One of my first recollections of someone near; someone who loved me was in a closet.
It's hot outside. It is summer and I have no school. My mother said that I went on vacation. I didn't.
It is musty and stuffy; a single coat hanger is my toy. It is dark except for the crack at the bottom of the door. That crack is my lifeline. It tells me when I am alone; it tells me when it is night; it tells me when someone is coming; when feet darken that crack, it's not a good thing.
I trace the texture on the wall with my small, dirty fingers. In the beginning, the texture is just that; texture. After three dark cracks of night the texture begins to come alive. I find an elephant, a giraffe, a balloon, a heart. I close my eyes and they dance beneath my eyelids.
The crack is darkened by two feet. Am I getting out? Is there food? The door flings open and my eyes throb in the light. It is nighttime but the night is still brighter than the dark. It is him. He scoops me up in his arms; my skin tingles with his touch.
He lays me down on the bed. He sweeps my hair out of my face so he can see my "pretty eyes". He begins to rub my legs and it feels good after sitting cramped for three dark cracks of night. But then he is pushing his weight upon me. I squirm and twist but nothing stops. He is no longer touching me with care; he is rushed and selfish. He tells me I am a dirty girl; that I smell. I can feel my tears in the corners of my eyes but I blink them away quickly.
I close my eyes and find my elephant. I trace it in my mind over and over. He is heavier and heavier... elephant, please don't go... I can't see you... I need to see you. It hurts. A drop of his sweat lands on my lip and burns my chapped and cracked lip. It hurts but he hurts me more.
I am now on my stomach and I can't see him but he is still heavy. I escape to the corner of the room and watch my small child self with him. I find my texture balloon and float away with it. He doesn't stop but he doesn't stop me from drifting away. He doesn't know I am gone and he doesn't miss me.
I am warm and safe as I rest in his arms. He dries my missing tears. His eyes are kind but tired underneath his small glasses. He has graying hair and a gentle frown. He is sad and he tells me how sorry he is; how sorry that I need him. He holds my heart and sings me to sleep. His name is James and he rescues me from him. He takes my place when I float away with my balloon to look for my elephant.
James is not real but he is love to me.
Hanging On No More
19 hours ago