Rose’s In the Shed

The day was coming to an end and I could have watched it all from my bed but I was too busy digging my toes deeper into the sheets. I was chasing away the cold that clung to them like wet paint. Swirling my legs around and when the last of it was gone I curled into myself deeper into the blankets. At the corner of my room I had this big bulky pine dresser that sat standing beside my electrical socket where a glow of light emanated from. It was a small clear plastic figurine of an angel that glowed a blue, yellow, purple, and a green. It also glowed a red but I didn’t like that color because it made the shadows thicker, the room larger, and the monsters more real in my mind. And in the next second the angel would change colors, shifting to a softening blue. The angel was from my mother, she always seemed to buy me weird things but this was my favorite. She must have remembered how I didn’t like the dark. How thoughtful.   And so I laid there staring up at the glow and a-dark stars that were stuck to my ceiling.  I’m going to tell you something, that I’ve never admitted to anyone else. It’ll be our little secret ok. The ceiling of stars sparkled above as reassurance that my secret was safe.  Today, I began. After school when I was going home, I stopped to watch a girl named Hanya. She’s nice and she’s really fast, I assured the stars of this excitedly but my happiness bleed away. She was hugging her mom, I whispered. The soft glow of light shifted to a purple dulling their shine. I- I hated her. The stars didn’t sparkle, they didn’t shine reassuringly at me, they stayed shadowed and dull among the shade of a darker blue.  You don’t understand I whined. My chest tightens like I’ve been robbed, I plead. My heart shivers like it’s about to break with each thump in my chest. And I cannot breathe, I cannot Breathe and I cannot. …..Breathe. ……… The shifting red on the ceiling changed and I fell silent.   The globes of tears trailing down my cheek felt icy and tickleish as it reached my chin.  Mom. Mom. Mom. I want my Mom, I sobbed. And I chanted it, repeating over and over. Mom. Mom……… It was maybe an hour later when my voice was hoarse and my tears had dried salty tracks down my cheeks when my grandmother peaked into my bedroom.  What’s wrong Lilith, She asked tiredly. She was sleepy but when she got a good look her shoulders seemed to slump and she seemed calmly knowing. She waddled into the room sleepily crooning over me. Shhh, baby. She scooted me over and wrapped around me. My sadness left me as I sniffed her soft scent of baby powder. And I felt warm, like the soft comforting glow of sunlight on my back when I walk home from school. I fell silent, my sniffles gone as she rubbed my back comfortingly. I snuggled deeper into her chest feeling her breath, feeling her heart beat. And I felt ok just then. I felt ok to fall to sleep in the arms of my Grandmother and I imagined just for a moment with all my heart that she was my mother. The one who loved me more than the world because she gave me the world. That she was there for me, came to my birthday partys and told me funny stories of her childhood. To hold me when I cried, to Protect me when I was Bullied. To not look away when she saw my hand with that look upon her face. I wished she was my mother because then I wouldn’t have to hate someone like Hanya. So that I could breathe when I saw her hug her mom and asked to go home. So that I wouldn’t have to feel this colossal hole thats swallowing me into the pit of it’s belly. So that I could finally breathe.

 

A couple years later when I was in middle school I realized that I actually didn’t hate Hanya, I was envious of what she had. It was also about the time where school became a seemingly terrible place. I had only one real best friend all the rest where left over individuals who didn’t meet the requirements to fit in with the cool kids. Not that I minded, I found many laughs and joy with them. But as my joy’s grew so did my shadows. My world of being an elementary school student had changed. No longer did I know the girls from my school, no longer did I understand the direction my life was spinning out of control too.  I was left behind. On a small outer planet far from the reaches of  sun, a cold and desolate planet in which the small waffing lights of earth could be seen in the distance. And my planet grew smaller and smaller as we, the planet and I faded from the disappearing light. I was left behind. I thought upon this and decided maybe it wasn’t all their fault, maybe it was mine. Maybe it was me who had chosen to be left behind because I just couldn’t be. And so I reached into the depth of my very self and decided to change maybe then my life would as well. I learned quickly that changing was a lot harder than I first had thought, clothes was a good start, wearing make up had helped but their was something that which was absolutely valuable in changing. Talking, I had always had such a problem when chatting with others. My ability to chat to others was lacking the fine details of a child of 13. I talked about books and with it I tried to connect with the peers who always demeaned me. I was climbing mount everest, without the proper equipment to do so. Without out the oxygen and coat, without the food and water to parch my dry throat. And I knew that people had died up here but all I knew was that I had to reach the very top. To sit among them. My dreams of fitting in, My dreams of being accepted was laughed and mocked in my face when I reached it. My frostbitten lips, I could barely feel. As I tumbled down the side and with weakest and faintest of sounds I cried.

 

The lessons your parents teach you are harder than the ones you teach yourself. I learned this slowly and painfully, dragging my feet against the stone ground in which I walked. I had some not so great moments.  Seventh grade history class, I was sitting in the back paying attention to the discussions on the crusades. When I had asked a question, a seemingly curious and innocent one from my mind about why they fought and killed so recklessly. When a girl named Dana Kettle turned around and sneered with her voice dripping venom she said, ” Why don’t you just die.”  The whole class had heard and I didn’t know what to say. Their eager faces made my heart pound and I searched through them helplessly. Help, my eyes chanted, someone? Anyone. And in my last desperation I glanced at my teacher and found her to not have heard. And my heart sank as their faces turned and her eyes were gone and I was left there feeling alone once again.   But I had some beautiful ones, and each time I think of them I wish I could relive it again and again because I felt so noticed when I had thought I wasn’t. I was walking out of summer school when I bumped into a girl named Haley, we had gone to elementary together even had the few same teachers. We started to talk when I told her about a funny story about me back in first grade. That I was mean to others and scared Kate a girl who frightens me to this day. I didn’t believe it and I told Haley this. She looked thoughtful for a moment looking at me before she said, ” I’ve always admired you Lillith.” She met my surprised eyes and smiled. ” I always loved how you spoke your mind.”  I don’t know if she knew how much that meant to me but I felt warmth fill my chest and I danced and sang loudly down the street as I walked in the direction of home. And I walked for 2 miles before being picked up by my grandfather.  And the song was titled, “Pony”. And it went something like this.

 

Go on, go on, go on, the stars are watching,

Just say, just say, just say, what you’re feeling.

You know, you know, you know.

You gotta take a bow and do it your way.

It’s ok.

 

When I reached High school I felt excited but I  also had this slow and sad fear that It could Happen again. That I would soon be back to sitting on that lonely little planet far away. My fear left me soon after the first week of school though. And I was amazed as I learned about Painters whose art was celebrated around the world, spoke a language that I never thought I would learn. And met a friend who I ate lunch with everyday names Suelyn. My next few years of high school left me feeling stronger, loved, and myself. It wasn’t until my last year of High school that I thought about my mother again. And this foreign feeling always appeared as I thought about her. It was weird, sticky like and unknown. I couldn’t love her because I didn’t feel love and I couldn’t Hate her because I didn’t feel hate. I don’t know what I felt about her. She was that Unknown, that strange little part of me back in elementary school that disappeared long ago.

 

It wasn’t until after high school that I thought about her again. And that feeling seeped into my bones and I felt heavy and void as I remembered she wasn’t there when I had graduated. I had sent her letters and emails to come, I had even tried to call.  And I got voicemail after voicemail each time I called and when I was listening to her recorded voice over the static of the phone all I could remember thinking was, ” Was this what she had sounded like?” And I thought about those few memories I had of her, I remember how she wore this flowery perfume each day and everytime I come across it I remembered her and her love for Cheap trick. ( probably not how you’d spell it.) I remember how she was so tall to me with her man like hands that were rough and big as they covered my hand entirely. I remembered how she’d break down and cry that she loved us even though their were times she tried to leave us. When she’d break a dish and tell us that she would end it all here. And I wondered how could a mother tell us she loved us and then try to leave. And I wondered how she could love us when she locked herself in her room day and night. How could she love us when she forgot we there and didn’t feed us.   And so I hung up before she said “hello” on her voicemail because I didn’t want to hear it again. I didn’t want to remember that she was the one I had called for when I  cried my heart out to my grandmother.  How wished she was there and could hug me and tell me “their, their”. My wish for a mother had blinded me from the truth, that she couldn’t be called a mother. She locked me out when I was only 3. And how when I’d wake up and the house would be empty and I thought she had left me, where I had wandered into the night and weeped that she had gone and left me.  And so I put down the phone and left it to go outside where I tried to forget all those things I needed to forget.

 

It was when I was twenty five when I thought of her again, and this time I was ready to confront my wish head on. I got in my car as the rain drizzled. And I felt like the songs on the radio were to happy and ready that I switched it off to listen to the rain and the motor of my car as I drove.  On and on I went and I felt that stickiness invade me as I parked outside in my car at the house that looked ordinary to most. But my eyes were watching some rose bushes in the yard and I couldn’t remember if my mother loved them or not. My car became stuffy so I had no choice but to leave it as the clouds stretched and moved on as thick lines of sun came down upon her lawn. And I stood there on the sidewalk deciding if I should or should not,  but my curiosity grew ahead of me and so I walked to her door. I had barely been able to knock when the door creaked open. And A woman who I didn’t recognize gazed upon me. Her hair was a mixture of gray and white hair and it was so thin  you could see her scalp beneath it. She was hunched over her cane and tube went through her nose. An oxygen machine stood by her side as her green eyes peered up at me. We stood silent before a grin broke upon her face and showed me her yellowing teeth still left in her mouth. ” so you’ve come”, she said at last. I gazed upon her surprised, she could have only been 65. she moved aside to let me in and I looked upon her feet to see blue sleepers as I moved in through the door.