“She knows a lot of people; but she chose to invite me. She is saying I’m a part of her…”
I looked round the party of 13 people gathered at my birthday party smiling at me; all eyes twinkling with the thought that they were special someway, that they each meant ‘something’ to me. I mentally added the three guests who had left earlier in the day, and smiled. You know, that sardonic, half-mocking smile. More than 16 guests had been at my birthday. Except, only I had known of the others. Perhaps because they were visible only to me, and they had held their party in my head and heart; feasting on my deepest and darkest fears and thoughts, gifting me with memories of times, events, and places past.
Laughter at something that had been said tore me from their grip back to the party; I had been receiving some of their gifts: those priceless memories. I smiled. Even invisible, they commanded my attention. Of course, that’s predictable: you cannot run from what lives within you. Trying is futile; no more than a reminiscence of why they got a space within you in the first place.That sardonic smile again. They are more part of me than most people here. Little Islands stating who I once was, patches of memories dictating who I am becoming. Fuck!
I exhaled, suppressed the lump of emotion lodged somewhere in my throat, blinked thrice to spread the springing optical waters evenly over my cornea and prevent their beading into tears, and smiled unseeing at the party of guests.
The next day, as I got ready to leave home for work, my mother stated her discontent with some parts of the woman I am growing to be. She said how I used to always talk and ask questions; how I used to be obviously caring and sweet, how I used to be more open and less into-myself. She misses that trusting loving Dupe, she said. I kept quiet while she spoke, and was quiet even when she was done talking.
How do I tell her that the girl she misses, the daughter she craves for, is hidden under piles of scars; flesh beneath the thread that closed up the skin so that wounds could heal?