There was no reason to expect it, despite the fact that it had been prowling in the back of my mind for a very long time.
When you leave behind one life for another, it is always with the expectation that you must learn to balance the two in some way, shape, or form. Some people can make this transition smoothly, can integrate their memories and affections and damning sentiments into a new framework. These people are lucky. For others, the integration is rocky, consisting of the pushes and pulls of change.
And then there are some for which the two are mutually exclusive, where the past life is forgotten completely to make room for new possibilities. For those who choose this path – or are forced onto it by circumstance – the cost is usually negligible. Perhaps it is even desired.
I grew up in a small community. It’s nothing special, located in a corner of rural Minnesota, where nothing much happens and life for most people consists of the tending of cows and fields. It is the kind of place that goes unnoticed by the outside world, which suits the locals just fine, they don’t like outsiders, anyway. People like me know that very well. The town is obscure and unimportant, and one would never see it on the morning news unless something very, very bad had happened.
Well, that morning, it was on the news.