i am fourteen years old. the year is two thousand and four. my mom is away visiting my grandpa. he has cancer. he will not live much longer. i am feeling so alone. i miss my mom. i have already decided not to return to public school this year. it is August. i am sitting alone on the porch. there are no walls; it has not become my bedroom yet. i see a small piece of broken plastic in the dirt. it is sharp. i am sharp; if anyone gets close to me my anger and sadness will cut them. i pick the plastic up. i press it into my flesh, near my knee. i drag it against my skin again and again. i am bleeding. i lie when asked what happened. scraped myself on something. it was an accident.
i am seventeen years old. the year is two thousand and seven. my parents drove me to Burbank. we carried my things up to my third floor dormitory. at some point my dad cries. he does not want me to leave home. he has held on too tightly and i’ve been afraid to leave because i don’t want to break his heart. but at the same time i am angry at him because i want to be allowed to spread my wings and fly. i want to stop being his emotional crutch.
i am eighteen years old. the year is two thousand and eight. i meet a boy. he is really sweet. i tell myself i do not want a boyfriend. i want to be just friends with this boy. in a week’s time he will be my boyfriend.
what is different about my story? what does my voice sound like? what are the recurring elements in my story? how are these things my own?
J and T
places i’ve been
buses and bus stops
they do not manifest the same in another’s life as they do in mine. no one feels the same as i do. my experiences are uniquely my own. even if you were there, it was not the same for you as it was for me. maybe your heart broke, but your heart is not mine, so how could they ever have broken in the same fashion? your eyes may have seen it all, but they are not my eyes, so they have not seen what i have seen. your fingers have traced skin, but they don’t feel the way mine do. the books i’ve read sit on your shelf, but i did not read those that your fingers thumbed thru. your lips have kissed, but we’ve never known the same kiss, the same moment. you have caused pain, but it was not mine to feel. i have written words that weren’t yours to read, but i gave them away. i no longer notice some whose voices aren’t important to me, yet others i read their every word and wish i knew what to say. so, i’ll sit here and try to find my voice.