We laugh and jump through rain puddles. I look at her, and I see before my eyes, someone who has not been ruined by self-doubt, determined to climb the monkey bars that lead to an imaginary word. We take a break, drink blue slushies and ride on roller skates. I look at her and she smiles, “One more time!”.
We all add and subtract people in our lives, like numbers on a scale of judgement.
But this feels different. How different? Different enough to want to write about happy times. When I always used to tell stories about the past and its demons; times when subtraction was a friend and adding caused distress.
I am happy when I am on the swings, when we play hide and seek. It brings out a part of me that I lost long ago. It gives me back the dreams I stuffed in pillow cases and beat with my fists, brought on by agonizing loneliness. When I sent wishes to stars that burned out quite some time ago. I no longer wish, I am no longer suffocated by loneliness. No longer beating my pillow into exhaustion.
Jumping through rain puddles, the clouds will pass soon, and the sunshine now matters. We walk the block, holding hands and watch her dance in front of us. We lay down at night, sing songs and rhymes to a tiny being that is growing taller each day; scratching height marks on a wall, signifying the hope that one day she will want to grow up to be just like you. Reality entwined in your fingertips as you brush away a stray hair from her face, unblemished by self-consciousness.
If only you knew about my times of loneliness, how your childlike laughter fills my ears with certainty that my desired future has now come true.
I will always walk behind you, to scare away the ghosts and monsters that hide under your bed. I will turn on the night light, so it isn’t so dark under the covers I tuck around you.
A remembrance of a past life, turns only to a memory that you close the door on, whispering “I love you. I will see you in the morning.”