We are sitting in a dark car in a waterfront parking lot. The windows are fogging as we make up for lost time, this friend of mine. The donuts are delicious and the area is vacant except for a solitary figure passing by in the distance every once in awhile. We are sealed off in this little bubble of intimacy when suddenly the conversation takes a dark turn. Suddenly, she is re-writing history. The girl I thought I knew so well is carefully and delicately peeling off her mask and what she reveals underneath it breaks my heart.
Gazing off into the distance she is lost in the past, buried beneath secrets that she has held on to for so long. The story had been, “he was not a very nice guy,” and I had left it at that, then. Years ago. I was blind to the way that relationship coloured the rest of her life. I was blind. I knew she had commitment issues but I never knew… I never fully understood why.
Now, sitting in this darkened car I draw pictures in the window’s fog. I want to take this ugliness and replace it with my pretty doodles. Rewind the tape and start from the beginning, and see this time, really see. But, I can’t move backwards I can only hug her and embrace the rage that fills every pore and every cell of my body. This hatred for the man that damaged her and that caused her, for so long, to think she had to keep it a secret. That we… that I, would never believe her.
I want to hold that girl from the past in my arms. I want her to know she didn’t deserve what she got. That what she experienced, all that pain, wasn’t love. It was a sick deformed monster parading itself as love. But, most of all, more than anything, I want to find the monster and tear it limb from limb. I want to belittle it and berate it and make it hurt. I want to take from it all it’s innocence. I want to stomp on its heart and tinker with its psyche and make it unrecognizable to itself. I want to damage it irreversibly and then make it live with that damage every day for years to come… and then, I want to make it believe that all those things I did to it were for love. For love. Love.
We can’t go back. We can’t be there for people who never let us try. We can’t carry out justice on an ancient crime when the criminal is anonymous now and roaming free. But, we can hold her. We can hold her.
She is the bud appearing between the cracks in the sidewalk. She is the strength and beauty in nature that can endure despite man’s attempt to claim, control, and destroy it. And she is blooming now. But, she could have just as easily been life’s collateral damage; pulled out at the root. While guiltless, unpunished, and unassuming he runs free. I hate that he runs free.