Harold Abramowitz’s prompt for today, prompt #8, hit the mark with me today.
He asked us to write something you cannot remember: a memory of something – a story, an anecdote, a song, another poem, a recipe, an episode of a television program, anything, that you only partially or imperfectly remember. Write multiple versions, at least 6, of this memory.
When I was in my first year of college, I’d taken up elective English as one of my subjects. We studied a book titled Let’s Go Home and other stories. The title story is my all time favorite. Just thinking about it moves me to tears as did re writing what I could remember of it now, also did. I’ve been searching for the book for a long time on the internet but haven’t located it yet. I’d be grateful if any of you who read this and are familiar with the original story could kindly share the author’s name with me.
For now, I am writing only one version. I’m source I’ve got many facts of the plot wrong..but never mind. I know I have the gist of it right.
Let’s Go Home
His father had died when he was two. After his death, he and his mother moved to the higher valley and went to live in a beautiful cottage that they owned. His mother grew vegetables at the back garden and cooked delicious food for him. His school was now farther away than before and he had to walk longer to get there. But the path ran alongside the swiftly flowing river and was dotted with wild flowers. It made him happy to run along this path – his satchel sliding to one side, his shoes muddy and his hair all wind blown. He could t wait for school to end and head off home. Invariably his mother would have baked him fresh cookies or made potato fritters. The enticing smell of her cooking would be wafting out of the windows as he got closer home. When he turned nine his mother baked him a fabulous chocolate cake. He’d eaten almost half of it at one go! A few months later, she too died. His distant uncle who stayed close to the school that he was attending took him under his care. He continued to attend school but the light had gone out of his life. He missed his mother terribly. He missed home. One day there was a celebration to mark the silver anniversary of his school. The delicious smell of baking wafted out of the canteen as cakes and muffins were prepared for the party. The boy knew a strange restlessness at all these preparations. The smell of baking was awakening memories inside him. The weather too was particularly lovely that day. Low clouds, soft caressing breeze and just the hint of a nip in the air. When school got over, without thinking, he snatched his satchel and ran down up the path by the river. His mother would surely be waiting for him. He ran as fast as he possibly could. Within minutes he reached home but stopped short. The door was locked. The windows shuttered, curtains drawn. The cottage looked list and abandoned. He felt tears running down his cheek. His mother was no more…how could he have forgotten?