My father, laughter sparking in his eyes, sees me around the corner.
His grin drops, eyes narrow, but refuse to meet mine.
“Oh yeah” he says, “I forgot she ruined Christmas“. He walks away.
I still go to work with him later, he needs my help.
My mother, concerned but not talkative. She isn’t sure what to do with me right now. She shoos me out the door, but I can tell she hesitates to let me be alone. “Go take care of your brother”, she says, she needs my help.
Raps on the bathroom door, asking who’s in there. But I know the truth, they are checking for my response. They know it’s me in there. They ask me to come out, I’m needed somewhere, they need my help.
Long sleeves all the time, wary glances toward my cuffs. You all see me, I’m not hiding anything this time, just old scars you already punished me for. I’m fine, I’m healing, I don’t need your help.
You can’t seem to see my plea for help, the sad eyes and angry voice.
I push you away because I am afraid of what you’ll say when you realize that I just need your help.
I miss you, I guess
I saw your mom today, it was normal because I see her all the time. She waved at my car and I waved back, and pretended it didn’t hurt.
It made me think of you,
of nights spent on the living room floor on a blow up mattress;
of midnight drives to get ice cream because the movie made us cry.
I still think about the nights I slept on your bedroom floor because my mom and I were fighting. You were my safe space. I don’t want to admit it because it makes me feel weak, but: I miss you, I guess.
It doesn’t seem fair, that you cut me out without an explanation. Why was I the piece of your life that got tossed aside? It was hard to hear that you felt that we couldn’t be friends anymore. I suppose eighteen years doesn’t much these days.
I’m not angry anymore, but I still feel like I am missing a piece of myself. I miss you, I guess.
Remember when you came to my wedding, but instead of standing next to me where you belonged, you were in the back row in a black dress.
I hugged you, but I was angry.
Remember when you came to my graduation, not for me but you were there.
I hugged you, I cried into your hair.
Remember your grandfather’s funeral, when we drank tequila and talked about the past. It felt like old times, that was weird.
I hugged you, and that time the tears weren’t over you.
Remember the family reunion, we played soccer with Danny and Sam. We talked about tattoos and jobs. I laughed, but I was hurting.
Its hard to say goodbye to people you still see but know they aren’t thinking about you anymore. You could call me tonight and I’d drive to Ohio, but I know I’m still blocked on your phone.
I miss you, I guess.