I raised my hands in surrender. “Okay, I was shuffling and you were packing. But you have to see what I found.”
I rushed to the wall closest to my bed, still untouched, and riffled through a stack of photos on the bulletin board. Colorful thumbtacks loosened as I moved the curled edges of the pictures out of the way. Some memories were stacked three or four deep, with multiple puncture holes at the top. A bright blue pin held the one I wanted.
“Okay, promise me you won’t laugh.” I unpinned the photo and held it backwards against me, hiding the image.
“I promise,” she said, although the corners of her mouth already wavered in a smile.
“Do you remember this?” I asked, spinning the photo around so she could see.
“I can’t believe you still have this!” she exclaimed, grabbing the picture from my hand. “Look at us. Look at your braids,” she laughed.
“How could I get rid of it? It’s one of my favorite memories. And, I wouldn't talk, little Miss Pigtails.”
“That’s Queen Pigtails to you.”
“Those were the days,” I sighed. “All it took was dressing up, you in your pink nightgown, me in my green tights, and we were the characters. It all seemed so simple back then.”
“It was,” she agreed, handing me back the photo.
I looked at it once more before repining it on my wall, careful not to create a new pin mark. The two girls smiling back were from a lifetime ago. Now, the resemblance faded, and the only remaining links to that simpler time were my long blonde hair and Natalie’s penchant for pink eye shadow. As the game flashed on screen, it became a bitter-sweet reminder of how much had changed.
-Dreamscape: Saving Alex, Kirstin Pulioff - Anticipated Release mid-Nov. 2014