It was surrender.
It was like giving way to possession. Giving way to a higher power. Allowing a spiritual force far greater than myself take control and command me.
He shrugged it off like a high school fantasy. But what did he know?
I was sunk.
Burned with holy fire.
And he could only dream it was just about him.
If it brings you peace, habibi, dream on.
It was as if I were staring at shattered glass. Every piece reflected a different angle of the same reality, but no matter how many I examined nothing could help me put them back together into something whole or conclusive.
But sometimes the truth is like that. Shattered, varied and impossible to grasp, at least not without cutting yourself.
And compounding in on me were the countless reminders that I would never be good enough. Too talkative, too open, too bold.
“I’d like to point out that your age gap will be a disadvantage. It makes it difficult to relate.”
“She’s like you, but she doesn’t get overly excited about things.”
“What with the age gap and. . .”
“I know a heck of a lot more than you do. It’s no offense to you, but it’s just the way it is because I am older.”
“You need to realize he’s older than you and therefore his wisdom is much deeper than yours.”
“Ah yes, he knows that wisdom comes with age.”
“When you get older you’ll realize. . .”
“Have you ever considered someone your age?”
As if my age kept me from seeing right through them.
As if they really believed they were more mature.
As if age were a garuntee of wisdom.
Because youth is blindness. Because youth means naïveté.
Because age is equal to worthiness.
An insult you will never grow out of, because you will always be younger than its giver.
I could feel my blood pounding in my ears.
“I just want you to think about it.”
I could hear her talking, but all I could do was grip the counter and will myself not to snap.
“We’re not going to talk about it.”
I managed to speak without shouting. The blood was pounding in my throat. I’d never been able to feel where the blood vessels were before.
“I don’t understand why we can’t even discuss it.”
It was all waking up again. The memories flashing. My brother yanking the Legos out of my hands. His grasp was violent. I screamed. My dad grabbed me by the arm and began dragging me out of the room.
“You whining brat! You just scream and carry on!”
“But it wasn’t her fault!” I remember my sister screaming in my defense.
I was innocent. It didn’t matter. It never mattered with him. I knew there wasn’t a chance. There was never a chance of him calming down. He drug me out of the room. He always drug me by the wrist, once even lifted me off the ground. He was huge and I was three years old.
You grow up and sometimes you make amends. You don’t ever forget the beatings. You just try your best not to think about them, because when you do you start to remember more of them and more.
“I don’t understand why you can’t talk about it.”
Her voice was distant. The last time my heart had beaten like this I was yelling at him. It had been years.
She didn’t know what she was doing. She hadn’t meant to trigger it. But she had.