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Holes in the sky

It’s like I’ve forgotten my own story. It’s almost as if someone ripped the pages out of my book, but I know that I’ve lived, that I was here. There’s little evidence of my life, anything good that is, or anything that ever mattered.

The car inched to a stop and Kevin put his head against the passenger window, thinking of what his life meant until that point. The light changed and he continued his trip down memory lane as he rode past his old high school, a park where he went to summer camp for six years and even the place where he had his first kiss.

Charlene Jackson. She was something to see. And feel. And kiss. I wonder what she’s up to now? Is the Dairy Queen still open? The city has changed so much. It looks nothing like the place where I grew up. Doesn’t feel anything like home either. It’s seems cold. Dark. Like the places I’ve come to know and call home.

The car cruised through the streets, hitting nearly every pothole left behind by a harsh winter, but the passenger seemingly didn’t feel a thing. He was transfixed, looking at a hole in the sky. The housing projects where he spent the first twelve years of his life were torn down the previous summer and a vast emptiness sat in its stead.

That’s what it feels like to be me. I’ve been torn down, promised to be rebuilt, but left barren. Overlooked. Forgotten. My story started in those projects; building C, apartment 435. Life was good then, despite being poor, the crack, the violence and all that came with living in a place like that. We looked out for one another.

There was a car accident ahead, so traffic was at a standstill and Kevin couldn’t take his eyes off of the space where his bedroom window once sat in the sky. Well, it was originally the living room window, which doubled as his bedroom until his family began to rent a three-bedroom home on West Fifth Street in 1992. 

The driver changed the route to avoid the traffic, dragging Kevin out of his reverie and back into his new reality. The streets were unrecognizable, save for the schools, they hadn’t changed at all. The supermarkets were no longer the names everyone knew, McDonald’s looked like something out of movie. 

This isn’t the world I know, that’s why it feels like I was never here. I knew a world once, but I lost it, now I find myself in a place that doesn’t know I existed in it before. It looks familiar, I’m sure I vaguely look familiar to it, but we’re going to have to get know each other soon enough.

The car worked its way the house on Fifth St., now owned by the Barretts, Kevin stiffened as he saw the house adorned with flags and a huge banner that read “Welcome Home Soldier”. His father smiled in the driver’s seat.


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