A girl’s reflection in the mirror is haunting. Her eyes are a sad blue-grey color. Her hair, a dark curly blond color. Her lips are a soft pale pink that is turned down at the corners from sadness from so many years. Light lavender shadows rest under her eyes like they belong there, or as if it is their home from many sleepless nights.
She raises her hand slowly, and with a delicate touch of her index and middle fingers, she runs them under her eyes. In her eyes, there’s something strange; something missing, as if she had lost something extremely important to her. Could it be a loved one? Or something of particular value? Or could it be something within herself that she has lost?
Through the mirror, she can see graffiti from years past, and rusted no longer usable toilets. It is a truly disgusting and eerie place, and what has caused her to stop in the first place is the familiar sight of the place long ago when it wasn’t so disturbing. The restroom was once a place where the walls were a pearly white, and the stalls were a shiny silver metal. But with years of neglect from the caretakers that own the restrooms, with the park just outside, and the abuse of overactive and troublesome teenagers, it has now turned into this.
After she lowers her hand and stares once again at herself, her brow furrows.
“What are you doing?” she asks herself.
What am I talking about? I know why I came back here.
The girl isn’t looking for a loved one or an item she cherishes. Nor did she come back to only come see this god forsaken bathroom, that no longer holds any meaning except a distant memory of no importance. But what really has caused her to come back here, not only to this park, but to this town is she is looking for herself. She is looking to find who she really is.
The girl suffers from amnesia from an accident she had just the year before, and the only thing she can remember is this place and how it used to be, thus making the girl think this place might hold some key to her past.
The girl exits the bathroom, and steps out into the bright sun that blinds her for a brief second, and she walks over to the railing that prevents people from falling down the cliff. She leans on the railing, and looks over the fogged park. She can feel the crumpled paper in her back pocket that she had stuffed in earlier that morning. She pulls it out, and rereads the words she has read many times before: The memories you’re looking for and the place in your heart that is now empty, you can find all of them here in Deadwood, Oregon.
The letter has no name, address, and at first she took it as a joke, but when a few weeks had passed after receiving the letter, she knew that this place was the only place she could remember. She couldn’t remember her family or where she was born, and when the accident first happened she couldn’t remember her name.
But with a sigh, and a rub of her neck, it became all too clear who this girl really was. She was me. And the one thing I was trying to figure out was: Who am I?
Kayla Kristen Dingus was raised as a Floridian until the age of 18. After graduating from high school, she felt her life needed change, so she moved to New Hampshire to be with family. At the age of 8, she published her first short story through her school. She has always had an interest in writing, with the hopes of someday becoming a well-known published author. After receiving an Associate's degree, she plans to further her education by going all the way to a PhD in English.