Rain poured against the window of the car, windshield wipers pushing away the substance; the darkness made it difficult to see, the only source of light ahead of me being the headlights beaming off the ever growing strength of the wind and rain―flicking water through the invisible mass. I silently watched the road ahead of me, glancing for any sort of familiar signs, ones I had remembered from long ago and no longer exist like an off distant memory no longer touched upon, packed away in boxes and lost amongst the move―but how could I forget? I spent most of my life here, knew those surrounded by me, and yet, it was until now that I remembered it only for the off-distant smell of the sea and the pouring rain that I had once used to fall asleep to, but now kept me up during the night.
The road was long, twisting at every dangerous curve. In the distance, I could see the outline of trees, but I could not remember what part of the road I had begun to reach. To another, it may have felt like a struggle, attempting to find the one sign of any life that currently existed―perhaps a diner to grab something to eat before leaving for the length of their trip, or a comfortable inn to rest ones weary aches, a sign to give hope for the travel ahead―but the fervent memory of finding such a thing kept me along my journey. The haunting persuasion that lingered in my dreams and waking life (exactly a week ago to this day) never let me be, gave me the tinge of both guilt and happiness I felt to be away from such a place, only caused my curiousity grow even more. I had been given the graces of leaving years ago when the town itself had fallen and become a war ground that history would never recognize. One night, I had been awoken to the sound of rain pounding against my flimsy window―I now owned an apartment quite close to Oxford, furthest away from sea, as it was the only place I could afford on the small stipend I had left with―only to remember all that had once been forgotten, rushing over me as if I were placed underneath the strength of a waterfall against my own will.
I tried all I could to ignore the nagging sensation that lingered within my mind. Keeping myself occupied with work only lasted until I had found myself between breaks or riding the train home. I had tried to take a day trip to Cambridge hoping to find a solution to my problem, but I only found myself back with a terrible sunburn spotted across my nose and the empty melancholia of something missing from my life.
Now, in the distance, I could see a corner of the wooden sign, flecked with white paint, chipping off from the years of decay. Perhaps there was nothing left of this little town that had onced flourish, but even upon that thought, I could not escape the frustrating siren's call that wracked my brain. Stopping the car, I found myself frozen in my spot. Terrified. Of what, I could not say, but I knew that to reliquish this strange druge through time. I had to face whatever had remained.
Stepping out of the car, I felt the rain soak through my overcoat. I did not figure to bring an umbrella, I felt no reason to, for getting out of my car upon reaching this sign had not been my first intention. Gravel crunched underneath my loafers as I moved closer to the omniscient sign, fingers seizing their movements, as I held my breath. What was I expecting? The revelation of my memories possibly being false? Or perhaps an entirely new story to become obsessed with? Whatever it had been gave me the reason to push away the ferns and rosebush thorns covering the familiar sign now aged by years of neglect.
Taking a large step back, I allowed myself another deep breath and clenched my fists, my nails biting into the lining of my leather gloves. The rain continued to pour on me, soaking me to the bone, my hair obscuring my eyes, but I could still see the red and gold lettering, clear as a sunny day.
Welcome to Storybrooke