“You’re the reason she’s like this,” she said to me, explaining my sister’s lack of trust and friendship. “What you did changed her. She will never fully trust anyone again.” Her gaze remained on the passing landscape as she held the steering wheel in front of her. She said it like it was just a part of the conversation. Like it was a well know fact, but there was something about the way she said it. There was an edge to her voice.
I stayed silent and bit back my response.
Why did she bring this up? It was two years ago that I did that and still she blames me? She was the one who told me to move on. To forget about what happened. But again she brings it up. Does she not realize the guilt I face whenever I reopen that door? I know that what I did was terrible. I don’t need her to remind me.
I love to write, but the only writing pieces that I can finish, are the sad ones. The ones where I explain that little pit of black in the back of my brain. I want to write about the beauty in this world because there is so much of it. Instead, only words filled with anger and something so suffocating fill the page. I hate that I can’t seem to put the good into words, but the bad comes so easily. I’ve tried to think and write positively, but it’s so much easier to write about the negative because it’s so much easier to see. Each piece of positively is sloppy and is not worth anyones time, but the depressing one’s are better. More relatable, I guess. It’s easier to fall into to that black pit and let it’s claws guide my hands on the paper. I know that I am a negative person and can only see a few steps ahead. I want to change that, but I don’t know how.
Little sister, it will be ok. One day, you will go to that city you have always dreamed of going to and everything will be wonderful. I promise. The names they call won’t matter in ten years when you are learning to be the artist I always knew you would be and they are are sitting in their rooms alone. You will prove everyone wrong. Hopefully, even yourself. I can’t wait to see what the beauty your soul will become because already it is so radiant. I love the way your freckles look on your almost too pale skin. I meant to tell you the other day, but I didn’t. I should tell you a lot of things, but I can’t ever seem to find the right words. I love you, even though I don’t always say it.
Beautiful girl, where have you gone? Where did that smile go? Your big, green eyes have lost that light.
I have asked you to get help. To tell the mother you wish you didn’t have to get you somewhere safe. You haven’t done anything I have asked.
One day, I hope that you will see the beauty you have trapped in your heart. I hope that you will let someone see it.
Instead, it is buried by a bitter dirt, but it is still there. It is still waiting in a dormant state.
I hate that you don’t see the way your hair seems golden in the sun. The highlights catch the sunlight in a way that makes it sparkle.
Beautiful girl, I need you back. Brush away the bitter dirt and bring back the light in those eyes. Let the sunshine make your hair into strands of gold. Realize your worth.
A burn on my hand sings in hot pain. The skin has already become a pale pink and shines a bit more than the rest. Pancakes. A burn for pancakes. Seems like a fair trade to me. I whisk together more of the mixture and water, scraping at the bottom of the bowl. When the off-white liquid becomes the same viscosity of glue, I pour it on the griddle. Steam rises and sizzles as the pancake cooks. I quickly add chocolate chips to the top and they sink a bit into the already thickening liquid.
My grandmother says I eat too much food because it’s the only thing in my life that I can control. That the amount of food I allow into my body is the one thing that only I can change. She’s right, but I’ll never tell her that. I don’t eat lunch or dinner or breakfast. Instead, I graze throughout the day. Sometimes, when I’m bored, I eat so much my stomach aches. Other days I don’t eat anything at all. I like to tell myself that I have control in other aspects like my emotions. That I can control the way my surroundings affect me, but we all know that’s far from the truth. My brain feels like a snow globe. Small, glittering flakes whirl around a tiny, glass container. Than, they settle on the bottom until someone comes back to shake up the globe again. They are dependent on everything, but me.
The edges of the pancakes change from shiny to matte. I pick up the black spatula and flip them. The surface of the almost-perfect circle is a delicious golden brown. I allow the pancake to bake a bit more and remove it from the black, hot surface. Waiting for the pancake to cool is hardest part, so I usually skip it. I eat the one that isn’t going to completely burn my tongue first. Almost-molten chocolate coats the roof of my mouth as I enjoy the pancake.
Weary eyes refuse to close for long. The sweet sleep that I used to know so well has left and refuses to return. I toss and turn as the inky dark of the room threatens to swallow me whole. I reach out from the safety of my warm blanket to grab my phone. The white light of the screen rips through the velvet night as the clock reads 3:05. I need to sleep. Instead, I let my thumps graze over letters in a keyboard. Each letter joins to create a word and each word a sentence. Soon, I have a piece of writing about my inability to fall asleep. Maybe now my eyes can give into the pleas of rest.
There are days where I don’t feel like I’m really there. I feel like the day just passes by and I’m a bystander. I just watch. The actions are not my own. My feet are their own person. I watch TV but the sound from it is just noise that doesn’t even register in my brain, but I stare at it anyway. There is a motor in my stomach that pushes me forward. I walk to work each day. Than walk back home. That’s it. That’s my day. I converse with my mom, but don’t really listen and answer with a voice that isn’t mine. By the end of the day, I don’t remember what I did. I don’t remember who I talked to at work or what I ate. I just remember that I got up, went to work, and now I’m home. No details. No memories.
Hello. I can see you creeping up to me. I can see your skeletal hands beckoning me. I want to welcome you. I want to go with your cold arms wrapped around mine. To see what is beyond this reality I’ve been stuck in. You’re closer now. So close I can smell the rot of your breath and see the decay on your skin. If I go with you, will I be able to see the world like I did when I was young? I can feel your thin fingers pierce the delicate skin on my wrist as you pull me to come, but I don’t want to follow you. I can still turn this around. I don’t need you yet. I’ve managed to shake you off. Your crumpled, defeated frame lays at my feet. The glint in your eye telling me it’s not over yet. I run. Cold air burns in my lungs and my feet struggle to keep up, but I’ve escaped. The terrain has become uneven. My foot catches on a root of a tree long dead, causing my knee to slam into the hard ground. Dirt cakes into the creases of my hands and my knee protests, but I still stand. You’ve caught up. The allure of your offer sits in the air. Give up and come with you or fight. If I give up, will my sisters be alright? If I give up, will it be easier? No. My sisters will not be ok if I go. It will not be easier if I follow you. I will fight.
Your arctic ice eyes could bring the world down with just a glance. The passion in your heart will always bring a smile to my face. The freckles you hate are the mark of the sun that kissed your skin. I will always miss you. I will miss that summer we swang on the metal swing set and looked up the stars, hoping we could fly away. I will miss your laugh that filled the room. Last I saw you, those eyes still shone brighter than any star that shone above us. Your passion made me want to hold your thin frame, in hopes that a fraction would fade into me. Your freckles were more prominent than ever. All your features still held true without me. You are doing fine without me. If you had really looked at me that night in May, you wouldn’t be surprised. My eyes still glaze over when I talk to people. My face is still pale and sickly. My passion is still dwindling. I wish I still had you. I wish I could still call you a friend. I wish you saw me as a friend. Please don’t ever change. Please continue to give the world the hell it deserves. Please always be the kind and strong girl I love.
Sap clings to the evergreen trees surrounding my house made of brick. Insects call to each other and bats fly between the trees. The summer sky hold stars dimmed by the light of Denver, a city of people contrasting the quiet of the Rocky Mountains. I sit on the moonlit porch, feeling the summer breeze pull at my short hair. Colorado. A state of mostly flat farmland, interrupted by the sharp mountains. Where wildlife is yet to leave. Where the air is thin and dry. I love this state.