There was a place in downtown Toronto that I had always wanted to explore when I was a kid. It had all kinds of colorful ribbons and stickers on the windows and smiling teddy bears. Unicorns, flowers, dolls, toy boats, books, and false rainbows had drawn me in. Though my small child hand reached for the handle that would bring me into my own magical Narnia, my mother had stopped me. Her fingers had clutched tightly and had pulled me along. I remembered saying, "Mommy, look!" but she never saw.
When, nearly ten years later, I went with Jacob the store was long gone. It had been turned into a teashop the year after my child eyes had found it.
This is what I feared.
I feared losing the chance to hold on tightly to the door handle of such a beautiful place that could only be brought to me through the present moment. I feared losing the memories that kept me together and the emotions that had closed me into my own little world that envied the toy store I once knew. I don't think my mother did it on purpose, I just think that she had all ready forgotten; lost in her own childless thoughts.
I stood in the failing sunlight and watched the sky slowly turn an amber red. My back was against the heated white fence, the ocean was to my right and the large doll house beach house to my left. Sand hid my feet and I waited. Maybe, I'd thought, if I waited long enough he would come. Maybe, this is our magical place where all boundaries are crossed and nothing but him and I can come across unscathed.
It was the beginning of August. So much time had passed since I'd heard from Alex. I regularly went to the restaurant silently praying that he would be there, but also reluctantly hoping that he wouldn't be. Amanda, with her freckles bright, had caught me one day on the beach and had gone on to explain how much I was missing by not calling her more frequently. I had politely smiled and apologized, forgetting the subject several hours later.
Smokey ideas and images of Alex and Claire together often stung my eyes and I would spend sleepless nights with my blinding imagination. The wistful memory of us dancing under the rain was the only thing scaring these thoughts off, but even that, with the continuously passing days, was becoming weaker.