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The Concept of Time


Cori Gardner

It took all my pride, dignity, and might – or at least the shreds of what was spared of them – to not look in my rear-view mirror. I was so afraid that if I did, I would catch a fleeting glance of his black Jeep parked in the dirt driveway becoming more inferior with every second I would keep my watering eyes on it. So I just held my focus on the dark grey pavement and the distracting hum of the engine whispering something irrelevant I wasn’t able to understand anyway. And possibly if I did continue to look straight ahead, keeping my eyes on the infinite water that grew farther and farther away, I could start the first step of Jaime as a person, instead of ScottandJaime.

Scott and I were together my entire freshman and sophomore years; his tenth and eleventh. “I need time as a single person” were his exact words, still bouncing around inside my head trying to register in my mind, said only about fifteen minutes ago.

I had awoken earlier that Friday morning of the summer conjoining my sophomore to junior year to find my dad standing next to the kitchen window, looking out, obviously contemplating something that looked like it needed many thoughts and lots of attention. I called Scott to tell him we needed to talk. He just answered with a simple “I know.”

I drove over to his house in my dad’s old
1968 Chevrolet that had claimed its own grass parking space to the right of our driveway. It took me two weeks of hard labor pulling weeds and planting in the hot, Georgia sun for him to even consider handing me the keys to his favorite car of all time. It hadn’t been driven since probably 1971 and I figured nobody’s using it and he already has his “work car,” as he called his Ford truck. It was only common sense to hand it down to his only sixteen year old daughter. But in the end, I ended up giving him $500 for it and the threat of having it swept from my possession if my GPA fell below a 3.0.

The clock mounted on my dashboard read a solid 12:34. Only three painful hours ago I was told that my parents were filing for divorce. Along with Scott’s grueling words, my parent’s hadn’t yet struck a thought in my confused mind. My mother would take me to Connecticut to live with her sister until we found a home to reside in. My father would stay in Savannah. That morning was being drawn out like a very surreal dream with all the many twists and concerns that a thought of the night would own. My family was the all-American household. I was brought up in a Christian world by loving parents. My mom was a typical soccer mom, sighted at all of my youth events. Dad kept me focused and made me stay strong, but I knew inside it hurt him to know he was losing his only little girl; I could see it in his aged brown eyes.

My mom said that by next week, we would be… gone. I was born and raised in  Savannah, Georgia. I was accustomed to its folk and southern charm. Not even to mention my life-long friends and, of course, Scott. Everything seemed to crash down on my shoulders like the waves would beat against the jaded Atlantic coast where my hometown was based. In seven days I would be in an unfamiliar state, environment, city. I would have to make new friends and weave a narrow path into the Connecticut ways, whatever they were; I was soon to find out.

What do they know anyways? I thought. Time is only a concept; a word the world uses so society can strive to be more organized. Another ironic thought that flashed through my empty mind: he told me bleakly he needed time. Well, all we had was a short time; he was just craving his alone.

Scott never did call after that Thursday in late July, not that I was expecting him to. I was just so programmed to hear his voice every day that I didn’t feel complete without it. The first of August dawned upon us and I took it as my duty to think of the transformation as a new beginning. I was starting a new life.  Without Scott.

So, now, as I’m writing this on the ninth of August I’m readjusting myself to the unfamiliar paint colors and the cool breezes that would gently graze my face, even in late summer. One of my friends wrote me a letter saying Scott had just heard of my new residence. She stated
that he said  he was already missing me and was craving the lingering smell of my unmistakable scent. I was moving on; he was just far too late.

Time has the power to break bonds apart and spread them so far that the damage is irreparable. It has the power to put people’s bodies in the right places at just the right moment. It has the power to change individual’s feelings… In this case, time remained a concept. A silent memory of what I left at 5293 Rosebury Drive and a distant, hazy whisper of the half of Jaime I left on those grounds.

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