I Will Always Remember

In the third grade we were told to memorize our times tables.

Off of the top of my head I can tell you that 6* 4 is 24 and 11*3 is 33,

But hell sometimes I still forget what 9*6 is.

What I will never forget is the way that it feels

To lie at the bottom of a bathroom tub

In the middle of a shower

And feel the hot water droplets hit my skin as if they were responding to the SOS written on my soul.

To feel the urgency to stop the pain and wonder if this would be the night that my heart would stop beating.

If this would be the night that I would drown out the pain

But what if they found my body,

Lying there in the bathroom,

Naked and wet,

Covered with battle scars from the war of life.

Would they sympathize and somehow understand that life is hard

And pain is the only thing coursing through my veins.

Or would they judge, and call me selfish,

I stopped myself every time,

Because I have always had a fear of drowning.

I will always remember the way

Hospitals smell

The burning scent of sterilization

That filled my nostrils

Every time I climbed into the hospital bed

That caged my mother

And strung her like a marionette

To the IV bag and monitors.

That beeped in tune with her heart,

I swear I could hear her heart break every time visiting hours were over

And the click of the hospital room door

Left her alone with the fact that she was dying

And there was nothing she could do about it.

I will always remember

The sound of a metal spoon crashing with the sides of a tea cup

Filling the silence as I sat across from my mother at the dining room table

At midnight

Like mother like daughter, night owls for sure

And the look of defeat the fell across her face as she broke down

And told her eight year old daughter

The song she wanted me to play at her funeral

And each cup of tea I have poured since has been a cup of regret

Because Phil Collins never made an appearance

Like I promised he would

That was the first promise I ever broke.

I will always remember the way a

45 year old man hand felt hitting my ass

as I turned to walk away

Fuck you,

I was only 13.

Thanksgiving has never been the same

And the only thing I am thankful for

Is the fact that you didn’t decide to do anything more.

I will always remember the night

I drank hard alcohol for the first time

Tequila to be exact-the perfect collegiate drink.

The way that the liquid warmed my throat

And made me fear the person I would be if I were drunk

Because surely I would spill the beans about all the secrets my heart contains

And people would run

Because they would see that the smile that’s on the face is hiding

Someone who is scared of the dark

For there will always be monsters under my bed.

But all I really want out of life is someone who

Will be there when the lights are out.

Thankfully, the monsters didn’t seem so scary that night

Because on the ride home he held my hand

He doesn’t know,

But he held my heart that  night

And crushed it the next day

Because he was too drunk to remember what happened.

I have forgotten how to tell the truth

The words “I’m fine, thank you” catch in the back of my throat

Every time my state of being comes into question.

These words hold the pieces of my heart together

Just enough to keep it beating.

And maybe just maybe, if I lie to myself enough

My words will become my reality

And surely someday I’ll really be fine. 

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