Out of Her Mind
As soon as the door opens, I bolt into the closet to avoid being seen. I do this every time Lilian comes home, but today it’s even more important. She’s mad. I can’t tell who she’s yelling at yet, but I can hear crying.
“Would you stop?! You know who I am!”
“No, I don’t!” she says, crying even harder. I can see her now; she's a little girl, and she looks to be six or seven.
“I am your mother! Stop playing around Ashlynn, or you’ll be going to bed early tonight.” I could tell how exasperated she was, but Lilian doesn’t have a daughter. She’s thirty-two, and has never been married, or been in a relationship long enough to have a child.
The little girl quiets gradually, and when she finally forces herself to stop crying, she says, “My name is not Ashlynn, it’s Eva, and I think you mixed me up with your own child. My mommy’s name is Helen, and my daddy’s name is Robert. I live on-” but Lilian cuts her off.
“Your name is Ashlynn, I am your mother, and your father died two months ago!” She screams the last bit, and Eva starts crying again.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. It’s probably the landlord, coming for the monthly check. Lilian goes wide-eyed, but walks toward the door. “Go sit in the living room, Ashlynn.”
She smooths her dress and opens the door. “Hello, sir. Can I help you?”
When he comes in, I see that it’s a police officer. “Ma’am, we got a call a few minutes ago, saying that one of your neighbors saw something moving in here, and you weren’t home yet.
Would you mind if I take a look around real quick?” But he’s already walking in before she can nod her answer.
Doesn’t he realize that there’s something wrong with Lilian? She’s a wreck, and it’s only going to get worse.
I’m the one who was seen in here earlier. I sometimes come in here and try on my old clothes that Lilian never got rid of. It makes me feel real, since I died two months ago. I’ve been watching over her, making sure she’s alright. Lilian and I were together for two years.
Before I died, she told me that I was the only man she ever loved. There is definitely something going on with her, though. She didn’t used to be like this.
I always loved taking Lilian places, and spending time with her. She was a little uncertain of our relationship at first; she wasn’t very open with her feelings. But after a while, everything seemed so natural.
But Lilian never wanted a child. She specifically told me that when I would bring it up, hoping she’d change her mind. I don’t know where she found that little girl, but she seems to actually think her name is Ashlynn, and that I’m her father.
After looking all through the house, he goes into the living room, and sees Eva. She looks scared, so he sits down cautiously. “Hello," he says, "And who might you be?”
She just stares, and doesn’t say anything, probably thinking that Lilian was going to freak out again if she says Eva.
“It’s alright. You can tell me. What’s wrong?” Nothing. “Can you tell me your name?” Still no answer.
He takes out his spiral pad and a pen and hands it to her. She takes it, but doesn’t write anything down.
Lilian comes in, carrying coffee. “What’s going on?” she says suspiciously, looking back and forth between the two.
“Is this your daughter?” he asks, looking at Eva the whole time.
Lilian is silent for a moment. “Yes, of course, she’s my daughter. Why else would she be in my house, on my couch?” she asks him defensively.
“Ma’am, she looks terrified, and there is nothing in this house that suggests a child lives here. I’m going to have to ask you to go stand in the foyer for a few minutes while I talk to the girl.” He turns to Eva as Lilian walks away.
“Now, I want you to tell me your name, so we can get you back to your real parents. Can you tell me?”
She stays quiet for a moment, and then recites what she tried telling Lilian earlier. “My name is Eva. My mom’s name is Helen, and my dad’s name is Robert. We live in a neighborhood called White Springs, and I was at the playground when she-” She looks up at Lilian, who is now crying. “She came over to me and picked me up, calling me her baby, like I was her daughter. I don’t know her though, please help me.” She talks so quickly he has to scribble to keep up.
“Okay, Eva. Do you know your parents’ phone number? Or your address?” She shakes her head no.
“I’m sorry.” She pauses. “I'm still going home, right?” She actually looks scared that he’ll say no.
“Of course you will. I’ll be right back.” he tells her, and walks into the foyer to talk to Lilian. “Can we go outside and talk?” he asks her, eyeing the door.
“Sure.” She looks upset, like it’s actually her daughter who is about to be taken from her.
Before I died, Lilian was put in a mental hospital to care for her, and to fix her. They said that she was experiencing a break from reality, caused by the loss of a loved one. They don’t know about me; no one does, but they know that her dad died earlier this year.
She broke down at least once a day, being trapped in a small room alone, aside from her once a day therapy session. Lilian is considered one of the dangerous ones in this place.
I visit her everyday, and most days, I stay all day. She started talking to herself more and more frequently, which the doctors found concerning, but she was trying to talk herself through everything that had happened.
And then- well, then, she started talking to me, too. She told me she was sorry, that she loved me so much, that she wanted to see me- just one more time, if that’s all she could.
She just wanted a chance to apologize, to make it up to me for what she did. I never spoke back, but I listened, whenever she needed it.
About two months ago, Lilian was still grieving her dad’s death, and I came over to her house to comfort her. She seemed to be telling herself that he was coming back, that he just went to the store, and took a detour, that he got lost, that he was getting directions, on and on until I tried to tell her that he was gone for good.
Lilian had been my everything, so I wanted to help her feel better, to move one, even if she still missed him. But she shut down, stopped talking to me. And I know I shouldn’t have, but I left. She kept telling me I couldn’t help her, and that I was worthless, that if she had been with her dad more instead of me, he would still be here.
I had given up on talking to her for the week, but then I saw her walking in the park. Out of impulse, I went up to her, asked if we could talk. She tried to walk away, but I followed. She ignored me all the way back to her house, even when I tried telling her that I loved her, that I would always be there for her, that she could tell me anything she needed to get out of her system. But she slammed the door on me,
I could tell she wasn’t okay, and I still had a key to her house, so I went in. She was in the kitchen, starting to make dinner. “Sit down.” she said. I looked at her questioningly. She looked straight through me. “What are you waiting for?! I said sit!”
So I sat. She rushed around the kitchen, banging pots and pans and gathering ingredients that made no sense together. I stood up.
“Lilian, are you alright?”
“I told you to sit down!” She was screaming at this point.
“Lilian, listen to me, Please, just talk to-”
“No! I said sit down! Stop telling me that everything is fine and that it’s going to be okay, and that everything I’m feeling is normal! I lost my only living parent, the only person who ever cared about me! I! Am! Alone! But you wouldn’t get it, because everyone cares about you! Just get out of my life!”
“Lilian, you need help. You can’t live like this. I’ll go if that’s what you want, but then you would be really alone. I love you, Lilian. I always will, and I’m so glad I have you. I don’t want to lose you. I need you.” I’m crying but she doesn’t seem to care.
She pauses, silent, except for the sound of her breath hitching as she cries. “I love you too, Jack.”
I move toward her, and wrap my arms around her. We stay there like that for a while, just hugging her, crying, while I tell her how much I love her.
I whisper, “He may be gone, but you can still talk to him whenever you want to.” Her eyes go wide, and she gets mad again, shoving me away.
“He’s not gone! He’s coming back! He would never leave me!” She’s back to screaming, “I know he’s not gone. You’re both just pranking me. He’s on vacation somewhere. That’s where he’s been! That’s why he’s been gone! Don’t lie to me!”
She picks up the cutting board off the floor, washes it, and starts haphazardly chopping onions and other vegetables.
“Be careful, you’ll hurt yourself. Do you want me to do it instead?” I ask, hoping she’ll put the knife down before she cuts herself. I walk toward her slowly. “Honey, come relax for a few minutes. I grab her arm gently, trying to ease her out of whatever came over her, like I did before. “Lilian. Lilian, I need you to talk to me.” With my other hand, I gently take her wrist, the hand she’s holding the knife with.
She seems to cooperate, but then her eyes go wide, and she realizes what I’m doing.
“Lilian, please, just calm down.” I tighten my grip just in case, but she’s faster than me. She slips out of my hold, and walks around to the other side of the island countertop.
“Lilian! Please, Lilian! We can work through this. You will be alright. I’ll get you someone to talk to. We can even go together if you want. I love-”
But she charged at me, and everything went black as my head hit the counter and I fell to the ground.
When I woke up, I could float, and go through walls, and no one could see me. I don’t blame her for what she did. She was hurt- and something was going on. She couldn’t help it. She wasn’t herself. I don’t think she ever will be again.
I watch her now, and she doesn’t seem happy, but she seems at peace. And I’m happy for her. She’ll make it. Even if I didn’t.
I've spent years giving-
everything that everyone asks for;
wishing for a happiness I'm not sure
It's never enough. I'm still
trapped, in this cold place
I call home.
If these gifts I give are hope,
then where is mine?
What if he's not coming this year?
Maybe I asked for too much,
or I wasn't nice enough to earn a gift.
I don't think I'll write a letter
he's obviously given up on me,
so I'll quit wasting his time
and wishing on shooting stars.
the color week
start the week off right
i am a solid yellow
trying to set the mood for the week
i catch a glimpse of your face
and the good mood starts to fade
i'm left at orange
i can come back from this
same as tuesday
burnt out, burnt orange
social interaction is draining
the day is longer, more drawn out
i start to turn blue
nothing is exciting or happy anymore
i just want the weekend to come faster
numb to the world
i don't feel anymore
just long to be alone
under the safety of my covers
but somehow it still brings me back to you
I fell in love with a boy once.
When times were still good,
And the sun still shone brightly through my window,
To remind me to get out of my bed.
I fell in love with his smile,
And his heartfelt jokes and song lyrics.
His calloused hands from years of guitar,
His endless knowledge of Pink Floyd songs.
I loved the way my hand fit perfectly in his.
How he'd sing to me, even though his voice wasn't that good.
I loved everything about him,
And I never thought that losing him was a possibility.
I still do love this boy,
After eight months spent watching him fall for girl after girl,
I still feel the same,
As when I was the only girl he was falling for.
I guess some things never change,
But when they do, they remind me of the boy I fell in love with last November.
EVACUATE THE BUSES
everyone rushes back into the school
you're already in position when i get inside
i see your face
you open your mouth as if to say something
i almost stop and sit next to you
DO NOT STOP UNTIL YOU GET TO A CLASSROOM
bye, i think in my head
you look so scared i want to reach out and hug you
i want to tell you it'll all be okay
that i'll see you again
but i'm rushed forward
ASSUME TORNADO PROTECTION POSITION
the hall seems so long
the chaos is deafening
breathing is hard
all those bodies packed into such a small amount of space
i hear crying
i want to tell everybody that we'll all be fine
but everyone has gone quiet
thirty minutes go by
then an hour
IT IS NOW SAFE TO LEAVE THE BUILDING
i rush back to the hallway where i last saw you
there you are
getting ready to leave
you look relieved
but also stressed
you see me and as i keep walking back to my bus
you watch me until i'm out of sight
BACK TO BUSES
i cry as i make my way to my bus
wipe my tears with my sleeve as i walk
just like you and me
which is why it hurts
i miss you
and i wish i could've been your shelter then
just like i used to be
it used to be me who held you when you were scared
who told you it was all going to be okay in the end
that was my job
and now you're either with that new girl
or you're by yourself
like you were in the hallway
and there was nothing i could do about it
i'm sorry i'm not your shelter anymore
even after all this time
the way you've looked at me this week
has brought me right back
to believing that you're the one
you feel so close
but so far away
like if i reach out to touch you
i know there's no way you could understand
what i'm feeling right now
but i want you to
i want to tell you
if you'd listen
i want to tell you that you could have me back
that all you have to do is say the word
and i'll end it with him
we'll be us again
i want to tell you that you could do so much better than her
i'm not talking about me
just in general
you deserve better than her
i want to tell you that even though he's good to me
and i really like him
that no one could ever replace you
no one will ever feel the same
i will never love someone like i love you
but you have someone else
you've moved on
she gives you everything i never could
and i'm sorry
i miss you still
even after all this time
Love is Broken
When I see you, I see broken.
I see a boy whose heart is torn
between what he has;
and what he had, but lost,
all those months ago.
Does it hurt you to think
about everything we had?
Do you fall asleep at night
wishing you had me back?
I want you to know-
I feel it too. I don't want us back,
but I wish we didn't have to end it.
You were the only person I ever
wanted a future with. I saw myself
growing old with you, picking out
baby names together, planning a wedding,
and moving away from this small town.
Maybe that's how you know you've lived,
and loved- you have to feel that the future you imagined
is gone- even though you never had it.
If love is what broke us,
then maybe love is broken.
i am thankful for my friends
who are always there for me
i'm thankful for my family
who give me love beyond compare
i'm thankful for the sun and the moon
for telling me when it's time to rest
i'm thankful for loves i've lost
because they loved me before they left
and i'm thankful that i get to wake up each day
and wonder what new situations God will throw my way
i am me
i am a girl
who doesn't really know
who she is
what she wants to be
i am a sister
who isn't always the best
to her siblings
but it turns out okay in the end
i am a friend
who can't always be strong enough
or sometimes, even herself
i am a person
who wishes she could change everything about herself
make her perfect
the one everyone likes
i am me
ever-changing, while also
the exact same
all the time
i am free
to be who i want
and shouldn't that be enough
yet here i am
i am a girl
who lets the world push her around
and makes her conform
to their expectations
i am simply me
the one people should run from
i am surrounded by people
but so alone
insecure in my own skin
i am not a shell of who i once was
i am not a shadow of something worth running to
i am not perfect
i am me
i'm sorry for the heartache
i'm sorry for never knowing
what i had until you were gone
i'm sorry for the messes that i made
i'm sorry for embarrassing you
in front of all your friends
i'm sorry for the awkward moments
i'm sorry for the times i pulled away
when you tried to hold my hand
i'm sorry for the unpredictability
i'm sorry for all the times i would disappear
without a moments' notice
i'm sorry for everything
i'm sorry that if i could take it back
i'm sorry for loving you so unconditionally