Are you anything?

August 16, 2012
By , Winnipeg, Canada
I read it and I think of her every time. And nothing can stop me thinking of her, because she's still here, beside me.  Like that day when we listened to "Hide and Seek", a tinny sound approaching our ears from the MP3 player she never let go of, and I danced my last year's lyrical piece that she never came to see and instead of crying she laughed.  

She's inside me, like the day I told her I loved when she was sad because it invigorated me and made me feel on top of the world.  It's the bare truth that it was hard to notice her depression, and harder when I found out she lied about everything true because then I didn't even feel guilty.

She's haunting me, like the time she came to my house and I didn't want to go and we rambled all the way to school but I was sickly tense hearing voices shouting blood and cutting and a box full of blades that she took and the abused boy with his hair in his eyes and it was him not her and it was a plea for help.  But it was all her talking, and what frightened me more than the words was the expression; at that moment she was so broken it was impossible to know and so sad it was impossible to mend.  She was never serious then, and the only time she had that look later was when she looked at me and I didn't think I could bear to look at her, because it turned out I was the only one who was real and I didn't want to be and maybe she was all of them.  

She's against me, like the day she was only my partner because I knew what to do and I changed the groups to Sami alone and Ellen alone when she was on the other side of the room laughing louder than I knew she could.  

She was my child, that one time we sat in the library when I had no friends and she was somehow not otherwise engaged and she hefted "MirrorMask" on the table and we read it her as Helena, I as the other ones who sided her, and she told me when we were done that it was her favorite story and her mother was the small parts all throughout her life until she became too small a part to be written in at all.  

She was my girl, that time she wouldn't let me leave and when I did she forced me to let her come back to me.  It's that time that hurts, and now I can never remember if it hurts because I hurt her or because I ruined myself, or maybe it was because it wasn't the end then.  Even though the credits were pushing up across the screen and there were no more words to say than there had ever been when we said nothing those millions of times and I hated her.

 I know that when I think of that day after I've blotted up the tears from the soaking memory, all that is left is her in my room and I can't stop it from becoming a glimpse of the sleepover we had another time when she borrowed a nightgown and we were two ghosts from centuries far gone.  She didn't make fun of me in floral and gold like she did when I wore too small pajama pants on Spirit Day and pulled them down and up as she smirked and swayed.  We slept in my bed since she wouldn't touch the floor, and I listened to her snooze, in that exact sound, and I stole her soft pillow when she wasn't looking or thinking or caring that I didn't have enough room to smush myself into blankets in five different directions.  All I can think of now is how close we were, and I could have been thinking about the scattering of her bleach crimped hair and the shying press of her little girl breasts and the sheer fabric whose ruffles and daisies did nothing to keep us apart when we were both off the floor.  But it wasn't in my mind that I could even think like that except to be embarrassed that she somehow knew me.  I was thinking about never being able to sleep at sleepovers, and tiredness was screwing my thoughts so I didn't know if I was mad at Sami or musing on the existence of needs from other people when they have nothing to give.  I wasn't thinking about how close we were.

But I really should be thinking about the actual day, when we split like a wedged slice of fresh tawny wood that cracked and clattered to the floor and was left.  I said the words I couldn't say after months of not saying them and then said them wrong and in the way that did make me cry.  Made me weep, to see her fluster more than I believed possible after all we hadn't been through.  Not hiding, the way she never admitted she always did when she was sticking it out and eating candy and being tough.  

I stopped saying any words at all and we just sat in my room on that same innocent bed and listened to my mother making macaroni and cheese and hoped against hope that she could leave us alone to suffer.  

The most together thing we ever did was suffer.  And I suffer still, having in my boxed memory that day when we sat inside the rectangle of painted white grass that held no purpose for anyone except that day to love each other in the ways that we never could and still couldn't and never would, even though we ate the bottom bits off grass and shared things sometimes and glared at each other sometimes and hurt but were together.  

Acknowledging me on Facebook is enough to love me if it gets me to poke you back. <i> Are you still there? </i> It is you asking what you never seemed to know or want to know. <i> Are you anything? </i>

The thing with imaginary friends is they never ask for you to love them or listen to their story.  They never have you wake up two years later and  realize that the person you are in reflection is beautiful because she's become that other girl who you might still hate. They never aren't enough and they are never there to fall in love with.

 I think there was one time when you stopped my birthday and I watched you Sami rushing off to talk to your boyfriend. And at the same time as you were caring about him you were not loving me.  Even though you did.  There was that day when I went from not having anyone to having you, when you saved me from the ratty girls with illegal cigarettes; you took me over and took me in.  You did love me.  Every day, you shouted down the whole road that you loved me, and I thought you juvenile. I thought you stupid and fake and infuriating and b****y and cruel and sick after you had left, but when you were there I just thought you perfect.

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