“For this exercise, I want you to recall a memory you have of a flower. It could be anything; the smallest, most seemingly insignificant fragment.”
Everyone in the room shifts in their seats. No one wants to be here. Well, a few, but the majority would have traded a kidney just to get out of yet another ‘exercise’.
“Then, I want you to write it down. Or don’t.” Our teacher smiles as if sharing an inside joke. “That’s alright as well. But if you can, please”, she makes a gesture to include everyone, “share it with the class. Memories can show to be very relatable, even the strangest ones.”
The room goes even quieter than before, as if waiting for further instructions. She says nothing more, but her eyes observe each and everyone to make sure we take this seriously. With a low, unified sigh, people start to stare unseeingly up at the ceiling or to the walls, ignoring the present to embrace or at least glimpse into a past that not long ago meant a common, open wound that no one wishes to approach.
I do the same, needlessly, since I already see that memory clear as day. It rolls towards me, like a soft wave.
It felt strange taking those last steps of the stairs. I had been there before, many times. But that was in a different life, or so it seemed now. Their azaleas were now placed outside, awaiting fall to bloom. The last time I saw the 2 pink flowers, frost had covered the patio furniture and I hurriedly said goodbye, already deciding what to watch next time. This was a familiar sight, as if nothing had changed, yet, everything had.
The world was now recuperating from a wordless, faceless, change to the core. Values, hopes, dreams, fears, principles had been challenged, questioned. A drastic overturn, reality suspended, leaving confusion and lost minds in its tracks.
And then I rang the bell, ready to hug my sister again.
“Alright”, our teacher’s voice cuts through the blank silence, “who wants to start?” 
Hesitantly, I raise my hand.
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Juma
Juma(@juma)
1 year ago

Hello Rebecka, I see that you’ve come to Voice.club from ZenGarden.club. I remember many of your stories from that site. This one was one of my favorites. It’s very thought provoking. I guess you wrote it when the pandemic was just a couple of months old, perhaps thinking like all of us did, that by fall we would be recovering. Now it’s almost winter and your story is even more meaningful. I’ll be glad when we’re all recuperating!

Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi(@katy-bizi)
Reply to  Juma
1 year ago

I couldn’t agree more with you, Juma! It’s been more than a year since the pandemic started and Rebecka’s story is still as effective as I could imagine it was before. Very meaningful indeed! Well done, Rebecka!

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Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi(@katy-bizi)
Reply to  Rebecka Pettersson
1 year ago

You’re very welcome and I agree completely with you.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

Hi Rebecka, I loved the way you bring the reader into the class room. They say the first lines of a story should carry the reader through to read more, well you did just that with the words – traded a kidney just to get out. I was hooked then. Well written.

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