of wind to kiss my face.

There is no wind. The trees are as still as a colorful glass paperweight, frozen in time.

©2016 Arpita Pramanick

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About Arpita

Arpita Pramanick is a little, young woman with a bright face (who'd rather not look directly into a stranger's eye) you'll find walking on the corridors of Mu Sigma, Inc. She tells herself she wants to be a properly published writer (by which she means she wants to be published from the likes of Penguin), but isn't really so sincere about writing everyday. So if you see her, tell her to go write. She'll love you for doing that!
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14 Responses to Frozen Memories

  1. Debdeep Basu says:

    The finest art is contained in darkest crevices of the tortured mind. Stunned by the depth and intensity of the last 4 paragraphs

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ashutosh says:

    hi arpita, this is definetely one of your best stories and I am stunned it was not published. I have been following your blog for quite some time, and needless to say I am glued. I too had sent a few short storiea for some competitions but none were selected. Currently I am trying to write a novel and one of its leading characters is a girl and I am facing real difficulties writing from a girls viewpoint. I tried books and websites but nothing worked, so I thought maybe only a girl could help me understand and seeing the depth with which you write your stories I would be really glad if you could help.
    Any help would be great.
    yours
    Ashutosh

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ashutosh says:

    I have some questions which I would like you to answer. There are quite a few so would it be okay to ask them here or if you could provide me your email so I could mail it.
    Thanks for coming forward with your help.

    Like

  4. Hi Arpita, I happened onto your blog today while researching how you can get stuff published online and your post on that really helped. And really like this particular entry, the visualisation in your prose. nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arpita says:

      Thank you so much, guys (I am assuming there’s two of you from your handle name and URL)! Love the days when I receive feedback like yours on this blog. 🙂 Happy blogging!

      Like

  5. Dear Arpita,
    Let me commend you for writing this story. It is very unique for such a widespread genre.’Love’ between a man and woman has been treated in many different ways. Your story, among them, was very refreshing.
    I for sure do not understand how some people can remember so much. The idea of storing memories in compartments remind me of the occlumency lessons in Harry Potter fanfiction but I have never read a fanfic where this was so beautifully described. I wish you would have extended the story a bit more. However the ending is as serene as the touch of the cold wind on the face.
    Yours sincerely,
    Tiasa

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Arpita says:

    Hi Tiasa,

    Thank you so much for the kind words. I had a special place in my heart for this story – so even though it did not get published in any of the magazines I applied to, I am glad that at least a few people are finally ‘getting’ the story. Thanks for stopping by! Keep in touch.

    Like

  7. Ambika Garg says:

    Hi Arpita,

    I came across your blog today while searching for how to publish stories in India. The post was very helpful and your stories have deep insight into them. I am a new writer , finally trying to fulfill my dream of writing stories and would really like to be in touch with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “There is no wind. The trees are as still as a colorful glass paperweight, frozen in time”
    These lines mean a lot, especially the last three words, “frozen in time”

    Liked by 1 person

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