Summer of 97


Discovered her memories the day she died.

A character, my aunt Iris.

When someone leaves this world, and as everybody would, I was looking for pictures of the deceased. Amongst the notebooks she did not have time to burn, and other relevant pieces of memory, I came across one of those life-events’ albums – full of pictures and documents – she had put together as some spiritual writing exercise.

The holy grail for a writer.

When a particular photograph caught my attention, he looked gorgeous, mysterious, and lost. Her mid-twenties boyfriend, as I found out later on.

Not sure if I’ve got inebriated by her books, spread all over the dark brown shelves on her writing sanctuary, or something else triggered my soul, all I knew was that I needed to know more about that bloke, and that story…

With some cross-referencing between her personal website and the files on her computer, I found an unpublished manuscript. With dedications, table of contents, and acknowledgments. One of those books (becoming many within one) you must write, but never managed to find the right tone to make you satisfied enough to be able to finish it.

Besides, all authors use real people as inspiration for their characters, and I am afraid she was also worried about making sure her characters were only characters and not real people, and how to hide the true identities of the ones she was so inspired by to the point of writing a novel.

Her first, if I am not mistaken.

My aunt Iris’ computer was a gold mine of records: messages, emails, and letters. Facts, in the form of dates, locations, and times, and emotional pieces of memory, written in notes and, at times, even full chapters. Also found some old writing she did after they parted, in a box packed with old postcards and pictures. None of him. And very few on the album she had dedicated to that trip.

It got me even more curious… I deeply felt I needed to finish what she had started.

Apparently, it all began during the Summer of 97…

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