First Class by Cameron Sinclair Harris

You come here by choice, to revisit the place
you spent your younger years. To quench a certain
nostalgic thirst for days gone by, snapshots eclipsed
by deadlines and commitments of adult life. You remember
when you won that holiday to Skegness, when the
letter came in the post. You screamed. You ran
around the living room in ecstasy.

As you enter, the grainy, sepia photograph turns
to colour in the blink of an eye. You see
the envelopes and the stamps you bought with your own
money to send to France. Pierre would send you
pictures of what he did in the summer. The
pictures of Skegness remain untouched, never to be sent.
You wonder where Pierre is now, what he’s done.

You see a folder that piques your interest.
The letters you wanted to keep. The fondest of memories,
the strongest of emotions, the best and worst times
all at your fingertips. The vivid images of the past
fleet by like an action film. The names are
the opening credits. Mum, Dad, brother, aunt,
doctor, lawyer, teacher, boss, Jamie, Carl, Frank. Emma. Blackout.

One boring humdrum life to a slightly glossier one.
That new flat smell. You open the door but can’t
help noticing you’re treading on something. Another bill
probably. Your curiosity heightens as you recognise the
handwriting. It says “Thank you and good luck”. No name
though you’d recognise the writer any day. Not long
now to post the past off to another home.