Thursday, September 8, 2011

The past is what you make it...

She found herself thinking more and more of that one January day in 1993 - especially within the last year or two. This day was an important moment - one which defined the rest of her life. It was the fork in the road - that one moment which, above all others, determined the direction her life would travel.

It was a normal day - no better or worse than others had been that year. She was a senior in high school, but attending her second year of college full time. She only stepped into the high school to turn in her books and harrass her guidance counselor. Depression had all but consumed her. While things she had suffered in the past had calmed down, they hadn't calmed down on her siblings. Knowing what they dealt with, and the feelings of helplessness, became more and more unbearable. She'd spent the last few months sleeping with two different guys, making out with another, and pining after yet another - anything to make her feel, to give her some much needed attention, even if it was the wrong attention.

Walking home from school, she stopped at the 11th Street crosswalk. She watched the vehicles drive by. For nearly an hour she tried to gather the courage to jump in front of a fast moving truck. She could end it all. But, she couldn't do it. She kept thinking "what if I don't die?" She could see herself, immobile, unable to fight back, unable to speak or write of what she endured at their hands as she was forced to live with them for the rest of her life.

Finally, realizing she couldn't do it, and she couldn't go home, she turned towards the dorms. It had been her salvation for so long. And upon walking into that one building she learned the truth of so many people - truths she refused to take at face value. Truths she'd forgotten, truths she had turned into what she wanted them to be.

The one who would always stand beside her, told her he couldn't stand by her. The one who would always love and want her, cut her off. The one she could always turn to for a little physical, no-strings attention, found someone else to play with. And the one she enjoyed hanging with when she needed an escape from drama... the one she used... the one she forgot... he was the one who walked with her until four o'clock in the morning in the middle of winter. He was the one who brought her food and drink and sat with her until the sun came up.

Why is it she couldn't see the truth for so many years? Why is it she remained hanging onto false memories? Why is it she couldn't thank those who truly were her friends? The past is what you make it, and she made so many mistakes. And leaving home that day was not the mistake.

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