Where Were You? by Maria Night

“Maria Night was here!”

Something I read triggered a memory of carved names on desks, cold school floors, mass white noise as hundreds of students pass each other in the halls, and teachers standing in groups talking while preparing for the next class. All are fond memories of growing up in the shelter of childhood.

These types of thoughts always continue on to the abrupt halt my world came to in my youth: a death in my family that changed my life forever.

My father passed away just after my fourteenth birthday. With a set of older half-sisters, the unraveling of my world ensued. First, the court battle over the contested will by the adult half-sisters, of course. Then, all the property, which was my only home, was sold for “their share”. Finally my mother, now widowed, moving me to a new area so she could find work.

So many times in my adult life I have returned to that plot of land that will always be home to me. With different owners, it isn’t the same, but I see the place different than what’s actually there. I see the tree my dad planted in the front yard. On the left by the road, I see the place that was fenced off for my pony. To the right there’s a road my dad made with a bulldozer. The whole place was shaped by him. He built the front of our house, the porch, and even the water spigot in the front yard just off the walkway, right by the tree he planted. Almost everything I can think of, he built or installed himself. His imprint on the world, although less than two acres, was shaped and formed by him for my mother and me.

Don’t misunderstand me. He was no saint- not even close, but all he did, all the things he formed with his hands are now gone. The school I mentioned earlier will also soon be just a memory. After this year, it will be closed and torn down. The desks will be gone, along with the bright lights, the square tiled floors, the walls, decorations, chalkboards, and all the markings of the people I remember best in our bratty stages of life. As we all scratched, cut, carved or otherwise defiled public property with “I was here!” This will all be gone, just like the things I cherished from what my dad made. These things that made the statement, “Dad was here!”

I have always written down my thoughts and feelings. Words that pop into my head seem to have a more direct line to my hands, even more so than my mouth.

I wonder what makes us all so intent on leaving our mark. The need to show those after us, “We were here!”

Even as I write this and dream of penning “The Great Novel”, I know what I really want to do is leave a carved, dark and permanent mark saying, “I WAS HERE!” Don’t let a chance to leave your mark on this world pass you by. Let everyone know you were here too.


I started writing when I learned to hold a pencil in my hand, sometimes to my mother’s displeasure. I wrote on everything! Including carving my name into her wood end tables!!

I write late at night when the world is still. I guess that’d make me a night writer. 😉

While I don’t write vampires (at least so far- I won’t say I won’t in the future), I’d say I miss a good chance 😉 with my nightly habits. My main focus is contemporary romance, and I’m dabbling in writing inspirational. That’s still exploratory, so we’ll see!

For more on Maria, visit her