A Memory; A Story

Memories are a recollection of the past, and the past is what makes up our memories. Although not all memories are special enough to be recorded in the album of life, each one of them is unique to our story.  A story worth telling. A story worth trying. A story worth thinking about…like the day we climbed the pecan tree in my backyard. It was a massive, beautiful tree with long, lanky arms reaching out to hug the sky. A sight to remember.

That morning, my cousins had talked me into joining their tropical adventure, very unlike me at that young age. They were often found free, swinging back and forth like changos from branch to branch, but I had never dared to join. I was too scared and definitely not allowed to do such risky things; I was a girl. However, that day was different. I woke up defiant, very much like me nowadays. I must have been six or seven years old when my cousin Luis and I pulled that rusty, metal table from against the crumbling, brick wall and pushed it right next to Mr. Nogal’s torso. “Maybe if I reach the top, I can hug the sky too,” I thought.

There is no turning back from that day. My first taste of freedom. I hopped on top of the metal table, and then, Luis pushed me up unto the big branch that reached out to scratch the roof of my house with its leafy fingers. I stood tall and motionless with my eyes fixed straight ahead. With no doubt, I was terrified of performing my first circus stunt, but I was no quitter. Plus, Miguel, the youngest and most fearless of us all, led the way balancing one foot after the other across the tightrope. I followed carefully as the crowds chanted, “don’t look down, don’t look down, don’t look down!”

I made it across. The first girl to conquer such a dangerous trick. It all felt like a lucid dream until I found myself stranded on top of the house; back to reality. I looked around searching for my fellow performers, but Luis and Miguel had become monkeys again and were jumping to safe ground; they were boys.  I was no longer a grand master of funambulism, so I started yelling for help. My tio had to get a ladder to bring me down right as my mom was getting home from work. I can still see her petrified face as she watched me descend from a short-lasting circus career.

Although this career rapidly ended, the story continues because every passing second creates a memory and every memory can be a great story. A story worth telling. A story worth trying. A story worth thinking about.

Thanks for reading,

Gabby Salazar

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