Lost Memory

by Jeff Friedman

Jeff Friedman

My sister stole a memory of mine from my house and took it home, hidden in her coat. I couldn’t remember the memory, but there was an empty space on the sideboard under the window. “Give me back the memory,” I said, standing outside her door. “And I won’t report you to the authorities.” She let me in. “Don’t be ridiculous,” she said. “Why would I steal a memory of yours?” It didn’t take me long to find the memory, a blue jar sitting on the glass stand between two chairs. When I picked it up, she looked puzzled. “This is my place,” she said. “These are my things.” “Not true,” I replied and unscrewed the lid. Emptiness wafted out with its stinging scent. Now I remembered something I had wanted to forget. I screwed the lid back on quickly and set it down. “That’s my memory,” she said. “You shouldn’t have opened it.” “Then what do you remember?” I asked. “Nothing—it’s gone because you let it out.” And as I stood there, angry at my sister, the scent of the memory evaporated, and all I could remember was the jar, and now that belonged to her.

Last updated September 19, 2022