Learning to Cope
I watched your pieces unfold little by little, time wearing away at your stone wall. Every day was a new story, every week a new guy, every month a new place, every year a newfound realization of who you really were. You’re beauty was breathtaking, and no one would deny you their time of day. No one ever wanted to leave you, yet there was no one you could stand to be around for over a week- not even your own kids. Maybe you’re just an adrenaline junkie, maybe you’re just an idiot. Maybe a part of you is accustom to the feeling of being worthless and guilty, so you continue to do things that bring you pain because it’s become your own twisted home. You were too selfish and caught up in your own lies and games to realize, or even consider, the pain you brought to everyone around you.
You always smiled in public, you always smiled when you were angry, when you were around someone who made your teeth grit, you’d smile through everything as long as you thought someone was watching. It was when we’d sit on the garage steps that were made out of cinder blocks and scraps of wood, in front of that old deep freezer that left you too many concussions too many times, that you’re smile was replaced with a look of complete defeat. Cigarette after cigarette, wave after wave. I’d listen to you talk for hours, watching your green eyes fall, gravity forcing your tears down like an endless stream. I’d watch you collapse into yourself because you were scared no one else could catch you. I saw fear in your eyes like I still have never seen before- fear or rejection from what you’d done, fear of who you became. No one ever saw you like I did, on those endless nights with the walls smeared with pencil drawings, dashed with paint testing colors, and holes from all the times you somehow managed to fall into a wall. I can still describe every fight that took place- the blood on the bedroom floor, the blood on the fridge, the blood on the living room door, the blood trails that went from the kitchen to the dining room. I can name the exact amount of teeth that were knocked out and scattered across your bedroom floor and every time we called the police.
I can remember the very first day in every home that you drug us to. I can remember every seizure your mistake caused an innocent little boy to suffer through, always a question as to whether or not this one while take him down for good. Maybe you just didn’t know how to say no. I can remember every lie and excuse you told me- from I have cancer to your dad has cancer to Garry has cancer to Maddie’s pregnant to Chase died, all so you’d have an excuse to leave and go get more. Your seemingly lack of knowledge on how to close a door exposed us at a very young age to what matters to you. I can name every form of weapon you’d use- from your fist to frozen vegetables to knives. I can remember so damn much, but I can hardly remember what you look like. I can hardly remember what your voice sounds like, but I can remember how good it felt when you touched my arm, and when you cried over me and your tears fell on my shoulders.
I remember the sound of screaming at record heights. I remember the glass, the vodka, the barbeque sauce on the ceiling, the hot stove that was left still burning. I can remember the play house you had your boyfriend build me, and how hard he worked to have it up in a month. I remember all the friends you had coming through the house, from the meth head to the dude that stole ten thousand dollars worth of stuff. I remember your preferred hiding spots for all your illegal items- the suitcase in my closet, under my shelf, or buried in the yard. I remember all the locks that were changed, all the times you got us kicked out again. I remember the blood shot eyes that cried desperately to me, apologizing, but saying he had to cut you out of his life, and with that, was us. But then, I remember, three days later he was begging for your company again. I remember all the hotels and motels, and nights spent in the car. I remember all the times you told me it was okay to drink and drive, despite my protests. I remember the times you were so high you couldn’t even hold up your arms to hold a steering wheel. I remember bracing myself and preparing for the car to fly into oncoming traffic, or to swerve into the river.
I remember the hair clips you kept on the strap of your purse. I remember how you used to tell me, It’s you and me, together forever. I remember how you swore at me that last night we were together, how you flipped me off as you left the driveway. I remember going to school and praying to God that you wouldn’t check me out. I remember how my hands shook so hard I could hardly open my locker to put my books away when the lady from the courthouse came to get me out of third period. I remember my friend looking into my eyes as I left the classroom and saying Goodbye forever, Kira. How she knew, I have no clue. Some nights, I hated you so much. I wanted to scream at you and yell at you and hurt you like you hurt everyone else. Other nights I longed for you, I loved you more than anything. I missed the way you called me your Mini-me. I just wanted my mom again. Unfortunately, you just didn't want me.
Author Notes: All memories are summed up and a hundred percent real. I know it's a longer story, but it's the one that's closest to my heart. I'd appreciate you taking the time to read this.
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