Adam knew the fat, dirty man next to him was wondering what he was doing. Because Adam just stood, arms at his sides, staring at the big blue door. He didn’t want to open. But maybe he did. He didn’t know anymore.
“So…” the man said. He shifted and leaned against the storage room door next to where Adam was standing.
“You want me to open it or what?”
Adam turned towards the man and took a deep breath. He pinched the bridge of his nose. There was a strange feeling in the air. A feeling that this would be the last time.
“Look,” the man said, now standing up straight, “tell me what you want to do, because I don’t got all day. Your rent is late, and I’m sick of waitin’.” Adam turned toward the door and shrugged slightly. He hesitated, then said, “ Okay.”
The man went over to the door and opened the lock. He took it off the big blue door and spun it around on his index finger. He then pulled the blue door open.
A burst of air flew out into Adams face. The smells entered his nose and he turned away, blocking his face with his hand. Those smells weren’t smells to Adam, they were memories. Memories of his old home and the smell of his mother… The couch his father sat on. No, no Adam didn’t want to see those memories. He didn’t want any. They were dangerous . They could break him. But Adam slowly turned back towards the room. There was blackness, black… but he could see things sprawled on the floor. Adam took the flashlight off of his key chain and slowly turned it on. His stomach became tighter, he clenched his teeth, he took a breath, a gulp. He squinted as he took a step toward the room.
The fat man stood aside, wondering what was wrong with Adam… wondering what memories laid in that room.
Adam stepped in. He then took a gulp of air as he stared down at the pictures that sprawled on the ground that glistened from the light of the flashlight. Adam walked through the framed photos, some of which were cracked or stained, until he spotted the one he had been looking for. His stomach became tight and he knelt down and picked it up. He didn’t look at it until he found a place to sit down. A place in the corner where a few photos laid, Adam sat.
He sat and pulled his legs close to his chest and held the picture very gently and almost cradled it in his arms. He then finally looked at the photo he loved. The photo he had to see. It was time. He had to see. He shined his flashlight on it and his eyes suddenly became big. His eyes almost, almost became full of water.
Soon all there was in that whole damn storage lot was the fat man, now taking out a cigarette, leaning, listening to the echoing whimpers coming from Adam. The whimpers bounced through the columns of the lot…slow, sad, lonely whimpers.
Adam closed his eyes and held the photo close to his chest. Real close and let the memories storm in because now it was time. It was time to let all of those memories come back…those feelings, those thoughts… the vast landscapes of imagination and love. It was time right there in then, sitting in the corner of that room with all of those photographs. It was time, because Adam knew, deep down, it would be the last.
Malach Campbell, Age 13, Grade 8, MS 51 William Alexander, Gold Key