The girl under the bed didn’t know she’d ever stand up for herself. She didn’t think she would ever stop running instinctively to her room as the voices got louder and glasses shattered so she snuck under her bed to wait out the hours to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. She would make promises of a day where she wouldn’t be so afraid and her legs wouldn’t buckle underneath. A day much like today as the girl grew into a woman so bold and loud and intimidating, she watches other buckle in her presence instead.
The girl in the alley didn’t know she’d ever step out again. She didn’t think she would ever smile at a man and not feel her heart throw itself against her chest as a last desperate warning. She didn’t think the touch of a man would ever feel anything other than chilling. And yet she pushed through the filth he had dumped on her and waded through swamps of self-doubt and fear to find herself standing opposite you, unable to contain her smile.
The girl who buried him didn’t know there’d be a day where she’d be able to sit in the company of yet another family without making parallels that would render her silent. She didn’t think there would ever be a day where he could visit her thoughts like a passing guest kayaking in the stream of her consciousness and his presence would feel warm rather than heartbreaking. She still waits for the day her soul stops wringing itself to squeeze out words that swim in her blood. She still pierces through the hole his death made in her being, refusing to let it heal and close their last chapter, refusing to let anyone else take the place of her brother.
But she also sees all the other girls she used to be and how she has made it further than they ever thought it a possibility. So although on a night like tonight where I’d rather rip my soul out and hang it on a clotheslines to air out and dry, I think of the all the girls I used to be and how glad I am that they didn’t admit defeat. If I can’t do it for myself today, I’ll do it for the woman I’ll eventually be. The one who’ll look back at this New Year’s Eve and think back to all the cracks that by then would have healed.