She stood at the top of the hill. She stood at the top of the hill in the dusk of late summer and looked out across the trees. The highest point for miles, small ruined stonework at the top. She stood on top of a stone, jutting out of the ground, in a long, flowing skirt, her hair dancing in the wind she looked across the cooling ground. The kind of sunset that makes reserved people embarrassed. Showy. And rich. Like spicy orange chocolate. She knew he was behind her, steadying his camera. And she could feel the wind, whipping at her hair. They had known each other a few days, a matter of hours, but they knew right now all they ever wanted to know. They felt giddy, laughed a lot. An orange coloured mini had sped down country roads with strawberry cheesecake ice cream and a blanket in the back. She had leant into the corners as his stereo played loud, deep, soft, electronic music, music that felt like fireworks and the wind through trees. And she had grinned, and they had laughed as they shivered on the blanket, sharing a spoon. And with the taste of sugar, and metal, and cold, numb mouths, he pulled her close. He kissed her. They had watched the stars come out.
This is the memory I have. My daughter thinks it is because I have the picture. I always kept the picture. Took it with me always. I don’t remember much. They always tell me I don’t remember much, well they tell me they always tell me, and why would they lie? Anyway, it’s my daughter, I trust her. I remember my daughter. Her beautiful face. That’s not gone yet. She’s a woman. I don’t know what that makes me. Old, I suppose, finally. I don’t mind. I’m not sad. How do miss what you don’t remember you’ve had? It’s hazy, but I can still chatter away. I’m chattering away aren’t I? But I remember her. I remember that girl, who thought she was a grown up, 19 years old and standing on top of that hill. I have the photo he took. I don’t remember what happened to him. But I get the feeling, I get the feeling that’s one of the things I’m glad I forgot. My granddaughter wrote something down on this piece of paper, when her mother wasn’t looking. I have a granddaughter for goodness sake! ‘He broke your heart grandma’ it says. I must have told her the story. I think I am glad it’s gone, that bit, I’m glad he went. I think that would hurt. But the other memory – I’ve got the photo. I don’t want to give that up. I’m not going to give that up. I can still taste it.