Nostalgia

As I hover above you, as a ghost, watching you read this letter, I know I am reminiscing. I know there was some part of me that wanted to see the light, to see a better future. I remember when I was a baby, laying there and staring up at the ceiling, wiggling my tiny toes and giggling at the beautiful shapes spinning on the little silver hook. A stuffed pink giraffe, a fuzzy white polar bear, and a colorful toucan. They were all smiling and swinging above me. I giggle. Suddenly, I am five years old, looking into the face of my new baby sister. I remember the moist softness of her cheek, her innocent smile, and white pearly teeth. I feed her a spoonful of golden macaroni and she claps her fragile, soft, pink baby hands together. I sigh. The world blurs and I am suddenly standing in the South School playground, hair whipping around my face, angry tears threatening to spill over.
“You’re a fat gumball machine!” I will never forget the thorny, spiked words that flew from Laura Roston’s pinched mouth.
Cheeks red and huffing, I run away and bury my face in my arms, sobbing, hateful, and guilty. Why am I so fat and ugly? My tears run together to form a puddle and in that shiny wetness I see myself in middle school; smiling, grinning, laughing. Winning the spelling bee contest in Ms. Ayer’s sixth grade English class. I receive a little candy dispenser as a prize and at that moment, I never felt more on top of the world. Suddenly, Ms. Ayer’s smiling face vanishes and I am sitting at the kitchen table, at home. I reach my hands up to my face and feel hotness, wetness. Confused, I glance up to my mother’s angry face. Little drops of spittle fly from her lips as she yells. I see, but I cannot hear. Her mouth moves in hard, angry lines forming words I cannot understand. I blink and suddenly I am by myself, sitting in the library, reading a book, writing a story. I write about my first heartbreak. The crush that didn’t like me back. I was lost and hopeless, but I wrote my feelings down so I could immortalize them. I wanted to remember them forever. Again, I push my feelings into a drawer deep within the recesses of my black heart. I take a key and lock that drawer. I place the small, silver key in my hand and with one gentle breath; I blow that key into my bloodstream. It spins for a moment, giving me a chance to keep that key, but I let it go and it gets lost in the sea of red and white blood cells. I close my eyes and try to imagine a life with no pain. I open them and I am standing in a blue skirt and sweater proudly bearing the words “Notre Dame High School Belmont”. I smile with my countless friends, happy, refreshed, and excited to be at a new school. I climb the social ladder, becoming the queen bee, becoming everything I’ve always wanted. As I push more and more feelings into the cubbyholes into my heart, I make a decision to lose those keys every single time. The pain that I hid in those cubbyholes slowly built up, putting more and more pressure against the thin walls. Suddenly, they burst one night, causing my heart to flutter. I gasp and feel an overwhelming sense of despair, feeling my life slip away before my very eyes. The world turns white and my light, the light I held onto for so long, disappears. That light which guided me, protected me, and watched over me…disappeared. Gone. In its place is emptiness. Emptiness so empty, it turns to loneliness and depression. I turn myself around, counterclockwise, four times, and pray. The light is still gone. Suddenly, I am in the courtyard, eating my salad, a girl with angry black eyes in front of me. She yells, and I feel myself responding. But I can’t hear her or myself. I can’t hear anything. I watch from my own eyes, yet I am watching the scene unfold from ten feet away. She stands up, her arms flying, spit flying, her hair wild, eyes wild. I see the tears bubbling over the edge of my eyelids and I feel terrible for that girl who is beginning to cry. I feel so sad for her I forget, for a moment, that she is me.
I am she.
I step back, shocked, and I step onto a moving platform. As the platform begins to glide upwards, I see myself. A large ten-foot version of myself on a screen going to bed, brushing my teeth, eating dinner, not eating at all, turning vegan, fighting with my mom, crying alone in my room at night, hiding my feelings, hiding…always hiding. I see me move around, going through the motions, unaware if the changing world around me. I start going to a program. A program to help me. I see the magic of this new place and I accept it fully. I see the ten-foot giant smiling, laughing, making fast friends with these new creatures. The giant goes every day, bubbly, excited, seemingly perfect. The giant is hiding. Always hiding. I see blackness around her. I see the growing bleakness. Nothing lasts with this giant. She will not last long. I see the giant falling in more ways than one. She falls, but he isn’t there to catch her. The giant falls, breaks, and the screen goes dark. I sit, panting, wondering what will become of that tear-soaked giant. As the room spins, spins, and spins, colors and images of hats, horses, guitars, grape juice float by, quickly, until they all blend into a gigantic blob of a brownish-blackish color. As I try to rub the darkness from my eyes, more flies into my eyes, clogging my nose, my throat and wringing its tendrils around my legs, arms, torso, face, strangling me. I sit there, trying to breathe, but the blob pushes its tendrils deeper into my skin and I lose blood circulation. I close my eyes and wait for the end but it never comes. A piercing scream. A loud knock. A pen drops on the floor. I am suddenly back in my room, my fingers flying over the white keys, click-clacking, trying to document my life in a few pages of black and white.
I breathe.





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