Rough Draft: When You’re Older

Previous Rough Draft: A Reflection

Lisa S.

I cannot look to you without reminding myself of all the pain and confusion I’ve caused you. I know that it isn’t your fault that you are here but…just, dammit I wish you wasn’t.

Lisa is stifled by tears, overwhelming her body and her will to write. Pen and paper on the dining table, now smudged with blued-black ink. Her sweater sleeved used as a napkin to wipe tears of fear and frustration. What does she write? Littering the pages with the fear of judgment that may implore her with questions of ‘why?’ She may regret this letter written she thinks. She sobs in tears. A letter to her secret child, wanting forgiveness. What is there to forgive? She had left her secret child confused and abandoned.

I tried my best but this thing, this relationship I cannot do. At least not now, I mean that I need time to learn how to love what I hated and blamed for so long.

Lisa takes a pause, a deep breath, while wiping away tears as she confesses:

See I wanted mom to take you away. If she could not do it, I wanted to take it away myself. I spent those months with you, inside of me, causing pain. The pain so unbearable sometimes that I even contemplated suicide. Not just to take my own life, but yours too-the subject of my pain and discomfort. I wanted you out, right then, taking pills if I could. Drinking what I was not allowed to drink. You have to understand the mental anguish you see, draining every bit of my… ‘soul’- I don’t know how else to word it. But now I look to you and see everything that is sweet and beautiful.

Trembling now as she writes the last words-to each written word turned into a sentence. With every letter revealing her cruelty, misplace blame and hatred on a child innocent. A child that did not ask to be, but has become something quite pleasing to the vision, quite pleasant to hear. How can she shatter the perfection? This now young woman, almost, face crumbling due to disappointment and a product of family shame. But her secret child needs to know the truth, to then understand that though it hurts, it is a story called life. Here in this story exist no person perfect; no feeling of emotion provided the correct course of action. These emotions written are matters of the heart and as it is sensitive, prone to cause more harm and trouble, it has every right to be read aloud.


Secret Child

JR pushes the clothes on the rack in excitement. Her first day as a senior, last road trip as a teenager. Where does she go? Pursuing her dreams in ‘Cali’, hoping to be something more like a national icon. She has the beauty and the smarts, well, we know that her beauty will take her far.

Turning to mom, asking for advice on the color, size and style of her crop top or off the shoulder look for the first day. Mom disapproving of new generation, but yields, pretty baby will get her way. Anything for her she supposes, not that she is treated any differently from the other girls. Dad walks up from behind to ask mom for the keys. He had left his wallet in the truck and thought to bring it round to the front. To sit and wait per usual, or whenever they were satisfied, purchased and ready. Mom hands the keys over, without turning, from her purse. Dad leans in for a nudge or something. Stepping away to the side-she’s too busy for an affectionate touch. She’s really trying to monitor and parent poor, almost raunchy styles.


Lisa S.

Time for a break.

Lisa scoots back her chair, stands up to enter the kitchen for a drink. Who cares if she counts one more day of sobriety. A moment of afterthought, she grabs the juice. Closes the fridge, walk and sip. Where to go back to? She enters the dining room again, yet walks past the paper and pen. She is need of rest for her mind. Into the kitchen again for a tall glass and some ice. A preference for chilled juices. Walks into the living area for the television.

A wonder the imagination can be-but nothing remotely interesting today or any other day. Plopped down on the sofa, relaxed, frustratingly pointing the remote every which way for recognition.

“Ugh, turn dammit” Sport clips, baby mama drama; bored to death wealthy people constantly in drama…Oh, scientific discoveries or the classics?

Too much time to think, too much on the mind. Lisa chose the classics.

Mr. Grant thinking he was fine as ever. Who is this? Another damsel or dame? Never mind, the characters were well dressed, naturally rehearsed. The music and time presenting something fine and delicate during all the shit storm going on then.

Her mind, where is her mind? Stop. Her mind clouded with thoughts of her, then thoughts of she. What and where? How come this and why not that? Her mind running through every obsessive thought of what cannot ever become altered through introduction, or intervention. Stop.

She calls twin from her room.

She’s probably hungry.


Twin

Not every story is about emotional devastation, yet these are the stories that make for good, or rather decent, writing. What more relatable than the topic of love, anger, or something so emotionally devastating to cause a person the imagination of wrenching out a bleeding heart forever pumping and gushing for familiar continuity.

Like a nasty break up:

Heart in anger- a contest to prove who was better in stating the same concern over again. Passionate anger now, to hear the other out. Love, the two will speak of it in different languages it seems. Love spinning around and round again in a room. Dizziness follows as the two contested are falling out of breath, out of words to express more of what will be left misunderstood. This exhaustion clinging for understanding-begging and pleading for affection, or really to be heard.

What have they produced instead? A tormented child caught between two extremities of the words love and hate. Twin, too abandoned and forgotten. Left isolated at so young of an age that she fell into silence. A deafening silence for whenever she enters the room. Slow, mechanical like walk to and from where she is called. To and from and where she may go, to walk aimlessly at night in the woods. Where does she go and for how long? No one knows. Lisa knows she is troubled, so let her be…she understands.

Lisa makes lunch for Twin, something simple as she’s unable to voice her thoughts. Fried egg hard seasoned with salt and pepper, slice of ham, tomatoes and olive mayo spread between two whole grain slices. Perhaps some chips around the plate and juice as well.

Rough Draft: A Reflection

Lisa S.

She claimed to have loved you. A simple statement covering all the mischaracterization and lies she wrote, to you, while in admiration. She claimed to love you for you. It was your smile that brightened her day. Your thoughts on the latest news, and all other topics concerning politics to religion. It was your beauty she grabbed, and mastered to then coerce your passions for her body and mind. All the physical and mental affirmation of love claimed to be faithful. ‘I love you’, Elia said straining to hold back. “And if anything happened to you I won’t be able to go further”. She only liked you when you were funny, not like this moping about. She only wanted to be around you because you’re different. And there is nothing more exhilarating than to add color to one’s life.

A young woman experiencing that new phase called love, yet she is already burnt out. What did Elia’s love mean to her in translation? “I love you because your mind is tormented and your life is not altogether”. PAUSE. “I love you because right now, you need to hear it”. A waste of breath. A waste of time and energy put forth to make the best of a toxic situation. Elia cares, but she’s heartless and self-centered. Lisa feels emotionally depleted, now. A love seeming to be the end of everything the future could promise in true love and affection. How to take her mind from Elia’s lies? She tried cursing her name. She tried a new love, yet that proved a pointless effort. Every new love a pointless effort.

Ear buds in, cell phone in hand, Lisa subdues the noise within her mind. Scrolling through her playlist to search for passionate anger and frustration about love. Searching for that song, and those lyrics about the troubles of love on a young heart. The song about that girl so trifling and dishonest about her character; deceptive about the cause of her love. She finds it, plays it. From the low taps of the drums to the shriek of the heartfelt singer she closes her eyes- Elia never loved me.



Elia M.

Elia lays with Dylan. Their love will be celebrated within a few months, so something right and special for him is being decided. Something right… Elia knows she will not find another guy like Dylan, as sweet and with patience so rare to find. He deserves someone better, certainly more attentive and sure of who she is and what exactly does she want. A woman that will treat him as the only person that matters most, adoringly and as a best friend. Elia has a best friend, the one isolate and always troubled and in need of comfort.
You love her dearly but not in the way that it is meant. You please her in every aspect, sexually too. Though in your complicated affair you cannot part from Dylan. To spare his feelings is never a contemplated thought as you love him. You cannot part from your friend as to do so would leave her so devastated, bouncing on and off her habit again. You’re not responsible but you feel obligated-to both. I mean Dylan is for your image, for your parents to accept you. For society to see that you too have conformed to what is right. All that fake exchange of pleasantries and then that dreaded presentation of a ring. What would you say if he asked? A sense of hesitation sits on your mind. To erase everything, shake your head, stand up and walk out. Making your way to the dining room you take your phone. Tell Lisa that you miss her.