A memoir


The Door. The Window. The Trees. The Stars.


I sat silently in my room, the heat and voices outside of my door making it stifling. I stared, unmoving, at my door. My door has a boarded up hole in it from when my little half sister broke through it, scared of the dark and locked in her room. Or rather her former room, as it was my room now.

Over the years I had used that door to vent my emotions. On the outside it’s painted a innocent white,  and otherwise plain with only a piece of plywood along the bottom to decorate it. A scarred, but normal door.

However, on the inside it’s a explosion of colors. I had finger painted all over it, hues of green and purple calming the bleeding red handprints. Peacock feathers and glittering sequins are hot glued to the wood, making the scrapbook door leap out at you. My name written in it’s native greek is spelled in a rainbow array acrossed the top of it. There is not a single speck of white on my side of the door.

A shout of anger cuts through the still air better than a knife would. My dad and his ex wife are screaming at each other again. Or rather she is screaming at him. A thud echos from behind the door. Maybe she is throwing things again. Maybe even punches. Ah, normality.

I hate being here. I really do. I used to try to pretend that everything was going to be fine. I would smile and kiss the girls, my dearest half sisters. They are seven and four now, their memories dominated by arguments, my hugs and my brother’s jokes. I used to put on a wide grin for them, but now even that is strained.

I’ve seen so much, far too much. Why is it that we are guaranteed only pain and tears in life? Why is being happy so hard?

A thud against my door startled me, though it shouldn’t anymore. I ignore it and turn to the window by my bedside. I open it with practiced ease and hop out into the night air outside. I love my window. It was like heaven’s gate to me, a literal window to freedom.

It’s really beautiful at night. Maybe I’m biased but I prefer the dark to the sunlight. I feel like it’s easier to hide, both the monsters and the victims, than it is in the sun. I’m wrapped up in it’s secrets and I can breath finally. I can run as far as I want and no one can stop me. No one can trap me.

I take a deep breath and wander around in the forest that seems to swallow my dad’s house. I remember that it used to scare me, how my heart would race when I would have to turn on the generator for power. Now the giant trees seem to offer comfort and guard me. They tower so high above me, wearing their burns and scars proudly. A testament of what they had suffered and of what they had refused to bow under.

I caress the charred side of a cedar tree and lean against it, drawing strength from it. These trees seem to whisper to me, comforting wisps of conversation through the wind. They are so natural, so strong. Unlike the home in front of me, beyond the forest.

My dad’s house looks pleasant enough on the outside. It’s painted a pale beige with white trim. It’s two stories with a wide lawn and a round a bout driveway. The lawn is filled with weeds and kid toys. Shredded shoes and lawn furniture it courtesy of the american bulldog and two bully mixes my dad has. My dad’s beat up and ancient gold Toyota truck sits besides her car.

However, the constant shouts and angry tension emmenate from that house. You couldn’t get within armslength of it without the feelings of fear, resentment and rage rubbing sickeningly against your skin. I never have my friends come over for that very reason.

I rub my nose to ease the nip of cold. It’s the day after Christmas, a holiday I don’t even celebrate, so it’s a bit chilly. However not as cold as it should be. At least the sky is clear. I look up and stare at the stars, a habit that I have done for years.

I think that I started looking at the stars for solace since long ago. Maybe it started when I got sick as a child with periorbital cellulitis. My eyes had swelled and I was given a fifty-fifty chance of being blind for the rest of my life. I don’t remember much from then, but I remember how scared my mom was and how dark the world was for days. I reach up and make my habitable grab for the stars and moon.

I think dreams are like stars. They hurt to look at, are impossible to touch, yet were still reach for them. Why is that? Why do we reach for something so far from us? I watch as my breath makes clouds in the air. Humans are a strange race.

A particularly loud shout rings from the house and for some reason it makes a dark memory rise up. I clutch my arms to my chest, my fingers leaving red marks on my skin. I frantically tell myself that I am not there anymore. That that man was gone forever and that he could never hurt me again.

But who was going to protect me if he comes back? That thought comes unbidden from my mind. Dad is too busy to save me, grandma is crazy though she means well. Mom is too fragile and worn out. I cannot burden my little brother with my insanity. My sister’s are far too young for me to let them know of my… scars, if I ever will tell then. I simply do not trust the woman who I was forced to call mother for thirteen years. There was no one that I can trust or feel ok talking to.

Fine. If there was no one who could save me then I would save myself. I won’t allow anyone to hurt me again, no matter what. Even if it hurts I won’t let them know that. Never. I will grin instead of cry. I will laugh when I should be crippled. No one will know the difference between my smile and my grimace. It should be no problem with my new resolve.

Afterall, I’ve had lots of practice.


Tag der Veröffentlichung: 05.02.2014

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