A day to remember


Everything is permanent. Everything is memories. But Olive doesn’t remember any of it.

She was born as a normal baby, crying and sleeping were included in her favorite hobbies. She ate what she wanted, shoved the other airplanes out of the air—or at least hurling towards the pilot.

She crawled when she could, made weird noises when the discovery of her vocal cords was prominent. She was your average, run-of-the-mill baby.

But the day she grew from 11 months to one year, things changed. She started talking in sentences. Her first word was “exhausted” probably since that is what her family became.

After 13 months of being a part of the world, Olive had the vocabulary of a 67-year-old author. After 14 months, she had the math skills of a 35-year-old mathematician. She was naming off flora and fauna like a life-long biologist.

This was terrifying to her family. None of them got good grades. None of them could have a conversation with her without being talked down to.

Her family thought she was going to be the most famous genius in the history of the world.

But after 24 months, they noticed something: that was all she thought of—she never talked about fun things. When they had conversations about the family outings and experiences they had shared, she would stare blankly at the wall as if she was a doll.

She clearly comprehended what they were saying, but she never participated. Maybe her brain is too mature for her body right now, and she will grow into the fun times—this was all they thought.

Growing older, many memories were made—they just were never kept. Whether they were locked into a box, blinked away, or evaporated out of her brain, they never stayed. The memories were made for a second, and then they were time wasted on non-brain-enhancing items. They were useless.

Friends came and went. They made memories only one of the pair would remember; then they ran away as soon as they sensed a sniffling of peculiarness.

Only her family remained.

At lunch, she would sit in the library since no one wanted to be around her anyway, and it was where she felt most at home.

The weekends were filled with her family forcing memories into her mind, only for them to be lost after the next blink.

At fourteen, however, she met someone: Tyler. And this time, she told him right away (before they exchanged names) that she wasn’t like everyone else. She told him she could only remember facts. But he wasn’t afraid of that. He wasn’t even bothered by this. He was taught to accept all, and that he did.

Her smile broke, and her heart shattered.”

Over their high school years, they went to amusement parks and had bonfires and went to movies. Tyler told her of his childhood; Olive told him what percent hydrogen was in the air. Tyler told her of his family; Olive told him everything about Leonhard Euler. This was their friendship, and they had fun.

On their last day of summer, before Olive was to be shipped off to the University of Oxford on a full scholarship and Tyler started at Lewis and Clark College, Tyler decided to surprise Olive with a trip to watch the sunset by the ocean. Immediately, Olive started citing facts about the ocean.

But suddenly, she stopped being a robot. She looked around and absorbed everything around her. She smiled. It was the first genuine smile Tyler had ever seen that belonged to his best friend. The first smile not plastered from years of being told how not to be a robot. The first smile that wasn’t from the doll.

Olive started to laugh. All of the years of jokes from Tyler and everyone else in her life came flooding back to her. She burst out into a fit of laughter; she couldn’t stop. Tyler just went with it. She took her and ran to the ocean, the thing she said she wanted to enjoy but couldn’t.

She jumped in. She was going to finally remember. Tyler was ecstatic. He loved his friendship that already existed with Olive, but he was going to have someone to add to his stories instead of remaining the co-main character of her own.

After she finally stopped laughing, they had a day of adventure; it was a new type of day for Olive.

The wind blew her hair in her face. Sand was consumed, but she didn’t care. She was remembering for more than a blink. Cotton candy, roller coasters, swimming, building sandcastles, and storytelling. It was truly a day to remember.

Olive only stopped smiling when they were in the car on their way home. As the tsunami of the rest of her memories crashed into her brain, the bad memories were the most prominent. She and her siblings fighting. Her dog dying. Her brother in the hospital bed with a broken rib. Her sister gasping for air. Her just crying in the shower.

Her smile broke, and her heart shattered.

She wished the thing she wanted most in her life to disappear. She wished the best day of her life stayed the best day.

She wished she could blink and forget.