Repression — She escapes
Hot tears streamed down her face, as she quickly brushed past the blurred faces staring at her. Eyes fluttered from one wall to another in an attempt to hold back the tears from flowing down her cheeks.
She knew where she was going. A place she avoided for years, but she knew would accept her with welcomed familiarity. It would provide her with an uncomfortable comfort.
She arrived, and there it was just as she remembered 12 years ago. The smell was the same. The old books placed in the same order that hadn’t been opened in years. After all, how could she forget the order she spent hours memorizing to distract her puzzled mind. Only difference was, there was already a vague silhouette of a small kid sitting there with her head buried in her knees. She recognized the shadow, it was oddly familiar. The little girl looked up, and she knew why she looked familiar. The little girl’s eyes were filled with tears that held a recognizable familiarity. Tears that held a story of solitude. Of fear, confusion, and pain all melted into one innocent young child. Innocence that was tainted with the chills of reality. Emotions children should never be experiencing. But this child did. Her sulken brown eyes seemed dazzled and alarmed that someone had found her in the deep corners of this small library. Her wet bouncy curls were stuck to her face from the silent tears. Kids her age threw tantrums because they didn’t get a toy they wanted, or had to eat a vegetable that was not of their choosing. No, but this young one was different. She was disciplined and reserved. She knew how to be obedient and keep to herself.
Her tears were different — they were hushed and silent. They always visited her when she was away from people. She learned at a young age — don’t show them to others. Don’t be loud and expressive about them.
However, as she grew older they would learn to fight her, and come without her expecting.
The young woman looked back at the little girl, and knew who she was. How could she think this place wouldn’t hold memories of her childhood? She sat next to the little girl and wiped her tears. Tears she understood all too well. And in return, the little girl wiped the tears of the woman with her warm fragile hands. Tears they both were familiar with.
She looked at the little girl and said, “Mom is happier now”. The little girl giggled at that. Her innocent giggle sent chills through the woman’s spine. They looked at each other’s eyes, one holding the strained mischief of childhood. As the other held an exhausted smile at the corners of her eyes. One that hid deep emotions behind a mask.
She asked the little girl, “Why are you here today?”
An answer she already knew.
She came here when her Father’s tongue became too hard to bear. When his tongue would be filled with lies and deceit. A tongue the little girl didn’t understand. But the woman now did. She came here to escape the screams of her Mother. Screams that became screeches. Screeches that were begging, angry, and pleading with God. Screeches that screamed denial, exhaustion, and mostly abuse.
The little girl would slip out of her house when this happened and escape to the dusty shelves of the library. Sometimes she didn’t even immerse herself in the old books; but instead just learned how to get lost. A world foreign and unfamiliar from her own. She learned how to avoid herself and become distant from her reality. She learned how to be alone, even if she didn’t want to be.
And mostly, she learned how to repress.
After a call mid-July changed her outlook on life, she would start laughing the same way her Mother did.
A laugh of denial.
A laugh of craze.
Her repression wouldn’t work any longer. She would go into a severe depression. A depression that she would not snap out of until she saw the concerned faces of two of her closest friends holding her bleeding arm in the bathroom. A friend that was the most practical person, left motionless and speechless on what to do. Her best friend and sister slouched as her shoulders seemed unable to handle this reality. Her once joyful and generous shoulders willing to uphold the weight of pain from anyone, suddenly were too feeble and weak to soak the scene in front of her. She held the young woman’s head in her lap, and smoothed away the wet hair from her face. Her world was spinning, yet halted at the same time. She had found a friend who didn’t let her escape to those dusty shelves of her mind, a friend she didn’t have growing up. A friend that wiped the tears before they even fell from her eyes.
The little girl looked back at the young woman who was lost in her present thought. She questioned why this woman still escaped?
She was beautiful, she was intelligent, and she was filled with warm compassion. The young woman looked down at the little girl and wondered the same. Even though, they both knew the answer. She admired the wonder and curiosity glistening in those big brown eyes. She wondered how she could take away the burden from her small frail shoulders, so that to fill her wings with enough strength to persevere and soar. She wanted to rid those eyes of the fear she could sense in their depths. The eyes of this little girl said it all — she looked up to the young woman. After all, the young woman was indeed a striking figure.
Who she would grow up to become.