Losing sight of who I was destroyed me. I was a mirror, with its cracks and imperfections, but you shattered me and sent my pieces crashing to the floor. At a time in my life when I needed every bit of myself that I could salvage, you took it away.
But what kills me isn’t that it was against my will. I was not powerless, not in the sense that I couldn’t stop it. But I was so far gone, so completely lost in another galaxy that I did not know how to say no.
I had my beliefs and morals firmly nailed to my very being, my fucking soul, and you ripped them out with one inhale and one exhale. I had become so accustomed to being a smaller version of who I could have been, that with one look and an invitation, I jumped at the opportunity to Grow.
I want to choke Her. The She I used to be. She wanted to be loved, wanted someone, anyone but herself, to fill that fucking void. So she said yes. She curled her hair and gurgled until her throat burned raw and drove her car to the park that she will forever avoid, terrified of the memories attached to it. Can you call them memories? How can something so wicked use a word that sounds so sweet?
She sat in that car as you rolled together the thing that would contribute to my regrets.
They sit at a bench. “It’s not working,” she says, so you hand her another. She does not know. She does not know that one would have been enough. So after three, when her legs were not her legs and her arms were not her arms, finally you decided it was Time. “Are you hungry?” you ask. “Yes,” she responds, not because she is, but because she is on Mercury, Venus, Pluto.
I cannot eat there anymore. Cannot stomach it.
Her head is so fucking heavy. She wants to sleep. But instead she asks you, “Why me?” and she hopes for this romance novel answer, something to write in her diary, not scratch into her skull, but instead you say, “Because He told me to.”
And I want to choke Her, once more. Because had it been Me, had I been on planet earth, I would have opened that door and walked myself home.
But I wasn’t Me. I was Her. She lolled her head and breathed slowly. “Do you want to know the story? About Him? About Us?” She could not say this louder than a whisper. “Only if you want to,” you tell her. She does. She wants to scream it, let him know that there was Someone Else. But instead She lets her voice fade. That is all she remembers. She only remembers the painful parts.
Like when you drove away. When you pulled up under a house. Under a house with the fucking lights on, for god’s sake. She can’t remember, oh god, she cannot remember how it happened. How she did not move but He did and the sound of the jacket and her heart, when it should have been going a mile a minute, beat silently, almost not at all.
I cannot stand the sound of classical music. I want to dig up Mozart and send him back to his grave because he is now the soundtrack to the night I regret most of all.
They go back together. She is not certain what to do. But oddly enough, He is. He knows everything. Sure, there’s the occasional, “is this okay?” but oh my god, She didn’t even know what day it was. Why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, why, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
She could not lift Her hand. It wasn’t attached to Her body. But you could. You could lift Her hand and you could attach it to your body.
I hate myself. She does not know enough to hate Herself, but She will.
What was supposed to be this rite of passage, a way to define oneself as a woman, the steps taken before you become A Woman, was snuffed out. She had no way of experiencing this on Her own terms. When her children ask What Happened, She will say this:
It was a summer day. I was fifteen, the world in my hands, and I knew in that moment what I wanted to do. So he grabbed my hand and led me to tree, the leaves swaying gently in the wind, and he held my face, tenderly, and placed his lips on mine. They lingered for not one, but two minutes, and in that moment it was only the two of us. I backed away and told him no more and he agreed. I was wholly myself, that day. Not a drop of sin in my veins, nothing to cloud my judgement. We were young and carefree and everything was right, every little thing.
She will tell them this because anything is better than the truth. And hopefully, if there is a God, she will begin to believe this version and forget the other.
She will forget how she lost herself.
She will change the color of her hair because it is what she wants, not because she needs to Destroy Herself.
She will grow and grow and grow.
I will become myself, this all blending together with the nightmares that truly are not real.