Everything was smaller than Grace remembered. She’d spent her childhood summers at a long gone caravan park close to the beach. The large white hotel remained, perched on the corner of the main street and the boulevard that snaked along the shore.
Grace stood at the corner and could not believe how her memory had deceived her. She vividly remembers walking up a hill to where the pizza shop once had been. And it had been steep. No amount of gentrification could erase the slope and yet, now, there was a gentle climb to the collection of gourmet pizza shops, art galleries and beauty parlours.
The rest of her family didn't seem to notice the magnitude of her dislocation. So much of her identity was wound up in her belief that they’d been real. That was, she thought, her defining moments might not actually be moments at all.
If this hill was a just a gentle slope, then those other memories, the ones that had given her nightmares, might have been forged in her night terrors and not out here, in the real world.
Every day she parented her two children on the thought that she didn't want to be like her parents.
She watched Rory skip over the cracks in the pavement, just as she had once done. Only back then, she'd been nursing a sunburn that you wouldn't be allowed to get today.
The hypervigilance was perhaps not the best way to raise children. Didn't she turn out alright?
Before taking another step, Grace wondered if her children will come back to this small holiday town and think to themselves that it had once been a steep hill and stand at this exact spot disbelieving their own past.