Authors note: this is a short story that I'm writing for my english class so any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated! If you like it and want to know what happens next then please tell me and I'll carry it on. :)


Memories

His hand slid up and down the worn wooden panelling searching for the switch. He felt the plastic under his fingers, flicked it and found himself illuminated in light. Piles of boxes were spread out before him. He sighed. Why had he had the sudden urge to clean out the attic? This is what happens when you get a day off work and get bored. He started moving the boxes downstairs into his living room. Over the two and a half years he had lived in the small house a thin line of dust had gathered on top. Once all the boxes were down he began the arduous task of sorting through them. He scratched his head, took a sip of his coffee then got to work.

A couple of hours later he was down to the last box. He pulled it towards him and turned it round looking for some sort of label or anything that would give him a hint at what wonders waited inside. "High School mementos" was written on the side in his handwriting. He took the lid off the box and peered inside.

Upon looking in the box he was greeted by a wave of memories of his school years. His football jersey was right on top neatly folded and proudly displaying his school colours. He picked it up out the box and smiled remembering the years he spent on that playing field. All the wins, all the losses, the time he'd been tackled by the other team and badly sprained his ankle. He placed the shirt on the floor and went back to the box. The next thing he pulled out was his yearbook. He quickly flipped through, reading inscriptions, chuckling at old pictures and wondering if anyone had gone and done what they wanted to in life. While he was closing it he noticed something inscribed on the inside cover. As he read it he got a lump in his throat.

"There is only one happiness in life - to love and to be loved.
Love from you know who."

And he did know who wrote that. But he had tried to forget about her and the pain of losing her. So he did what he always did, he pushed the bad memories away and focused his mind on something else. In this case it was the remaining contents of the box. Over the years people had called him closed off, distance, even slightly emotionless but people who really knew him just knew that that was his way of dealing with pain.

Later the box was nearly empty and he was almost ready to call it a day and watch some TV. He reached into the box and pulled out the only remaining item; a photo album. He threw the now empty box in the pile with the others and sat down to inspect the album. It was small, light blue and had the word memories written on the front. When he opened it up and saw what it was an album of he had to force back the tears that were threatening to fall. He had forgotten that he had even put it in a box. Then he remembered that that was all part of his pushing painful memories away somewhere that they can't be seen.

Before he could stop himself he was slowly looking through all the photos, his eyes soaking up every last detail. All the photos were of him and her, together, happy, in love. Some were playful, others romantic but each of them were reminders of what they had had together. Soon he was at the last photo. It was the last photo they had taken together. He paid no attention to his own slightly younger face smiling back at him. The younger him could not divert his attention no matter how good he looked in his suit. He was instead captivated by the beauty that he had his arms wrapped around. Her hazel-green eyes sparkled in the light and her beautiful smile made her face look even more youthful. Her long blonde locks framed her face perfectly and the pale pink of her dress showed off her sun kissed skin.

He could remember that night as if it were yesterday. The lights, the music, the dancing, it was all a distraction from what they knew was coming right around the corner. He held her in his arms that night and just danced with her, not caring what the future held and instead just focusing on that moment. That night, their prom, would forever be a happy yet painful memory for him. At the time they were young and naïve and believed their love could make it. Now he knew that that only ever happened in fairy tales. In real life something almost always gets in the way. In their case it had been simply been their futures.

The tears that had been threatening to fall from the moment that he had opened the album finally escaped. He quickly and quite roughly rubbed them away. He was not the kind of man that let his emotions get the better of him like that. He fell back on his couch still staring at the now closed album in his hand. What was he supposed to do with it? He couldn't just leave it out on display; it hurt too much to look at it. But now that he had it in his hands once more he couldn't bear to pack it away somewhere it may never see the light of day again.

He leaned forward and placed it carefully on the coffee table in front of him. His fingers ran through his hair and let out a large sigh. He needed to get out the house so he got up, grabbed his coat and went for a walk.

After about ten minutes of walking he decided to buy a newspaper and stop in at his favourite coffee shop. A steaming mug of coffee and a doughnut could always make him feel a bit better. He sat down at his usual spot in the busy café and opened up the paper, a large mug of coffee in his hand. The smell of caffeine and the sound of the busy customers made him feel almost content.

Once his plate and mug were empty he decided that he had spent enough time out the house. He had reached the door and saw a woman about to enter so he held it open for her. She quickly flashed him a smile and thanked him. His breath caught in his throat. He had just spent the day thinking about her and now here she was right in front of him. It was like fate had given them a second chance. What was that old saying? If you love somebody, let them go. If they return, they were always yours. If they don't, they never were. Maybe this was the worlds way of saying that she was still his.

He turned to her and said. "Buffy?"

She faced him and her expression turned from curious to surprised. She replied to him breathlessly. "Angel."