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Unrecognizable words scrambled by the phone.
Both voices grow in intensity.
“So what?” The voice grows angry.
A sigh, a pause. More phone-talk.
I wish that the walls weren’t so thin. I wish they wouldn’t talk so loud. I wish our house wasn’t on an alley so I can’t hear the noises from the street. I wish the night wasn’t so quiet. I wish the walls weren’t so thin.
I wish I’d moved my bed to the other side of my room. I wish I had the courage to get up and tell them I can hear them. I wish I knew how to tell them to stop, that they’re hurting each other and they’re hurting me. I wish I could tell them truthfully how I feel. I wish she would come back. I miss her. I miss my little sister. I wish we could be happy again. I wish I’d stopped him from leaving that first day. I wish, I wish, I wish…
But Wishing doesn’t help. Wishing doesn’t kill the thing inside me. Wishing doesn’t kill the Guilt that eats away at my strength, my energy. Wishing doesn’t help – Wishing makes it worse. Wishing and Guilt. Enemies that feed off each other, both getting stronger the longer the fight goes on. Hope makes them stronger, too. When I let Hope try to help me, and Hope lets me down, Hope fuels the return of Guilt and Wishing. And Loneliness? I have plenty of that. I don’t confide in my friends. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I don’t have faith in them – I don’t know if they’ll always have my back and always keep my secrets.
In the night, they all eat away at me. Guilt, Loneliness, Wishing, Hope. They all fight. In the night, it’s quiet, I’m alone, and every monster in fairytales takes a shape in my room. Loneliness is the Big Bad Wolf – it eats me whole and alive, it lets me suffer, lets me cry for help with no one but it to hear. Hope is Cinderella’s fairy godmother. She gives out her spell, and I think that everything will be all right. I laugh and smile and get that funny, warm fuzzy feeling in me. But then, at midnight, the spells dies, and reality falls on me. In the dead of night I hear them fight on the phone.
Wishing is that stupid little man, Rumpelstiltskin. You wish and wish and wish, and you think, Maybe this time. But then his deal comes back around and bites you. Wishing likes Hope – because, when you Wish, you get Hope that you’re Wish will come true. For a moment, you’re in Bliss because you think, It’ll come true. We’ll be all right. And then the spell breaks, you hear them fight, and Rumpelstiltskin laughs at you, dancing around his stupid little fire.
Guilt is the worst. Guilt is Maleficent, guarding Sleeping Beauty as a dragon. Guilt keeps its victims locked away, hidden by time and thorns. And when your Prince comes riding through, hell bent on rescuing you, Guilt eats him. Just swallows him whole, and you’re watching from your tower window. And you think, It’s all my fault! He wouldn’t have died if I wasn’t locked up in this tower, if I could’ve saved myself. He wouldn’t have died if I hadn’t gone upstairs against all warnings. He wouldn’t have died if I hadn’t fallen for him so quickly. I should’ve asked him name – I would’ve found out he was a prince, would have known that coming to the castle wouldn’t mean never seeing him. It would have meant marrying him. I’m so stupid! Why didn’t I? Why?
I should have stopped him from leaving that first day. I should have told him that if he left, all hell would break loose. I had that feeling, that I should do something. But I didn’t, and look at where that led us. Midnight phone fights. Daytime phone fights. When she’s here, fighting in the kitchen, the dining room, downstairs, on the staircases. I should say something. But I can’t. I can’t tell them that it’s my fault; that I almost told him to stay.
This morning I found out she isn’t coming back. She’ll keep my sister with her, but I’m staying here. She wants to take me, but she won’t. So I’m stuck, every night, in this room. There are no more fights, no more noises. Occasionally, I think I can hear him crying.
At night, it’s quiet. I can’t hear the noises from the city. There are no more caused-by-thin-walls distractions. Now, the only thing I hear is the laughter. All those monsters laughing at me – whispering, You silly girl, you tried to fight us. But we won, we always win, you always lose. And then Hope dies. And instead of fighting, they all work together against me. Clawing away at my strength, my dreams, my resistance. Loneliness laughs the loudest while he works.
I though my parents would always be Mommy & Daddy. I guess not.