Within these pages

For Eden, books, particularly stories, hold memories. Precious moments caught between the pages. And there is one place that she keeps these memories: the library. Join Eden on her journey of remembrance.

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4. Overwhelming Sadness

I closed my eyes, immersed in the memory. Slowly, the soothing voice faded into sudden, deafening silence. I snapped back to myself, reconnecting my mind with my body,

For a moment, confusion reigned inside my head as I struggled to remember where I was, the darkness blinding me momentarily. Once my vision cleared, I was faced with the darkened library. The desolate, deserted library, all traces of the past gone. Tears threatened to spill out of their cage of lashes, as I stared at the empty space where the people I missed so dearly had filled the room with voices and laughter. Now, the air in the room felt dead, a stillness that enveloped everything in a veil of silvery teardrops.

Moving down an aisle, I let my fingertips brush over the spines of the many books that rested on the pine wood shelves, each with its own story to tell, its own unique memories imprinted on the pages. There was one section of this library that held all my favourite books, and this was where I was heading. A cosy corner, hidden from the rest of the library by a barricade of bookshelves, complete with a window seat in which I had spent many happy hours curled up with a book. I rested my fingers on the leather bound spine of a well-worn paperback. It was a childhood favourite of mine - Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I loved it as it was about books and the power of the written word. It held many memories, but none as strong as the first time I turned its pages.

It had been a present from Annie the year I turned eight years old, only four months before she left me alone. Consequently, it was of great sentimental value to me. I opened the cover, a cloud of dust blowing into the air. I hadn't touched any of these books for a while. Although eight years had passed, the memories had still been raw. But now I was facing my fears and sadness, instead of bottling it up inside me.

I inhaled the aroma that diffused into the air from the book. It was different for every book. Inkheart smelt of wood smoke and dark chocolate. It only enhanced my memory. I let myself be overwhelmed by emotions as I looked back to that day - my birthday.

Shadows of the past padded past me. Echoes of long gone voices surrounded me.

"Happy birthday, darling!"

"Go on! Open it!"

"Smile for the camera!"

A flash of colour caught my eye. A girl stood beside me, beautiful in a golden sundress that complemented her blonde hair.

"Annie..." I whispered.

"Take my hand, Eden. I've got a surprise for you!" Her voice was soft, filling my soul with light. I reached out towards the pale hand extended towards me, my eyes fixed on the hazel eyes of my sister.

"I miss you, Annie." The words came out more shaky than I would have liked. My hand was shaking as I placed my hand in hers, only to find that I could not grasp her hand. Her eyes were not looking at me, but rather beyond me. She could not see me. Of course not. She was not really here, just a powerful memory. Still, I felt disappointed as her shadow evaporated, leaving only echoes of her lilting voice.

My hand was shaking as I grasped the air in a futile attempt to bring her back. My heart ached for my elder sister, for my parents, and for the life I had lost.

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