Hey, can you hear me?
I still love the way the wind blows through our hair when we ride our bicycle fast or go horse back riding or now as the wind blows through your car window. I never did go anywhere. I've been here all this time waiting for the things you promised us. Remember that time we chased that boy around the school for spraying your locker with cologne? Now look at us, tears streaming from our eyes because the one boy who said they loved us left a bruise on our face.
At the red light you take a quick glance in the rearview mirror. I urge from within your eyes for you to take a longer look, but you haven't actually seen yourself in years. You don't notice how we are wasting away because food makes us fat and anxiety causes us to focus on everything but comfort. I stole a glance at the book on the counter through your eyes, and for just a second I thought you would indulge in something we use to love to do. Then the adult world that has stained your brain with responsibilities, hurt, and worry, flooded your thoughts with cleaning, cooking, and looking good for when your boy got home, and suddenly there was no time for us.
My things still sit in the memory box you keep under your bed. He's not allowed to look through them, and you pretend they aren't there because I think you know I'm disappointed. Not that long ago, we were five and made a life time goal list. We wanted to graduate college, get married, have babies, and be important to people; we wanted to save others from drowning in their adult life, but you missed the part about staying true to me and saving yourself.
Sometimes I wake you up at night because I miss you, but you think it's just your bladder. I know somewhere within your big brain you know you don't deserve the short patience, the intolerance, the taunting and mocking. I know you remember how we felt strong for believing we could and would always stand up for ourself. You smacked your twin brother's best friend because he made a snide comment to you on your sixteenth birthday, but lover boy gets to trap you in a locked bathroom and play with the lights because he knows you are afraid of the dark because for one small instance he made you feel like it was a real possibility to be loved.
His gas-lighting isn't love. We know what love is, remember? Love is the sun kissed glow of a hard day working in a garden. The attention he slides your way because he knows he can use you, is not love. Love is when your neighbor came outside and deiced your car because he knew you were always late to school. The way he gets out of the car at red lights, after letting your head bounce off the steering wheel because you won't get him the drug of his choice, and blocking your number until three in the morning, when he needs you to pick him up at a bar downtown you've never heard of before, isn't love. We know what love is because we use to be so good at showing others love. Now you've become a shell of the person we use to be.
I had all but given up on you, until I felt your ears pick up what the woman at the recovery meeting was saying. Your homework was to write a letter to your younger self. I have been waiting all this week, so excited, until I felt your tears and every word written within them. I am not disappointed. I still love you. Let's work together. Let's get back to who we truly are.