I won't go home tonight. I can't go home. She'll be expecting me. They'll be gone by now, and she'll sit with her head in her lap, screaming my name. Hoping through the miles that separate us, I'll somehow hear her. The train station. I stop here everyday. The prices of the tickets. One more week, and I can buy my way to San Francisco. No one to see there, no life, and no family. No expectations. I'll start over, maybe change my name. I sit down on the bench. I was five. Daddy was still here. My birthday cake smelled like vanilla. I wanted chocolate. They fought. Fast forward. Dark room. The living room. I went upstairs. Open the door to my bedroom. My parents aren't home it seems. Good, when they're home the noise starts. I start off to the bathroom. The shower curtains closed. I look at myself in the mirror, start to brush my teeth. I hear water sloshing. I turn around. Open the curtain. He was white like marble. The water was hot, but his face was so cold. His funeral was 5 days later. Closed casket. Your father drowns himself, your mother doesn't want to see his face. Take his pictures down. Forget him. Forget he ever lived. " He never loved this family, better off without him." The bottom of bottles, overturned tables. The sound of cries from her bedroom. Bottles of pills she never took before. I wake up. It takes a few moments of blinking to realize I've been sleeping. I pick up my bag. I've been dreaming again. That night. She said it would get easier. Before she decided he never lived at all. I can still hear the kids. They whisper when I walk by. "I heard he went crazy, heard she found him, now she won't speak to anyone. She used to be such a nice girl." I walk by with my head down. I'm so sick of this. Sick of everyone. Sick of ' ohhh, that girl?' and ' her father's the one who....'. I used close my eyes, and make the sound go away. I come home everyday to an empty house. She's somewhere. She's always somewhere. She avoids the walls, and the floors. All the stone, and the emptiness of the space. The space that screams his name. She's alone in that empty house. Maybe I'll go home tomorrow.
November 19, 2009