she was just a girl.
a girl with, what she thought, was little strength and no options.
how can you be free when so many things weigh you down?
what kind of life is lived peeking out from behind your fears?
am i wearing them upon me now?
she could dance, couldn’t she? she could leap up and touch down softly. her reflection, dancing along… slowly at first and then rapidly. she could stretch and bend, she could spin and jump. she could do that.
and if she fell? could she get up again? could she check her feet and ankles for injuries and decide it was alright? maybe, but was it still safe to try again?
he was silent, staring back at her. she couldn’t stop the tears from flowing, and she was embarrassed but the grief pounding at her head and bulging behind her eyes was persistent. the sobs came out, big and bursting, gasping and crinkling her eyes. It wasn’t a soft or lovely cry. It wasn’t the kind of sadness she’d experienced from heartbreak or from feeling depressed. In fact those seemed ridiculous and silly now. She wished he would hold her. He looked just lost. He looked like a kid. A scared kid, caught with his hand in the cookie jar. The moment she thought that, she realized how young she must also look.
she tried not to hate him.
this man, or boy, she’d given herself to him… she remembered the way they fell so beautifully in love… nights of his soft touch and whispers and how she’d treasured it. he was never unkind, he was never selfish. he gave everything he had to her. he and she became ‘we’, and she knew that he was the man she wanted beside her as long as she lived…
but she tried not to hate him.
because he knew what the answer was. the dreadful, unspeakable answer. and she tried to imagine another option. in fact, she almost was glad that he’d suggested it first. she wouldn’t have been able to speak the words.
he said it and he stuck by it, and so she got to fight it, she got to cry about it and beg for a different option, but even when he relented, ‘I can’t make you go through with this.’, she became terrified. And so she was heartbroken.
she said in the waiting room, ‘we could walk out right now’, she didn’t know if he’d heard. maybe she didn’t actually say it. she was on a lot of drugs.
that was the best day, and she hates that it was the best day because it was the worst. but she was on a lot of drugs. and so that was the only day she didn’t cry.
she didn’t feel any different afterwards at first and she hated that too. wasn’t she supposed to feel empty, like she’d lost something? or maybe relieved like the pamphlet said? she didn’t want to feel sad. but sometimes she did and sometimes she didn’t.
when she thought about it, when it wasn’t an ‘it’, when it was a he or she, when it had been inside her. she had felt heavy. and important. and now she was neither.
she needed him. now, more than ever. but he didn’t hurt like she did. or if he did, he didn’t show it.
she wondered if he ever thought about it, when it wasn’t an it. she guessed men were just like that, strong and doing what they need with their heads up, and not looking back.
when she told her mother,
her mother cried and said it would have all worked out eventually, but she knew it wasn't true, and if it was she didn’t want that kind of guilt.
her mother never mentioned it again, and to this day they pretend it never happened.
but there are lots of things her mother pretends never happened.
she called a hotline.
and as she talked her way through her thoughts, she was assured they were all normal feelings and in fact, was told that she was just fine and thinking rationally and would be okay again in time.
she knew that, she had just wanted to talk.
months passed, and everyone was right
the pain eased, she didn’t think about it all the time anymore. she only thought about it every once in a while when she dreamt about her or him and reminded herself that it had been just an ‘it’.
one day, he said, we’ll try for real.
she wondered if that day would ever come, or if her dreams would always be in the way. then again, she wondered if she minded, after all, she’d never wanted ‘it’ in the first place.
but she could dance, couldn't she?