Every year, on this day I think of the time that I ate so many pancakes I was fit to burst. I remember your amazed faces as I sat and ate my 7th in a row and I remember the joy and excitement that you had about the day itself. I remember and I feel. I miss you and I hate that now all I have is a memory. It isn’t physical, it isn’t here and now, it is then and it is past. And sometimes I hate it.
She no longer exists.
Just like the person she probably misses no longer exists in you.
Maybe it’s the memories you miss.
Not the person.
The years have been hard,
A dullness, a dark room without any light.
Hands always stretching out ahead, chasing,
Everything always just out of reach.
I thought of you when I needed some colour in the darkness,
A flash of hope, of what I might one day find.
I always had you in the back of my mind, a faceless silhouette,
An imaginary hand to hold, someone to have my back.
Always a hope, an imaginary person who could never exist,
A mind broken and unrepairable, always wanting the impossible.
A decade later and I found ways to light up my own self,
Ways to heal my own soul.
My imaginary person no longer a hope to be held onto,
A dream lost, acceptance and independence taking its place.
A few more years come to pass,
A complete loss of hope, of self.
A change of scenery,
A new found freedom, new beginnings.
A new person,
Appearing out of nowhere, a shock to the system.
Like a breath of fresh air, a sudden cold shower,
Life was no longer just a dim light, colours were returning.
So many words, positive and freeing,
Butterflies and rainbows and everything else in between.
Nights spent talking, sharing,
Happiness no longer seemingly out of reach.
Fate always finds a way,
Destiny, it seems, cannot be avoided.
Some times things happen at the right time, without any time to prepare. Some times, these things are exactly what is needed…
July is always a horrid month for me and mine.
Too many anniversaries bring feelings full of loss and despair for most of the month.
This month, in the midst of sadness, I have moved out of my shared accommodation and into my own place.
This month is bringing with it a reminder of what being free is, of what it feels like to be a strong and independent woman and an acknowledgement of who I am.
I am allowing myself to be sad but trying to pull myself out of wallowing. To see this month as something other than awful.
It is with this thought in mind that I wonder what next July will bring.
Perhaps, it is time to move past sadness and look for a way to celebrate…
“But I don’t understand! I don’t understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she’s, there’s just a body, and I don’t understand why she just can’t get back in it and not be dead anymore! It’s stupid! It’s mortal and stupid! And, and Xander’s crying and not talking, and, and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever, and she’ll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why.”
On this day.
The clock stopped,
It read – 16.10
Such a sudden shock to the atmosphere,
It stopped time.
The day before.
It was 19.15
A jolt of realisation,
The happiest of days,
All day until 18.00
A phone call,
Bestie 1: (2009)
Standing in doorways was the hardest thing I could ever do at one time. All of our gatherings were either at my house with the doors closed or me on one side and you on the other.
You went off to college and I stayed standing in the same place, never moving, never progressing. To live through questioning you: What is college like? What is it like being on a bus alone? What friendships are like when you can choose them for yourself…
One day, I asked you if you thought I could do it one day. You were always positive with your encouragement that I would not always be left standing in the same place. Until you asked me what I wanted to do…
“Dunno. Maybe psychology or something. You think I could do that?”
“No, I don’t.”
“Yeah. I guess you’re right.”
Bestie 2: (2016)
You helped me through it. “Come on, C. Let’s go for a walk.” Encouraging but never pushing. Any time I needed to turn back and retreat, you were with me. Only made it to the end of the driveway? “You made it to the end of the driveway, C! You’re doing great!”
But then I recovered and the dynamic changed. I no longer needed a hand to hold every time I set foot out of that doorway. I could walk down the street and walk into a shop without needing to retreat.
“I’m thinking of applying to do this Access to Higher Education course. Not really sure what it’s about but I think it helps with Uni and stuff.”
“Don’t do it.”
“It isn’t worth it.”
“It’s psychology and stuff, I’ve always been really interested in that kinda thing.”
“Yeah. It’s your thing. It’ll interest you and you’ll leave.”
“It’ll open doors for you and you’ll go. You aren’t going to stay around here, are you? You’ll leave and I’ll miss you.”
“My plan has always been to leave.”
“I know, but now it’s real. Don’t do it.”
The dialogue from Fences between Troy and Rose has always spoken to me. This morning a thought entered my head that perhaps it spoke to me because, for a time, it was me and it could have been me for much longer if I had felt a bigger need to put my closest friends before myself.
My two closest friends believed without a doubt that I would get better one day, or they at least portrayed such a belief. In the years following, however, they were not so keen on my decreasing need for dependence. What was once two very strong, positive friendships suddenly became volatile and hurtful. A lot of deceit that had been previously hidden came to light… their only reason being “we were protecting you!”
The guilt felt from putting myself first and walking away is slowly fading, although, I am unsure if it shall ever truly fade completely.
…It’s not easy for me to admit that I been standing in the same place for eighteen years.
…I been standing with you! I been right here with you.
( http://www.iupui.edu/~elit/fences/fen21txt.html )
Standing at the bus stop, there’s a strange hue in the air that has her tilting her head and reaching up to clean her glasses. Glasses clean and hue still present, she wanders down the street with curious intent. Turning the corner, she is approached by a couple she recognises, a couple who have been long since gone. A friendly, knowing smile and a polite tip of a hat while he passes her a newspaper is their only greeting. She follows them with her eyes as they move by her and continue on down the street, her eyes only glancing down to the newspaper once they are out of sight.
“Tuesday 8thJuly 2008”
She stands motionless for several moments, blinking at the date. Her eyes move once more to the street in front of her, feet propelling her forward. Looking around and taking in the house in front of her, she comes to the conclusion that this is all just a vivid dream.
The house is in darkness as she stumbles in through the back door. Walking through the kitchen to push open the living room door, her head peaks around it, unsure of what she may be walking in to. The room is full of people, people she recognises. Her aunts, cousins and grandfather are all asleep on various chairs and sofas, in what looks to be the most uncomfortable positions. ’Oh’, she thinks, ‘I know why I’m here.’
Quietly walking through the living room, she hovers near the staircase. The red patterned carpet causes her to become sentimental and tears spring to her eyes. A hand is suddenly loosely around her wrist and she fights back a yelp of surprise, turning to see her grandfather’s bright eyes. “It’s okay”, she tells him, “It’s okay.” His hand leaves her wrist as he nods, a very slight incline granting her his permission to proceed. Her feet start to move her forwards, climbing the stairs much slower than she can ever recall climbing them.
As she enters into the bedroom, her eyes automatically glance to the mirror, startled eyes meet with the warm blue ones reflected back at her from across the room. Making her way into the room and turning to face the figure in the bed, she pauses. Her mind repeating the words she had not so long ago spoken to her grandfather. ‘It’s okay. It’s okay.’
“It’s okay,” the lady’s voice is light and hopeful, comforting in a way that has her feeling emotions she has long since forgotten the strength of. She moves forward, stepping into the light, slowly lowering herself onto the chair at the side of the bed.
She looks up, making eye contact with the lady, her Nanna. Eyes misty, she sees the deep intake of breath and the almost whispered words, “There you are.”
Sitting in the chair, hands in her lap, unsure of what to say in this situation. Wanting nothing more but to reach out and gather her Nanna into her arms, she instead sits motionless. Her Nanna lays there, swallowed up by the huge double bed, an all-knowing glint in her eyes as she smiles and tells her, “I’ve been waiting.” A frail hand reaches over to a pale sweaty one. As soon as contact is made, the tears start silently falling, “I…”.
Taking a deep breath, she starts again, “I got better. I fought hard and worked even harder and I did it.”
“Tell me, sweetheart.”
“I’m a social worker, Nan. I help people who are feeling like how I was feeling all those years.”
“And you’re okay?”
She smiles sadly, “I am…”
“…but? What is it, sweetheart?”
“Losing you. You took a part of me with you. I’m like a jigsaw with permanently missing pieces.”
“Sweetheart. There is nothing in this world that would make me leave you permanently. You’re my Sophie, our bond is much too strong, not even death itself could break it. I will always be with you, somehow. Please, know that.”
“I do know that. I feel it. I’ve always felt it.” She smiles with wet eyes, wanting nothing more than to stay, “I have to go now, don’t I?”
“You do. So do I soon.”
Bringing her hand to her lips, she leaves a kiss on her thin skin before leaning over to place a kiss on her forehead, “Nanny” her voice cracks, “I love you.”
“I love you too, poppet,” and with a final squeeze, she lets her hand go.
She rises, walks to the door, their eyes meeting once more in the mirror before she turns and heads back down the stairs. Her movements are quicker now, a little panicked as she can hear voices, her family are awake. Looking into the living room, she sees nothing but vacant space, the voices travelling through from the kitchen. Walking quickly, she aims to reach the front door without alerting anyone of her presence. As she steps outside and pulls the door shut, she notices a car pull up. Her feet start to move towards it, as though they have their own motivation. As the door opens, a young girl steps out, a terrified look in her eyes. They stand and look at one another for a few seconds, before she moves closer, lays one hand on her younger self’s shoulder before heading back down the street.
Walking back towards the bus stop, she sits down on the seat underneath the shelter. She places her head in her hands and takes a breath, energy suddenly drained. The feeling of another presence is sudden and startling, as she jerks her head up, she is met with stunningly familiar, bright blue eyes, “Mummy, what’s wrong?”
She smiles, content, “It’s okay. Are you ready to go?”
I was wanting to work on my tenses – and also on writing something that hurts… this is what happened (Part 2 of 2)