Open Window

Repeating Memories

By Moon Seri

A faint dawn oozed through the cracks in the curtains. Dust, which floated in the early morning air, wandered in a gray blanket. She woke up to the sound of the last alarm. She checked the clock with a weak eye and turned it off. Out of the soft blanket came long arms and legs. Ugh, she groaned, with the sound of sickness. She woke up and sat up straight. “Let’s wash up,” she said as she stood up with gloomy eyes.

Entering the bathroom, she picked up two toothbrushes which she placed near the sink. Then she stammered, “Why two-?” She thought for a moment. The toothbrush to the  left was a yellow color, while the one on the right was the color of cherry blossoms. She stared at the two toothbrushes with worry. Then she squeezed the toothpaste onto the toothbrush in her right hand and put it into her mouth. Quickly, she bent to pick up the washcloth as the toothpaste bubbled. After brushing her teeth for a long time, she took off her pajamas. Stepping out of the bathroom to throw the clothes away, she then went into the shower and set a suitable temperature to melt her  body. She started to hum a song as she gently wiped the misty mirror with the palm of her hand. She wiped it more so that she could see her familiar face in the mirror that was stained with water. “Hi, I hope you are doing well today. Let’s not forget this day,” she said to herself in the mirror, and this cheered her up. She bit her lip “Yes,” and nodded her head.

She removed the neatly folded clothes from the top corner of the closet and placed them on the bed. She rummaged through the coats on the hangers in the wardrobe. She passed through each of the well-packed outfits, a well-made black coat, and two pajamas of the same brand, but had no memory of the purchase or of wearing them. “There they are,” she thought, “for winter’s use.” She brought out a warm pink jumper jacket, the same pink color as her hair. “Let’s wear the pink one, I think pink looks good on you.” Suddenly a voice went through her head. “Yes, I think this color suits me best,” the voice muttered, as if answering. The jacket looked as if it were left at the dry cleaner’s, with the plastic still wrapped around it. Carefully, she pulled off the plastic. Gently, she put the plastic on the bed and put the jacket next to the clothes that she took out. “Also, um, ah” she muttered. This time, she flicked open the drawer in the bottom of the closet. She rummaged through socks and stockings with colored slits on the side. “Not this one, not this one, and also not this one…” She looked at each of the different colored beanies and checked if the clothes fit. “Let’s do this –“ She found what she wanted and went back to bed with exciting steps. She placed  the beanie on top of the row of clothes. Then she nodded her head with a satisfied face.

She checked herself again in the mirror of the shoe closet. Head, good, top, good, bottom, ok, beige bag to the right…all perfect. Making a funny pose in the mirror, she opened the shoe closet and chose the shoes that would accent her outfit. She passed  through black pointy shoes, tight sneakers she can’t even remember when she bought, she then picked up the red-colored Converse High Tops next to them. She crouched by the front entrance and put on her shoes. While trying to put the right shoe on, it turned out that they were too big, and she almost fell over when putting on the shoes. “Hm…?” she said as her eyes got bigger. The shoes were two sizes too big. “Why is this in my shoe closet?” Her head twisted to the side. She twisted her head a couple more times and took off the other one. She opened the shoebox again and left it where it was. Then… “What?” A couple more spaces down was the same pair of red Converse High Tops with the heels crumpled. “Eh?” A strange look overcame her face. It was the size she was looking for. “Couple shoes…,” she paused. “Why are there couple shoes?” She scratched her head. She sat down again and put her foot in the shoe. It was just her size. “That’s weird,” she mumbled, and tied the shoelaces again.

When she left the porch, the cold wind passed by touching her cheek. She drew in a  breath of the dry air. “It’s getting colder,” she thought. “Winter is coming, I like winter… ” She smiled. Vividly, the face of someone that she used to smile at suddenly passed through her head. “I like winter, winter means it’s going to snow soon.” The voice flashed in her ear again and then the sound vanished in the air. Then, she shook her head left and right. “When did I start liking winter?” she thought. “Since when, hm…” she thought while making her first step.

She then took a walk in a quiet park in the morning, and as she looked around she guessed everyone was busy living their lives in their workplaces. She giggled and laughed at her leisurely appearance. She took out the little memo pad that she left in her bag. Then, she took out a small pen and scribbled something down. “Let’s record your feelings well,” she mumbled. With her clumsy hands, the scenery of the park filled up the white paper quickly. She made a simple note about her feelings, stuck in the cold winter wind.

After walking for a long time, she entered a cafe that attracted her attention. She didn’t know why, but the cafe continued to bother her no matter how many laps she had taken. Looking around the cafe she approached the counter while melting her red, cold hands by blowing air on them.

“May I take your order?”

“Yes,” she answered the barista with a nod. She smiled loosely with her friendly eyes as a response to his gentle stare. The tail of her eyes were soft but slightly sloppy. She looked up at the menu board over the counter with a frown on her forehead, reading carefully from the top. “Espresso, Americano, green tea latte, um…Let’s see…I want something sweet, so..”,

As she was thinking what to order the barista asked, “Do you want my recommendation?” A bright colored head appeared before her eyes.

“Oh!”, she stepped back with surprise.

“How about something sweet because it’s cold?” he said, as if he has read her mind.

“How did you know that I wanted something sweet?”

“I just know when I see someone’s face,” he said, laughing. “If I’m right, I think you’ll hate caramel, so I’ll add this instead…,” and then he typed something and put it in the drink register.

“What does that even mean, if you’re right? Well, yes, I hate caramel, you’re right, but-” she rolled her eyes. She stared at his moving finger for a while. He was talking about the menu, and he had a very familiar voice. All of a sudden, she spoke to him. “Have we…Have we met before?” His eyes looked at her, surprised. “I don’t remember correctly, but this feels so familiar.” She looked at the barista with sparkling eyes. After a moment’s silence, he laughed.

“Are you hitting on me?”

Her eyes opened wide. “Oh! No no! No, it’s not…something like that.” Her voice crawled in with her hands covering her ears that turned red. “I can’t remember well, so…“ she mumbled.

“Maybe not, maybe… maybe—” somehow he smiled with a sad face. The voice repeating the word “maybe” sounded like it was somehow splitting in half.

“Would you like me to write down your name?”

“Oh, yes. Yes.”

“Your name is?”

“Evelyn-“

“Eve, lyn-“

She looked blankly at the barista repeating her name with his nice voice. His well-rounded nose, a gentle droopy pair of eyes, and finely raised lips looked so familiar to her. “I think my memories can still be used for a day, though…” she thought. Then suddenly, a faint voice calling Evelyn’s name was recovered from her memory. “What was that just now? What was it?” she thought, as a slight frown began in her forehead.

“Come again later,” he said, and he handed her a coupon. As he handed the coupon, she found a ring on her long finger, and also found a ring on the fourth finger of his left hand. She closed her mouth, and looked at his eyes, which stared at her with a curious look.

“What’s the matter?” he asked.

“No! Nothing!” she shouted without knowing it. She left the counter in a hurry because of the sense of regret she felt the moment she saw his ring, and she did not want to get caught thinking of it.

“Here’s the drink you ordered.” She jumped to her feet to the voice calling her. Nervously, she walked as if she was in a rush. She realized that her face was getting warm.

“Oh, I feel embarrassed. I can’t see myself, but I think my face must be red now,” she thought as she picked up the drink he made. She gulped unknowingly at the touch of his hand.

“Enjoy your sweet drink. Thank you.”

She tried to nod but suddenly he clapped his hands.

“Oh! Hm?” She answered without knowing.

“You don’t have it again.” He mumbled with a small voice that even she could barely hear. Then he clicked his tongue. Before she could say anything, he went inside the counter and brought out a white scarf, as white as a snow flower, and put it around her neck. He laughed as she opened her eyes wide with an expression that showed that she didn’t know what’s going on. “Sorry, your neck looked cold.”

“Uh, no, no! you don’t need to do this. I’m just fine,” she said, panicking.

“It’s my gift. You can give it back to me when you come back!”

“It’s really too much… I—”

“Bye! Hope you had a memorable day.”

When she finally came to her senses, she was outside the café. Then she looked inside the cafe, looked at her neck again, and repeated the action. Worried that the warm drink might cool down too much, she started to walk back the way she came from.

She took one step and forgot her feelings. She took the next step and forgot the clear and warm smiles. And on the last step, she forgot the voice that called her name. By the time she arrived home, she had forgotten almost half of the things she had done today. Before she opened the door looking at her cup that had lost its warmth, she stared at the ring that was taking its place on her fourth finger. It was a familiar design that caught her attention. “Why is this on my finger?” she thought as she tilted her head to the side. She then came back to her senses and opened the door.

As soon as she opened the door, she removed the muffler from her neck, hung it on a hook, and hung her bag next to it. The jumper, which was supposed to protect her from the wind, was placed next to it. Then, she placed the empty take-out cup next to the sink. Taking her clothes off she went to the bathroom to wash up. The hot water came out of the faucet and filled the bathtub. Hot water exploded out of the faucet and filled the bathtub. While waiting next to the bathtub, she rubbed the misty mirror and looked at her face. She would not forget. “You did a great job today. Very memorable. Yes, it was memorable.” She then picked up a toothbrush to brush her teeth. “Oh, why two—?” she thought  for a moment. The left one was yellow, and the right one was cherry blossom. While agonizing, she lifted the left toothbrush and squeezed out the toothpaste.

“You have to write down important emotions on here,” a long-cherished voice whispered in her ear. She hummed along while she wrote down her memories on the memo pad that was kept by her side all day. “Keep a record of your daily life in order not to forget what you’ve done. I’m sure I’ll see everything as new tomorrow, but I’ll write it down. Leave a trail in order to not forget myself. Over and over again….”


Kevin saw Evelyn stroll out the door until he couldn’t see her pink colored hair anymore. After he stopped waving his hands goodbye, he watched her back for a long time. The muffler he gave her was gently moving as the wind blew, like it was waving its hand. Kevin felt so proud of his cozy muffler. It was a gift he gave to her every time she came, but she never returned it. He didn’t care about her returning the muffler. “If you could just remember me again, I won’t ask for anything else,” he thought. He smiled bitterly and returned to the counter. The frame on the counter kept catching his eye. It was a picture of them together that was taken in the past. She looked so pretty when she smiled. He shut his eyes hard. Evelyn turned her head towards the door of the coffee shop without realizing that a voice that seemed to answer her name in a small voice was still ringing in her ear. “It would be great if I could forget you, just as you forgot me,” Kevin says, as his fourth finger starts to chill. “Tomorrow will be the first time you see me again, and I continue to worry about what I can do for you. Today as well, today as well.”

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