Scars

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Soft skin. No scars, smooth and flawless. She smiles and her eyes light up with delight and beautiful innocence.
My skin is rough, torn by regret and misfortune. I protect her glowing heart with my life; hers is the only thing I haven’t burned with my destructive touch.
I watch her as she plays with her dolls. In her little fantasy world, Daddy comes home with his big briefcase and kisses her goodnight. Mommy is always there to pick her up after school and bring her home to a heaping plate of chocolate chip cookies.
She sometimes asks me when Mommy and Daddy are coming back, and I feel my heart wrench inside my chest as I have to tell her that Sister is all she has. She kisses the tears as they glide down my rough cheeks, her own eyes wet with confusion and a simple desire for me to be content. But I know that it will never happen.
At night, when she is asleep next to me, I watch her delicate eyelids flutter as she dreams gentle dreams of butterflies and fairytale princesses.
I stroke her unscathed skin, and pray and hope and wish that she will never grow up.





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