“A place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.”
I step towards the teleportation device with a big load of curious nervousness, because I do not decide what place I get transported to. Or maybe I do, but it isn’t a subconscious decision, the teleportation device was created to read and enter the deepest recesses of one’s mind and transport them that place they wish to be above all. I pause before the door, and think about all the possible places I could end up; my friend’s room in the housing estate where I spent most nights during my second and third years of school, or my room in my grandmother’s house where I went whenever I wanted solitude and wanted to feel disconnected from the world, or maybe my favorite hideout in boarding school, or another friend’s place in the Housing Quarters for Doctors during my final year of school, or maybe I will be transported to the top of my house where I normally spent most evenings when I wasn’t working and wanted to be alone and read a good book or listen to music.
The point is all these places hold personal memories for me so I couldn’t be sure of where I would end up.
*cue opera music, drum roll and white noise and normal teleportation business (if you know what I mean)*
THE ROOM (OR PLACE WHICHEVER YOU CHOOSE TO CALL IT)
I open my eyes after a brief moment of feeling imbalanced. And I have to say that I am surprised to see where I am. It’s a small square room measuring not more than 12×15’ with a door and window on one side and small windows on the other side. The walls are painted blue and white, and designed in a brick pattern with the blue forming the bricks and the white for the outer edges. There is a blue carpet on the floor and a mattress lying to one side of the room. Near the window on one side is a 14” TV and a mini-fridge. The room is bare with a table an chair making up the rest of the furnishing. I am standing in my friend’s sublet at the back of one of the houses in the Doctor’s Quarters. This is where I and my closest friends used to hang and drink and smoke (before I quit) and insult ourselves and just chill.
But that is not the memory that holds me whenever I think of the room. The memory is her, the girl I dated at one time and still love, Kayla. Whenever I think of the room, I see a small cute baby face with the most beautifully pointed nose and a smile that could either melt our heart or annoy you in the most endearing way possible. I hear a soft laugh that makes you think there is nothing wrong with the world. I think of her and I immediately get the same feeling I got as I did in her presence, carefree, like there was nothing to be worried about in the world. The world could have ended when I was with her and I wouldn’t even blink because I was with someone who made it all worthy. I remember sitting on the single bed and she sitting inside of my legs with her resting against me. I contemplate why she would refuse a pillow and choose to rest on me while we watched a movie, P.S I Love You. It was the most romantic thing I ever did with her and the one thing that my mind won’t ever let me forget.
But this time, I am alone in the room and the rooms feel smaller like they had a life of their own and were closing up around me. I walk towards the window and look outside at the mango tree in front of the sublet. The tree was a source of fruit that I and my friends climbed and plucked its fruits and ate. But this time, leaves are brown even though it’s been raining lately. Everything everywhere is dying, even the iron burglary has started rusting. It feels like the world around me is dying and the sun that normally lights it up has gone out. I no longer have her, and I don’t know if I ever will or want to.
I hear a beeping sound and look at my watch and realize that my time is up and I am to be transported back to the teleportation device. After the normal feeling of drowsiness and imbalance, the beeping sound still continues and I am annoyed because I do not want to open my eyes. I will myself to be transported to that place where m memory of her is the strongest; even though I know she won’t be there I didn’t want to open my eyes. The beeping increases, drowning all other sounds until I decide to shut off the alarm and reset the device to take me back and let me have one more hour.
But as I open my eyes, I realize I am lying on my bed and the first rays of dawn are streaming in through the window of my room. I can still hear the beeping sound and look for I only to see my bedside alarm read the numbers 06:30 AM and I realize that it was all a dream