She would stare blankly out the window contemplating the pair of trees in the neighbors yard as he droned on. His drunken animation amplified by the sound of coffee cup on saucer. Boys only want one thing – they’ll try to get you alone, they’ll touch you. Her mother sat at the other side of the table adding nothing to the conversation.
I want to be one of those trees she said to herself – they swayed in the wind – a light breeze would make them dance and in the worst of storms they would only bend. She nodded without thinking unaware that the words were sinking in and taking over in a way she wouldn’t discover for years.
She was smart and yet so stupid at the same time. She liked them all, they could take her away- she was willing to pay the price with that one thing, they wouldn’t just use her and throw her away. He asked me to go to his hockey game, he called to go to the roller rink and he held my hand, he came to watch me play softball, he walked me to the bus when I got hurt in the soccer game.
When the phone rang she wasn’t home or she couldn’t come to the phone. She was never allowed to answer. So much everything…wake up sleeping beauty, water thrown. Stop mumbling, slow down, shoulders back. Shoe shine, clean your room, take a bath, take another bath, what you believe isn’t real. Nowhere was safe, accusations, beatings, you’re a Lye-errr. Screaming so no one could hear. I am a good person. Why is this happening….it’s Wednesday….
Anger follows the lost truth, monster, scratching burning, banging – always the face – wishing for the scars to show, this is what I’m living, this is what I’m wearing. Feelings were numbed and buried deep beneath 100 pounds of armor. And she let them touch her without knowing knowing how to touch. Hoping for nothing and wanting it all. She floated through circles and glass hallways, over bridges and under stars, climbed roofs and slid down skree.
Karma’s debt paid, the armor’s been shed. Now she watches the trees and knows that love can be pure and beautiful and free. The echoes of those lessons fade and new truths embraced.