The Hundred-Foot Journey – Samantha

A clear long-term memory is something Samantha had never been able to pride herself on having. And that small flaw in (what she thought was) a nearly flawless human being was the cause of all her problems.

Having been told all her life about certain events she had been a part of and could simply not recall, Samantha began to accept them as if nothing could be done to prevent this. Of course, being a young a healthy teenager, she knew it was not a medical condition, but rather just her inevitable fate. And even though it is not the best trait a person could have, it had no relevant negative influence in her life – or so she thought.

The less striking memories from 5 or 10 years before were completely relied on her childhood friends to remember and retell. Nevertheless, the most important events still remained alive in her brain several years later. However, this was still a source of disturbance for her, since Samantha firmly believed that our past experiences (and what we take from them) are the most effective way to learn and progress as humans. That being said, it was clear that she was not, at all, learning everything she could learn from the experiences she had. It was as if she had to be put through these experiences over and over again for something worthwhile to come out of them.

For a teenage girl, Samantha sure had a lot of confidence in herself. Behind this there was a complex support system that was it to crumble, would ruin everything that took almost two decades to build. That system included her long-term friends, whom she wouldn’t trade for anything in the world; and her family, whom she appreciated above everyone (even though they didn’t know that). Having in mind that everything in her amazing life would fall apart were they to leave, she always acted true to herself and, above all, very thoughtfully. Now, that didn’t leave much space for spontaneity or freedom. But that wasn’t nearly as important as having those people in her life. Samantha was determined to never let them slip away, and so were they.

As analytical and observant as she had always been, Sam began to create this figure which represented her life. Each edge was for each thing that her existence revolved around of. There were 3 main points, managed to work out harmoniously in simultaneous. These were: her friends, her family, and school. This equilateral triangle was to be kept stable and organized, which she did without even trying, resulting in the comfortable easiness that was her life. She was happy, she had always been. Over time, however, Samantha began to realize nothing ever grows in that safe, unchanging place.

The best things happen unexpectedly, right? Right, but she had no idea. Up until when another edge started growing in her triangle. Another person came into her life, someone so important they deserved their own edge in that figure – which quickly became a square. This was Samantha, always very influenced by the people that surround her and their state of mind. Until then she lived lightly, weightlessly, owing to the fact that she had never been truly hurt by anyone. However, this was about to change, not because she was hurt, but because she knew she was going to be. Was anything done to prevent this? Apart from delivering all of herself to that person, nothing was.

Samantha was ruled by her emotions. Her present feelings and wishes determined 100% what she was going to do. That easily explains why she was such a procrastinator, but also why she managed to keep her relationships with other people so well. It may seem this could work as a setback, as a negative influence in her life – being controlled by what was being felt. But it was actually the best trait she could ask for, since these feelings were nothing but positive and sincere at all times, resulting in a deep emotional attachment to the people in her life. Nonetheless, not everyone was like this… Especially not that fourth edge of the square.

He was everything she wasn’t. He was careless, spontaneous, detached. There was an aura to him that she had never seen in anyone before. Every second in his presence felt rare and precious. Samantha had never been very independent, but she was now completely in the hands of a person she had just met. Everything happened so fast and there was no turning back now. All her friends advised her not to let that happen. Not to become so dependent in someone that would eventually leave her broken and astray. But they had no idea what it’s like to seek safety in other people; for home to be wherever you lay your head as long as they’re by your side.

No harmonious triangle becomes an equally harmonious square. And certainly not with the way he dominated her thoughts every second of every day. For Samantha, this was surprisingly okay. She didn’t seem to mind that everything else crumbled apart. But this was her in-the-moment way of being, of course… Her selective memory did not help at all. Had she the ability to clearly remember how she felt in the past, she would’ve been a lot more careful in how she acted. Meaningless as the other 3 edges seemed at that moment, they were as meaningful as ever – and would become even more when the fourth edge decided to leave (which would inevitably happen).

He influenced her in every way; Samantha knew she was never going to be the same she was before. But she didn’t want to. Apart from the most negatively affected edge in her life – the academic life – there was nothing she would do to change how things went. Samantha had reached a level of happiness she could never dream was possible! It felt incredible, and everyone in a 5 mile radius could notice this. Her decadent school grades were offset with a permanent state of happiness and well-being. Her motivation to get up, to look good, and to do well in everything now came from this one person who most likely had no idea how significant he was. Samantha felt alive. Alive as she had never felt, as it took finding that special person to teach her what living should truly feel like.

Maria Eduarda Lapa
Nº17 12ºI


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