CHANCE

Can you tell me why? Can you try to explain why you’re here to me?

She’s new. She’s a dirt-brown haired newbie, who thinks that she’ll be the one. She’ll crack these girl and the four boys in our ward, and she’ll solve the pesky problem of eating disorders. She’s really trying quite hard: her arms are open – no barriers to communication; her notepad is in her lap, and she’s looking at me in the face. She’s smiling a tiny, closed-mouth mother-of-three smile, and she’s waiting.

I know you’ve heard it before, but I promise you, you can trust me. I just want to know how you’re doing so that we can be on the same page, okay?

I know her type. Two of the guys won’t speak to her because they know her type too. I cross one leg over the other, tilt my head upwards, remind myself to murmur, and say, “I’m doing fine. Thank you.” She’ll stop smiling, and then she’ll write something – ‘uncooperative’ or ‘unwilling to engage’ – and then look back up at me.

She doesn’t.

It says here that you don’t talk much. You once told a psychologist that you wanted to disappear entirely. Can you tell me why do you want to disappear?

It’s funny how you think you have any sort of privacy in this world. The ghosts of the past haunt us, and remind us of realities we seem to have forgotten. My ghosts swim in my lungs, and dance to my irregular heartbeat. They read the notes of the first woman I ever spoke to about Vanishing. They keep those notes forever, and give them to the the New Head Psychologist Woman, PhD.

I don’t know why I told the first one.

I size this one up again. New Psychologist: tall, brown hair, face like pale sand. Blue veins down her arm, like I always wanted. Family photo on the desk, like I always wanted. Tiny smile, like I never wanted. The chances are these: tell her, and have her question you; or don’t, and have her wonder, like the rest of them. 50/50. Moon or sun. Heads or tails.

Romeo and Juliet. Dead, and dead. 1oo. Both.

Part one: Moon. I tell her, “Do you know what it means to transcend everything? Everything that you know. To be apart from everything here, all of this trouble, all this stress? I know what it means. It means vanishing. It means leaving all of this behind, and still getting the grades and the girl and being the good daughter. It means that you say no to some things for a little while, you grow smaller and smaller, and in a little while, you’re closer to vanishing than you ever thought possible. You get to disappear, and live above all of this.”

What do you mean when you say, “live above all of this”?

Part two. I don’t tell her.

I am the sun.

-s.c.o


 

featured image from unidentifieduniverse.com

 

 

Shining

Please note that I just had an idea spam and I haven’t written in a while because junior year. I will be back soon, sometime this week!

I’ve always liked my eyes better when I cried.

When I cried, they weren’t that mud-brown-almost-black that everyone said they were. They were different, shiny. Shiny? Yes, shiny. I suppose everybody’s eyes shine when they cry – it’s the tears. I just so happened to like mine.

“It’s here!” my mom called out. She was in the kitchen of our two-room apartment, and she had just gotten an email regarding the job she had applied for. I dragged as much of myself as I could into the kitchen with my fingers crossed.

“Okay, are you ready?” she asked, fingers waiting to open the document.

“Ready as ever,” I replied, trying to sound more enthusiastic than deadpan.

Don’t get me wrong, I wanted my mom to get this job more than anything. I wanted her to be happier, not to have to travel 40 kilometres every morning , not to be wary of the crazies she worked with.

I was just so used to disappointment, I couldn’t help but not get my hopes up.

She clicked the mouse- once, then again- and the screen was filled with text. And then I felt it. Hope.

I had the craziest hope that the letter would make my mom smile, and make her jump, and make her happy. I had the hope that something would have worked out. I had hope. Odd, since I hadn’t felt hope since That Night.

That Night was the night he left. He said he needed some cigarettes. He just didn’t come back. When he left, I was seven – innocent enough to be changed, but smart enough to see the truth. My mom had said, “Maybe he got lost, and right now he’s coming with a big present for you.Everything will be fine.” He got lost alright. Lost in a world where my mother, myself and him didn’t coexist. I guess he just decided to find a way out. Good for him, I suppose. Good for him. My mother didn’t lie to me again after That Night.

My mom started to read in her usual overly cheery voice: “Dear Mrs Tapenden, we regrettably inform you that the position has been filled.” Her tone didn’t change in the slightest as she continued. ” Your application has been unsuccessful. Your time is appreciated. Keith Roger, Design and Co.”

“Well, I guess it’s not time yet!” she said, voice thinning as she skipped towards the small excuse of a living room. I couldn’t believe it. I’d allowed myself to feel hope, and nothing had happened. But somehow, my mother kept her faith. I couldn’t understand it. I couldn’t comprehend why she had to keep doing something. I felt the alien sting of tears in my eyes and began to think of something else. Math. Breakfast. Jude Law. Jack Frost. Selena Gomez.

Nothing was working.

So I cried. I let all 17 and a quarter years of myself cry.  I looked into the microwave, and saw my eyes. There, I saw my mother.

Let down. Beat up. Mud brown.

But shining. Still Shining.