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The First Step To Wilting
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The First Step To Wilting
A narrative of how first memories can affect someone. An explanation of what memories really are to us.
[1,036 words]
Wilted Rose
I am 20 years old, and I've been through a lot in life. The stories and songs I write reflect who I have become through all my experiences.
[January 2014]
The First Step To Wilting
Wilted Rose

The First Step to Wilting
When we think of a rose, we think of beauty, grace, love, and perfection. So you would assume that since my name is Rose, I would embody at least one of these aspects. But that as I have experienced, doesn't seem true.

I believe that someone's memories make up who they are. After all, without our memoires, we would not know how to eat, talk, walk, or basically anything that is required for us to live. But it's more than that. Our personality is just an adaption from what we've learned through our memories. Every new memory we make we adapt to better survive in life. So thinking that way, our first memories must have great importance. What you remember from your childhood over everything else must have had a huge impact on who you have become today.

Have you ever thought about your first memory? Some people say they remember a specific event from when they were young, and it seems so insignificant when they explain it, but perhaps it is significant to them. Perhaps they had a normal childhood and watching the fireworks for the first time with Dad when you’re three is something big that happened.

But where did all the other memories go? It couldn't have always been so perfect an evening with your father. Mom and dad had to fight right? So why doesn't your brain remember the first time you saw them fight? Perhaps because it's not important to you now, and maybe your brain had an idea of who you'd become, and didn't think that particular memory would help you become that person. Well, it seems I was meant to be a rose, since that's even my name, but that doesn't much explain why my brain has held onto the memories it grasps so tightly. How does it bring me to be a rose? I have no qualities of such a beautiful flower.

So I took a look at my first memories. What is my first memory? Well, two memories come to mind when I'm on this subject. I'm not sure which comes first in time, but I remember them both so vividly. The first is not being allowed to go fishing with my brothers and my dad when I was young.

I was a girl and fishing was not for girls. They fished at the pond down our driveway and across the road. I remember being upset, crying and mom walking my sister and me to the bottom of the driveway just to say goodnight to dad. I remember walking barefoot through the gravel, I even recall the Disney Pocahontas nightgown I was wearing, and the Barbie nightgown my sister was modeling. But you know what I can't remember? Actually saying goodnight to my father... It just goes blank when we reach the end of the gravel, like there's no reward to the pain of walking on hard tiny rocks without shoes. Like my goal is just out of my reach, just across the road.

My second memory is even more depressing. It was a game of truth or dare. I don't remember my age, the time of day, or even the time of year. I just remember the fact that I was young enough to still be babysat by grandma. I remember the loft of the barn, the boy that was with me, and the dare I had said before anything bad had happened. I recall the innocence I had, so much it could almost be mistaken for stupidity. But I know now it was stupidity, it was just a girl, too young to know what she was doing was bad. After he finished licking a cow's tongue as I had dared him to do, he climbed back up into the loft, and it was my turn for the dare. Being only a year younger then him, how could I ever imagine that he would have knowledge of such things? When he dared me to take off my pants and let him rub against me, I didn't know it was bad. I just thought it was a stupid dare like anything else. A boy only one year old, a boy who I called family, a boy who was my cousin. How could he hurt me like that? I remember every awkward movement of the encounter, and the most vivid, when he finally stepped away.

The game was over after that. I don't recollect what had called us away from the barn after that. I only look back and think of how long that dare lasted in my mind, even though it was probably less than a few minutes.

So the brain lets us remember only what is important to the person we've become. So why is it that my first two memories are so...dreary? My parents are divorced and I now hate my father, so perhaps this explains why in this first memory he was always just out of reach. I had walked as far as I could, even across gravel, to reach him, but he would never walk to me. I could do no more to achieve my goal. He had to make the effort to be a part of my life, but he never did. As for the second memory. Why must I remember the pain and embarrassment that came from harassment from a boy I trusted? Why can't I also remember all the happy memories like playing with my siblings, or the first time I sang for my church? Why must this one be so vivid?

Because it has made me who I am today. I no longer trust the people I'm supposed to, I am not longer that flower of love and perfection because I am ruined. I remember this moment of sexual harassment because it is my connection to the rose. Perhaps I was not meant to be the flower of love and beauty, but instead I am the flower after the beauty has faded. My first memories have shown that I am not what is expected of a new rose, but I am that fate which you must accept in all things. I am the Wilted Rose. The flower in ruin.



"I found this story quite well written. Very opened up and honest. Lots more then I was for many years past 18. I found a story I am writting is similar to this and I believe the topic has much to be explored. I for one do not care to explore this old memory issue stuff but if one does not they will suffer much with the same memories. Trying to make sense of it all. I say she did one good job for today and I have a feeling she may have more and more to add as those memories thought forgotten start to make themselves known to her in her future. I find I am proud of her. " -- Gina Sayer-Macak, Casa Grande, Arizona, USA.


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© 2014 Wilted Rose
January 2014

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