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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 15, 2013 02:15AM) (new)

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and post your book picture as well as a short excerpt

message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura Susan Johnson (laurasusanjohnson) | 6 comments The memory is there. It’s buried far, far below millions of grey and white molecules, beneath bundles upon bundles of nerve fibres and synapses. It’s there. But I don’t remember it right now.

I’m in a grocery shop with my Mother, somewhere in Sacramento. I’m going to be five in a few months, so I’m too old to ride in the baby seat. I’m a big boy now, and a good boy, for I never run off on my own when I’m shopping with my Mom. I walk beside her quietly, like the good boy I am. We get in the checkout line behind a dark haired lady dressed in a powder blue business suit and shiny patent high heels. Her black hair is piled neatly on her head. She never looks to see any of the people around her. She has a baby in her trolley. He’s sitting in the baby seat like he’s supposed to be, his curly blonde hair like a halo, his soft baby legs dangling, one chubby little hand holding the railing in front of him, the other clutching a piece of Red Vine liquorice. He’s looking at me, his face and hands coated in sweet, sticky liquorice residue. The woman with him finally turns to face us briefly, a red vine hanging out of her mouth as well. Her sour face doesn’t match her nice clothes and pretty hair.
The little boy reaches out for me as if to say, “Come here!” And I go to him, which is something I never do. I don’t talk to strangers, no matter how old, or young, they may be. But I go to the little boy in the trolley. I don’t even like Red Vine liquorice, but I go to him. “You have big eyes!” I tell him, and he smiles and laughs at me. “How old is he?” I ask his Mother.
“Two,” the woman grunts, grabbing several more packs of Red Vines, along with a bunch of beef jerky packs. “These too,” she tells the cashier. She seems unfriendly. She won’t look at me. I glance backward to my own Mom, who smiles gently.
I turn back to the blue-eyed baby boy and he reaches for me again, the little pink bow of his mouth curling up in a smile. I shake his gooey hand, “I’m Tammy. How do you do?”
The baby giggles. “What’s his name, please?” I ask the woman whose eyes match his. She ignores me. My heart stings, and I look at my Mom again. She just smiles and shakes her head. I turn back when the baby babbles musically, his relatively new and unabused vocal cords manufacturing the loveliest sounds I’ve ever heard as he jabbers and coos like a magpie. “He’s so sweet!” my Mother exclaims. The baby’s Mom continues to disregard everything we say and everything her baby does.
I wish I knew what he was trying to talk to me about! I stand on tiptoe and take his sticky pink hand in my own. “You don’t say!” I gasp. “Is that right?” The more I respond to him, the more the baby loves it, filling my ears with enchanting gurgles and coos of delight.
His mother finishes paying for her groceries and says flatly, “Come on, Jamie. Let’s get out of here.”
“Jamie? Is that his name?” I ask desperately. The dark-haired woman blinks her blue eyes rapidly at me and in her grown-up-irritated-at-annoying-child voice, says, “Yeah, Jamie…what do you care? You won’t ever see him again!” Tears crowd in my eyes as I turn back to my mother. She looks like she’s likely to say something to this rude, haughty, dark haired lady who now turns to look for the bag boy. As her attention is taken from us, I stand on tiptoe again and kiss the baby’s liquorice-coated cheek. He smiles, leans down over the safety bar in front of him, and kisses my mouth.
Love’s first kisses.
Then she takes him away from me.
In the car on the way home, I cry, tears mixing with the sticky stuff on my face. “I wish I could be his friend forever,” I sniffle.
“I know, honey,” Mom says.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget those blue eyes.
But I do…
By the next day, I stop thinking about the baby in the trolley.
I forget about him for a long, long time.
But it won’t be forever…

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