the music box .

a fragment of her past drifts in, the sensation incomplete but immovable, the memory nagging with blurred edges and faded lines in the front of her mind while the truth eludes her over and over again.

it’s weird to think of how an object, a tangible thing, could fade away in one’s memory so easily while in reality it is solid and altogether unchanging. even with time, it remains, perhaps aged and worn, but essentially the same.

human memory does not see things as such.

the music box in her memory stood on a bookshelf, enacting the role of an ornament although more than one sense could be tantalised by its experience. a metal winder protrudes from its side, rusty and stiff from disuse, longing to be turned so it could shift its gears, crack the old bones and feel alive again. But day by day, she passed it by, not giving it a second thought except if it stood between her and the books it failed to conceal completely.

today, after years of this object never crossing her mind, she remembered. she remembered the love she had felt for it as she begged her mother to bring it with them from across the ocean the day they relocated their lives. she remembered how her heart broke when it did, and how she refused to throw it away even though it was a tattered mess. she remembered how her refusal led to her mother gluing half the music box to a piece of glass so that it could stand and, although muffled, slowly play a tune that she wishes she could remember now.

and she wonders if she will lose all her childhood loves this way, fading out of her memory slowly until their images are buried completely, their full identities concealed, and the emotions they inspired became irretrievable in the depths of somewhere she used to know.

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