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  • Sunayna Prasad

The Cruise

Ava took out her paper while facing the classroom. “This is a true tale about something that happened over the summer.” She gazed into her sheet and looked at the other students. “The sun was shining over the ocean. I was dancing on a cruise with some friends and my family. But a thunder storm struck lightning nearby. Our ship had to move away from it. The party was over. I was disappointed.”

“And we’ll stop there,” said Mrs. Sanders, the teacher. “Ava, is this really a true story?”

“Yes,” she said.

“You’re crazy,” said a boy.

“I thought your family didn’t have a lot of money,” said Kelsi.

“Mind your own business, Kelsi,” Ava said.

The bell rang. Everyone left the classroom and packed up as his or her locker.

Ava breathed, thinking about what her classmates had said. She couldn’t be insane. She couldn’t have made the whole thing up.

After hopping onto the bus, Ava’s phone rang. It was her mom.

“Ava, what happened in school today?”

“Nothing, Mom.”

“I got a call from Mrs. Sanders that you made up a story about us being on a cruise.”

“We did go on a cruise over the summer. I remember.”

“We’ve never been on a cruise before. I’m sorry, but we’re going to have to have a chat when we get home.” The mother hung up.

Ava felt her stomach compress. How could her mom not recall the cruise? Either her mom was starting to forget things or… Ava had some memory issue.

No. She couldn’t. She’d heard of some condition where people unintentionally lied about things that never happened. But that couldn’t be the case for her.

Minutes had passed. Ava got off the bus and went inside. Her mom gave her a sharp look. “Ava, I have some bad news for you.”

“I’m grounded, aren’t I?”

“No.” The mother sighed. “You have been cursed with a condition that gives you memories of things you’ve never had.”

Ava lowered her jaw. “What?”

“I found out that your father was a magician. And that he gave you that jinx.”

Ava gasped. “No.”

“It’s been ten years since he died. I waited too long to tell you.”

Ava looked down. “How am I ever going to get through life like this?”

“You’re the only one who can control those false memories.”


“It’s all up to you.”

“But how do I control them?”

“You have to consider other circumstances and suppress those that don’t match with them.”

“Okay.” Ava sat on a couch. She closed her eyes. “We never went on a cruise ship,” she whispered. She repeated herself a few times.

The thought faded. Ava forgot what happened before the storm. She reminded herself out loud a couple more times. She couldn’t remember anything about a cruise vacation.

Ava looked down. It would be nice if we went on a cruise one day. Perhaps, before my thirteenth birthday in January.

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