There is a tickle between my toes with every searing step I take along the exfoliant sand as I'm drawn toward the shore. Could that be her slim silhouette in the distance? The sand turns compact and cool. I leave an imprint that pools with brisk ocean. Icy waves shock my ankles as they billow with the tide. Rising and crashing higher when I step further. The sound of an alluring echo pulls me deeper. Is it her startled squeal I recognize? Shoulders now submerged in a frigid torrent that grows wilder as I search. And I step back because she's not here. But maybe going backwards is the answer... I step out to face the rocks. Shivering briny beads as they cascade down my body. They promptly dry as the clouds part to reveal a laser beam of radiance. At once I felt the marriage of the sweltering sunlight and crisp sea mist. I felt all the familiar sensations, but not her. She told me this experience would revive my soul. Surely I should feel something more. This was her summertime Eden. I'm with her sister, her girl friends her best friend... Nothing. She took this place for granted and failed to realize it wouldn't always be within reach. While there are many coasts to explore, I thought that only one would contain the relics of my past self. She's not in any of the new places. But I think maybe she's lost to this current. Drowning. I'm left only with the impression of her footsteps along the shore; The final clue I feared to discover. I snap a picture. I look at it for five long minutes and feel nothing. I have her memory, I see her, but it doesn't coincide. Are these places worth re-visiting? I know I won't find her but I'll still look inside her local café at the table in the corner, in the idyllic and once evocative apple orchard, in the walls within the maze of her town's bookstore, on the floors of the shopping malls she came to know better than her own city's streets, at her beloved sushi restaurant where she dined with everyone she cared for, in the bustling game room of her favorite bar, in cat alley, in downtown Boston, her personal playground, in Time Square, where she was born again with each visit, in the many New England college towns she claimed as second homes, at the unexpectedly labyrinthine walking trail by her neighborhood, at her parent's house, on Salmon Street, where she lost her mind. in her first apartment in Nashua, where she lost what remained of her. When I go to these places to make new memories, I always fail because I become languidly distracted by the fact that these familiarities don't feel familiar at all. As a wave of mundane melancholy rushes over my deadened skin, I have to decide whether I want to force myself to mourn for her or walk away in an anticlimactic brood. So I'll reinvent myself another ten times to get high off of her ego. And I'll go to all the new places to arouse her hedonistic spirit. I will only ever find the faintest trace of her as I read her words and cry for her because she didn't know what I know. "A beautiful little fool." No more. I have only one goal; to be better than her. How to erase the memory of a person; Delete the photos. Never romanticize the pain. Keep a sharp forward focus and stop searching. Thank you for reading! What did you think? Leave a comment below. To support my work, consider buying me a cup of coffee!