He had given me a notebook. Handed it to me at the end of the night, those pages with lines written, punishments recorded, reflections documented. Feelings shared. Signed and countersigned. It started a touching memento, a record of a lovely evening. A symbol of hope, too, all those empty pages. Hope that they would be filled one day with the story of a blossoming relationship.
They weren’t. Instead, the notebook remained hidden in the darkest corner, the back of the deepest cupboard. This place of dishonour, originally selected to hide from eyes of those from whom I needed to hide my secret desires, now served to hide the once-treasured memories from myself as well. I had no wish to be reminded of things lost.
Later there was a new notebook, new handwriting, new memories. New hopes.
New pages never to be filled.
Now there are more, now they are labelled. One for Dublin, one for Galway. One for each of those who asks me to write in them. Some larger than others, some fuller than others; some used frequently, some largely untouched. Each special.
I take them down, skim the pages, remember. Smile.
Place them somewhere I can see.