It’s the feeling of abandonment that hurt most. The feeling of deep pain that she couldn’t be coaxed out of. She smiles and laughs on the outside but when she turns away from the noise on the outside it rages even louder in her mind. Sleeping was the only way to calm her nerves but even then nightmares annihilated her peaceful state.
It’ll get better. She reminds herself everyday minute.
“Hey, are you okay?” A kind stranger asks. She realizes she was staring blankly at the floor. She composes herself.
“Yeah of course. I’m just tired.” She replies, putting a smile on her face.
Just tired? Don’t you get tired of the lies.
“Okay. Cool.” he replies then carries on with his day. Most likely forgetting about her and this little encounter. No one ever stops and really asks her how she is. Or sticks around long enough for the truth. She walks to her classes staring at the smiling and laughing faces of genuinely happy people. I wonder what that’s like. She thinks to herself. Normal. She wants to be normal but everyone including her knows that it’s impossible.
“WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS?” His loud voice rattles through her head and she buries her face in her hands.
“I don’t know.” she replies meekly. She wishes she knew. Maybe she could fix it. Fix herself. Sometimes the thoughts build so much she feels like she’s suffocating. She wants to do better…be better but she doesn’t know how. She’s ripped at every edge and fighting for the day where she’s a masterpiece.
“You’re moving where?” her eyes gleam with fresh tears. She swallows hard. Trying to turn her shock and sadness into anger, because that’s easier to handle.
Arizona? Why? She looks down at the ground listening to the loud ringing in her ears.
“I don’t understand.” she says, pleading with her eyes for a reason.
They’re my parents… they’re not supposed to leave. She feels like her life is collapsing and she just has to watch it.
“Oh… so you’re abandoning me?” she asks. Already knowing the answer whether they say it or not.
“No of course not! Why would you even say that?” Her mom says. Because it’s the truth. She shakes her head trying to understand. She always does something to mess up relationships.
She can’t focus in class or do her work. She’s failing. On the edge of not graduating. She feels like it’s even a struggle to breathe. But she pushes through the thick fog and makes a way to handle the stress and sadness. Because even though she has no one looking after her. She has a brother to look after. To give him the strength he needs to succeed through the twisty roads of chaos called life.