A Childhood Locked Away

You, the readers, chose the inspiration for this post! The inspiration is ‘lock’. I hope you enjoy! 16482211334_b7a3833e20_o

You are sitting, starring out at the world beyond the window. You are curled up on a worn arm chair. Knees bent and pulled up towards your face, your legs are resting against the left arm of the chair. You are holding something tight in one hand, fingers curled around the object, hiding it from view. You have that same hand resting on your thigh, absentmindedly picking at your fingers with the other.

Outside, rain is falling from the sky in thin, but persistent sheets.  The clouds covering the sky are light grey with darker strains scattered around. There are a few people walking past, but they don’t see you. They are absorbed in their own thoughts; entirely unaware of the people and places they pass. The springtime flowers and bright green leaves dance as the rain drops hit them. They remind you, in a way, of little kids dancing in puddles. You used to enjoy dancing in the rain, until it became a very “non-adult” thing to do.

Your mind begins to wander and memories from the past begin to surface. You remember playing with your friends in the summer heat and winter snow. You remember scraped knees and smiles as big as can be. You remember feeling as if you could do anything. Anything at all. Your heart sinks. You feel stuck now, that feeling of complete freedom, of childhood dreams was locked away when you’d entered the “adult world”. You had looked forward to it then. Now you wish you could go back to the days when the hurtles of life were small and fun to conquer.

You had to lock away your childhood, that was what adults were “supposed” to do. Right? You’re not so sure now as you sit and look out the window and watch the adults pass by without enjoying the rain. You can just imagine what they are thinking. Something about how they dislike the rain, how it’s a nuisance. However, you realize that’s not quite fair, if you were out there you would probably not like the rain either.

Sighing, you stand up, still clutching the object tight in your hand. You turn on your favorite music and lay down on the floor, starring at the ceiling. Your mind loses itself in the music, and you begin to move the object around in your fingers. Feeling the edges and warm metal. You turn it over in your hand again and again, still staring at the ceiling. Your mind begins to wander once more.

One memory in particular surfaces. You remember finding a beautiful flower in a park while playing with your friends. You had picked it and brought it home with you. Your parent showed you how to press it. You chose a book that had been your favorite at the time, put the flower inside and promptly forgotten about it.

Your memories shift and it’s a few years later. You’re clearing out your book shelf of all the little kid books. From the bottom corner you pull out the book. You suddenly remember the flower and slowly turn the pages looking for it. There it is, right where you left it. You carefully remove the flattened flower and hold it in your palm. You can’t throw it away, it reminds you of being a little kid. But you don’t want to leave it out, what if one of your school friends see it and think it’s silly? You remember the little box you had received as a gift. The flower fits perfectly inside. You close the lid and place it on your window sill.

The song changes and your mind is ripped back to the present. In your hand you are still playing with the little box. Sitting up, you place the box before you on the floor. You stare at it for a while. You miss being a child. You wish you could go back to when everything around you was magical. When everything was beautiful and a single flower could make your day. The flower in the box has come to represent so much to you. You have kept it with you all these years. It is a memento of your childhood. You haven’t opened it in a long long time, but you aren’t sure why.

Reaching out, you lift the lid. Nervous and excited, you can’t wait to see the beautiful flower that captivated your imagination. You look inside and smile.

Inside is a bright yellow dandelion.

5 thoughts on “A Childhood Locked Away

  1. My heart tightened as I read along and experienced the “imposed” loss of childhood but was surprised and delighted when the box opened and inside was a dandelion. I loved getting boquets of dandelions from my three children.

    Liked by 1 person

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