I let the last few drops of water fall peacefully in my eyes before the shower turned off completely. I’m a mess and when I go out into the public everyone would know that too. I rub the excess water out of my eyes and open the clear shower door. My feet find comfort on the towel that I had lain outside the doorway. I wrap a navy blue towel around my wet body and start drying. My eyes I feel are swollen from my fallen tears and my head throbs. It feels like my brain had grown two sizes too big and now it’s jamming itself against the inside of my head. A headache will be coming soon. I waddle over to the square mirror over the sink and I look regretfully onward. I was right, I should be unhappy about my appearance. My face is a pasty pale colour and my eyes are rimmed with red. My nose isn’t that much of a help either, blotchy and inflamed. I yank the brush down and start tugging out the knots. What will happen when I come out? They will of course notice, just like she noticed me in the first place. I had practically ran from the kitchen to my bedroom to retrieve my bathrobe all in the hopes of hiding my tears. It would have worked if I hadn’t have made the stupid mistake of turning to look at her. I should have known that if she would have seen my face she would have known I was crying or in my case close to it. I remember her studying me and asking the killing question. “Why are you crying?” She had said with her fierce eyes locked onto mine, half of her sung with anger the other half with frustration. I could have been thinking of a truthful answer, maybe even a lie. I could have been thinking of coming up with a snappy retort or finding an escape route. No, I was shocked and stood there unmoving, letting my face fall apart. I started stammering “I’m not crying” which was partly true. I could hear the gunshot going off in the back of my head signalling the start of the battle. Her lips were pinned together and her eyes were no safe haven. Our fight which really wasn’t a fight at all lasted about five minutes but it felt like forever with us both in the end gaining nothing. I ran downstairs and broke into a set of fresh tears when I finally had hot water pouring out the faucet. My thoughts kept going back to dinnertime with their labels, none of them realizing how it killed me to hear that. They had broken my qualities that I was proud of and left them there to die in agonizing defeat. Why couldn’t they realize that this is who I am? A person who has to analyze my surroundings to feel safe and content. A person who is curious and even when she bites her tongue so it doesn’t explode with questions still will always be curious. A person who has to run for a piece a paper so she can write down notes and ideas in the middle of dead silence. I’m not my father, my mother, my sister or anyone else, but it’s difficult just to say this is who I am. Because I know I am no label.
October 24, 2010