Broken- an object's form when it is not whole or is fractured. Broken can also be a state or being.
As I walked home alone solitary and content last night the cool crisp December air nipped at my exposed ears and numbed my tiny hands. I was watching cars rufh past, they were here one moment and gone the next always in a hurry like they have somewhere to be. I start looking down and begin thinking as my black boots lead me down the cracked pavement.
A phrase rings in my ears. "Don't step on the cracks or you'll break your mother's back!" I puase at the top of the bridge I cross on my way home. I take a second to reminisce. I recall walking from my uncle's house with my family, my mom, my dad, and my big sister. I can't remember when it was exactly but I visualize hopping over the cracks hand-in-hand with my dad. The leaves had already begun to change. Vivid yellow, orange, red, and brown leaves littered the sidewalk. The scene fades and i resume my walk.
As I pass my step father's old apartment I think back to a day when I was five. I was scared. Everyone was whispering and sad, I was helpless because there was nothing I could do, and confused because all my mom's friends were bringing all my things into my grandparents' house. The image flickers. Now I'm crying. "Mommy and Daddy aren't going to be together anymore..." I feel tears streaming down my face again just as they had then; warming in the coldness, flowing like Niagra Falls, and needs like oxygen.
The memory was replaced by a new one. My stomach drops and i freeze unable to move a muscle. The screaming of their fights. The curses they called. The pettiness amoung some of the tremendous load. Nothing could compare to this.
I tried to stop the recollection, but it had to come up now. I had just gotten home from our last football game. It was apprometly 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 15, 2016. I dashed up the stairs and ditched my cheerleading uniform for a pair of soft baggy pajamas. I returned down stairs to have soup my mom prepared because I hadn't eaten all day. I asked her if she had heard from my adult brother because my dad had been hospitalized. He suffered his fifth major heart attack. She said she'd talk to me after I'd finished. My sister and I ate quickly then joined her in the living room. "Girls..." I blacked out, I knew what was coming. I thought about everything we've ever done together. Then I though about everything we'd never dotogether.
I wouldn't have my dad at my thirteenth birthday, or graduation, or wedding, or he'd never be a grandpa, he'd never get to meet anyone I dated or anyone I told him about. I lost my best friend that night... My whole worled shattered, splintering me with shards of glass.
I thought I'd be okay but as time went on more and more piled up.
I finally calmed down and began walking again. I crossed the final street leading up to my house. I felt hollow inside and fragile like porcelin, yet somehow I was numb. I pulled my icy hands from my pockets and reached for the gate of our fence. It was bareky latched shut. The gate was broken and ready to fall.
As am I.