“Don’t mess with me,” she said.
And I let her walk away with the naive idea that she actually possessed the power to hurt me.
Author’s Note: I’m putting this here so I won’t lose it because, let’s face it, if I leave it anywhere else it’s going to end up at the bottom of some document I never open, and I need to be able to reference it often. You’re not going to/supposed to understand this, but if I ever get this book done, you will 😉 Nonetheless, enjoy my shit poetry!
Makeup to cover the bruises
Smiles to hide the pain
Oh what a girl wouldn’t do
To just be whole again.
Maybe it was fate
Or just a long, cruel joke
But time would soon tell her
The truth in the words he spoke.
She was not worth the light or day
She was not worth his time
She was not worth his energy
Her existence was her crime.
From the day she knew these things
Her heart began to break
What had she done to incur his wrath
And just what was at stake?
He was a man of power
In her life, so powerless
He was her only future
Nothing else to yearn or miss.
Poor little girl, he often said
You pathetic whining bitch
I’ll cut your throat, dance in your blood
You ungrateful little witch.
She changed her name to suit her mood
“A girl can change her stars”
Brayden, Abigale, Xylia,
But her body still bore the scars.
And so she took off in the night
To find herself alone
And with her dying breath she found
A new place to call home.
Author’s Note: Trigger warning. If you respond badly to violence or abuse or existential crises, please don’t read this excerpt. Also, don’t get the wrong idea. I’m doing research for the backstory of a character I’m building, and I wrote this in honor of her.
And in honor of him 🙂
She kicked the wall. Hard. Once. Twice. Three times. Four times. She kicked it until there was a hole through the drywall and she was sure she had at least three broken toes.
She picked up the closest thing, whatever it was, she didn’t bother to pay attention, and threw it across the room as hard as her sore muscles would allow. Whatever it was, it shattered, clattering to the floor.
She punched the door, not even feeling as the wood splintered beneath her hand and her bones cracked beneath her skin.
More like she sobbed. Wept. It was ugly and loud and she was miserable and angry and heartbroken and tired. God, she was so fucking tired.
And then the floor approached her, and she slumped into a pathetic heap on the ground, her rage too hot for her to control but her body too numb to make her move.
And she prayed. She didn’t believe in God or anything, wasn’t religious in the least. But if there was anything out there, anything watching over her, or even haunting her, she prayed to it.
She prayed for death. She prayed that if she could finally fall asleep for the first time in days that she would never wake up. She prayed that she could walk out in the road and be struck by the biggest vehicle there was. She prayed that lightning would strike her. She prayed that shoving the fork into the electrical socket would zap her to death. She prayed she could bleed out when she pressed that blade into her skin and ripped her arm open all the way to her elbow. She’d always been told, horizontal for attention, vertical for results.
She grit her teeth as her mind flooded with the thoughts of all the things she hated about her life, her home, her existence in general. She hated every part of it. She hated living. Living wasn’t worth it anymore.
And suddenly, he popped into the forefront of her mind. Him. His voice. The sound of his keyboard when they’d be on the phone and he’d be working. The train horns in the background every hour. Just him.
He’d always told her he would always be there. He always said that if she needed him, she could call him. He always told her how much he loved her, how it wasn’t her fault, how she never needed to apologize for her shit existence. He always said he’d be there.
She could call him. Right now. Her hands may be broken and bleeding and she may be too hoarse to be able to speak, to tell him what happened and that she loved him and that she was sorry, but she could call him. It was easy. He made it easy. He made living worth it.
Her breath caught in her throat. But she couldn’t call him. He didn’t need to know. Just earlier she’d told him she was doing great today, that things were starting to look up, that one day she’d be whole again. She’d lied. To spare him. He didn’t need to worry. He didn’t need to care. He didn’t need her.
So she stayed on the floor, knowing that when her father got home he might kill her. She hadn’t done anything she was supposed to do today, and she’d just desecrated his property. She knew she’d fucked up. She fucked up bad. God, she’d fucked up so bad.
And so, to any gods who might have been listening, or even if they weren’t, she sent up one more silent prayer. A hope, a shot in the dark, that maybe, he would be okay. He would go on to do great things, inspire people to great heights. He would survive, and he would thrive, and he would be just fine. He would go on without her and he would be fine with that. She prayed he would just be okay. She needed him to be okay, even if it was without her.
In the distance, she heard the front door unlock. She knew it was him. She knew it was her father. So finally, she let the pain from her broken hands and broken toes and bleeding face and shattered soul and aching heart carry her into the darkness of unconsciousness.
She knew that darkness, like it was an old friend. Reunited at last.
Author’s Note: The assignment was to write a Shakespearean sonnet poem, meaning 14 lines, with 10 syllables per line. I was told others had written their poems about their love for their significant other, their passion for doughnuts, or even their hate for poetry itself. I wrote the only thing that came naturally to me 🙂
And just in case you can’t read the mess that is my handwriting, here it is in print 🙂
“I was born a writer inside my blood
For deep within my soul these words have slept
In my brain a story begins to bud
Begging to be heard, listened to, and kept.
The pen flies madly across the paper
Too many thoughts and not near enough time
Although my motivation may soon taper
It is no excuse; instead it is crime.
My character’s story will soon be heard
Their journey splattered across this blank page
Out of the nothing this conflict was stirred
This literature of mine has no age.
For once a story is written, it’s true
Its lessons stain your skin like a tattoo.”
Author’s Note: This is not an excerpt. This is not a writing piece that I would usually post here. This is me. Real, raw, unedited, me.
I am angry.
Constantly. Every waking second of every day I am angry. At myself. At others. At no one in particular. I am always angry.
But today I am angry with good reason.
I am a senior in high school. I am a person who tries to earn the respect of others instead of demanding it. I am a girl who writes instead of cutting. I am a human, though sometimes I am a poor excuse for one. I have a job. I can drive a manual. I cook and clean and take care of the house that I live in because it is needed, not because it is asked of me. I am a young woman striving for the next part of her life, a better, more stable, part of her life.
I am also treated like a child.
At 17 years old, I have to ask permission to go to speak. To go to the bathroom. To call my mother. To take a step outside to calm my anxiety attack.
At 17 years old, I am looked down upon by adults not because I am short (though I’m told every day that I am) but because they find me naive. Uneducated. Immature. Irresponsible. Helpless. Mentally and emotionally handicapped.
At 17 years old, I am a prisoner.
I am more than the numbers on my report card. I am more than the number of loads of dishes I’ve done today. I am more than a girl with a head full of fantasies (though, being a writer, I have a lot of those).
I am smart. I am brave. I am defiant when it is called for. I am determined.
And yet I am treated as though I am nothing more than a shadow. A stranger in a room full of friends. A wildflower in a field of roses.
Worse yet, I am treated like a criminal.
“Teenagers can’t be trusted!” I’m told.
“Kids your age are reckless!” they say.
“Wait until you get out in the real world.”
“You’re too young to understand.”
“You don’t know what’s best for you; ask an adult for help.”
I am suffocated by stifled creativity and lack of real guidance. I am smothered by rules and regulations and consequences when I don’t measure up to perfection. I am prevented from happiness because I am drowning in responsibilities without being allowed privileges. I am dying.
My opinions are devalued on a daily basis because what I think doesn’t align with what you think, and for some reason that makes me wrong. More than that, it decreases my credibility. If I’m wrong one time, I’m wrong every time.
Welcome to the life of a teenager.
What would adulthood be without having to recover from the teen years?
But hear me.
This is not the life I want to live. This is not the life I want to remember.
I want to be trusted. I’ve earned that much. I’ve made some bad decisions and caused some trouble, but nothing worth this cruel, enduring punishment I live through day in and day out. I want to be allowed to grow up.
Please let me grow up.
Please see my side. Please understand that I have the best of intentions. Please stop punishing me for what I cannot control. I am not others, and others are not me. Please try to understand how I feel.
Because I think if you were me…
You’d be angry too.
So I will put one foot in front of the other. This is not the end of an era. This is the beginning of a revolution.
-excerpt from a book I’ll never write (d.c.)
And she’ll lay down at night and wait for everyone to go to sleep, wait for the silence to feel heavier than her broken heart, and then she’ll cry. She’ll cry for every opportunity she had to say something and didn’t, for every time she denied herself and lost what she wanted in the end. She’ll cry until her throat is hoarse and her body is sore.
And then she’ll make herself some coffee, get ready for school, and face the world like she possesses the power of gods. She’ll smile at the one who broke her so he won’t know how damaged he made her, and she’ll maintain the courage to fight back the tears when they spring to her eyes at the mere thought of him and what they could have been. She’ll drive him home that afternoon and watch him disappear into a tiny speck in her rearview mirror, and she’ll punch the steering wheel and scream in agony and frustration and lust. She’ll compose herself in the driveway and walk into the house to tell her father she got stuck in traffic instead of in her emotions.
And then she’ll lay down that night. Wait for everyone to go to bed. For the silence to be heavier than her broken heart. And she’ll cry. For tearing herself apart inside with a vision of something that will never exist. For stoking the flames of a false hope just because it keeps her from the brink of insanity. She’ll cry until she’s dehydrated and exhausted. And then she’ll shower, wash away the guilt and the shame and the salt. And she’ll go to school to face him once again. And he’ll never realize what he did to her because she’ll smile at him. And she’ll hold back the emotions with a battered flood gate. Hold them back… just a little longer….
And she’ll lay down that night. Wait for everyone to go to sleep. For the silence to be heavier than her broken heart. And she’ll stare at the ceiling because she’s too far gone to cry, lost between a girlish fantasy of love and the cold reality of isolation. And she’ll get up to drive to school. And her hands will go numb as they press the gun into her temple. Click. Bang. Crash.
She’ll be lowered to her final bed that night. Black tie affair. A closed casket. And he’ll be there. Oh yes, he will be there. Because no, he didn’t know he broke her. But he understood all too well.
Because he was broken too.
“I love you.” he chokes out, tears streaming uninhibited down his face. He shivers, then wraps his arms around himself to brace against the cold. She always told him he needed to wear a jacket. “I’ve never loved anything more in my entire life.”
She can only look back at him and smile, the light not quite reaching her eyes- it never does anymore. Her hand grips the open door of her truck, and her fingertips turn a ghostly white. “I’m sorry,” she says after long a pause, her voice barely audible over the distance between them, “but I don’t feel anything anymore.”