Something (part four)
by: Carla Sierra Arzuffi
I crawl my way into the bathroom and to the shower. Every movement aches. Every breath burns. Every thought feels like its killing me.
I manage to stand on my feet and I look at myself in the mirror. My face is distorted from the crying, I cant recognize myself, its like another person is standing right in front of me and staring back. A new me. A better one? Probably not.
I turn the water on, I step inside those small walls and close the curtain. The hot water starts to wash my sins. I feel so filthy. I let it burn my skin. Every inch of it. I take the bottle of my favorite coconut body wash and I pour the white liquid into my bath sponge. I start scrubbing myself hard, and then harder and harder. I need to take it off, everything: the regret, the pain, the masks. I am on a mission, even if this means ripping and tearing my skin off with my own fingers. I scrub and scrub until I start to bleed, I can see the liquid turning pink. Pink used to be my favorite color when I was little girl.
And at that moment I remember myself as a child. Innocent, clueless, happy. Jumping up and down the stream, not caring that the splash of the water and mud is soaking me, turning my favorite pretty yellow dress into a dirty cloth. I hear the gentle voice of my mother calling my name, and her laughter as she sees me standing there, a mess, but a happy mess.
I stop scrubing. I suddenly feel lighter. Fine, it will all be fine. Tommy is here for a reason, and its good he is here. I need to see him, talk to him, try to make everything better. This opportunity is a rare gift. I can make things right with him again.
I wrap myself with a towel.
"Hey peanut, are you hungry?" I hear my dad calling from the hallway. He is back from his Sunday chores.
"Yes" I answer as I open my closet and take out my favorite pair of jeans and a simple black tank top.
"Im making burgers, see you downstairs" he calls again.
I make my way to the backyard where my dad is already cooking the meat. He smiles when he sees me.
"Its a beautiful day to be locked up inside, don't you think?"
"Sure is dad" Sure is.
I set the table and help with the making of our meal. My dad and I don't talk much, we don't have to, we are both strange creatures that don't feel the need to fill every silence with empty words. But today I feel like talking to him. To let him comfort me with his words, even if I don't tell him everything.
We are sitting on the table, he is enjoying a sip of his cold beer as I chew the juicy burger.
"So dad, I was thinking" I say
"Whats up peanut?" he asks. He knows that when I start a sentence with 'So dad, I was thinking' it means something is definitely up.
"Well, I think I might want to go back" I take a deep breath "Visit the lake" I clear my throat "Where it happened", my voice is shaking, this does not go by unnoticed by my dad, besides, I don't ever talk about it, about that place and that day.
"Wow, Caroline. I dont know what to say, I mean sure. We can go"
"I want to go there alone, but I was hoping you could drive me, maybe, stay in the car" I say looking down at my plate. He takes a big sip from his alcohol. Im betting he needs it right now.
"Ok. I get it. What brought this on?'" he asks, trying to find my eyes.
"I dont know" but I do know. "Its just, I think its time, its all part of the process I guess".
"Are you sure you are ready?"
"Yes" I say, but this time I look straight into his blue eyes. I don't need to say it aloud. He knows, and I know.
I was young when my mom died, I don't remember much of the grief, but I do remember how my dad looked. How he acted. I don't need to explain this to him because he dealt with things the same way I did. Hiding the pain. Slowly, very slowly working his way up into a normal, stable life. A new life without the person he used to love.
In days like this I miss my mom, I wish she was here to share this beautiful (and scary) day. I didn't know her that well, and she didn't get to see me grow, but I think is she was alive we would have a very good mother-daughter relationship. Maybe I wouldn't have to hide so much. But she is not here, all I have is my dad. And although sometimes I wish he could see me more (the lost desperate girl inside of me) he is, overall, a pretty good dad.
"When do you wanna go?"
"How about now?" I say, while chewing the last part of my meal.
"Lets go then"
I am going back to the place I fear most. But I have to, I have to be ready for tonight. Maybe I am rushing myself into feeling all those things I suppressed for so long. But I feel like now is the time, and there is not much of it left. Its now or never. Now or never.
To be continued...