Bronze Knights and Spring Flowers

September 10, 2010
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There you sat on the couch, hugging your knees, leaning forward, mouth slightly gaping. I rolled my eyes. You were so much like a child. Every New Year’s celebration was like your first. You were always so excited, murmuring the countdown in disbelief that another year had come.

You throw me a quick, anxious look before returning it to the screen, “It’s about to drop!”

I nod, feigning interest.


New Year’s Day marks the start of every year. New beginnings, new chances—yes, this year will definitely be different, you assure me.


But I know by now it won’t be, because that’s what you’ve told me every year. So why would this year be any different? Yet I screw on a strangled smile for you. I want to believe you. I really try to. But I’ve lived in this harsh reality too long, and I’ve forgotten how to hope.


You cycle with the seasons, don’t try to deny it. New Year’s Day marks the halfway mark of your downfall. It’s when your recovery starts, when your scars heal over. It’s when you finally start leaving the house again. It’s when hope creeps its way into your life, taking over common sense and responsibility.


You make new friends, because your old ones want nothing to do with you. Then you meet him. He’s the one, this time I’m sure of it, you insist.


Spring comes, and the connection you claim to have clicks. Your knight in shining armor (which is more of a cheap bronze, if you ask me) sweeps you off your feet and carries you into his castle.


Love blossoms. Like summer, it’s carefree. Sweet summer nights find me left behind, with only choruses of crickets as company. Please understand, you plead as you rush out the door to him. I nod, of course I do. But your fevered love blinds you to the distance in my eyes, deafens you to the uncertainty in my cracking voice.


The summer nights disappear, and the leaves turn glorious colors. You, like the plant life, have hit your prime. You’ve reached the peak. Brace yourself, I want to warn. But it’s too late. You’ve already started with excuses to delay meeting up with him. Why don’t you just end it? You can’t possibly be that desperate.


As the leaves shrivel up and spiral down, the problems rise. He’s hunting you down now. You think I can’t hear those shouted conversations and the abusive slaps he scolds you with—but sweetie, I’m not deaf. I ignore them anyway. That’s what you want, isn’t it?


It’s winter now. The flowers are gone, the trees stand stripped of their beauty. You won’t leave the house. You blame it on the cold weather. I agree, as usual, choking back on words that we’re both avoiding. How many times am I going to have to see you, my own mother, curled up broken and bruised beyond repair, sobbing? How many times am I going to have to pick up the pieces? How many times am I going to see you let yourself be trampled upon, used, and picked apart like a spring flower? How many times…

“1… Happy New Year’s!”

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