My views on the things that matter to me have changed since I was a child. I don’t remember the last time I had to jump to see over the countertop, or when I finally stopped being the shortest in class. I don’t remember the time I snag in the choir at the old folks home, or the first time I jumped off the pier. I do remember other things. Like the feeling that cried me to sleep when I realized my mother wasn’t going to make the excess two steps down the hall to whisper a tired ‘goodnight, or the even quieter ‘I love you’ after she’d made he rounds to my sister’s room. I do remember hearing the hum of those revered words through-paper thin walls, the gentle creak of the door sealing shut. It wasn’t my door though. Those weren’t my words to hear.
I remember the summer I spent with the boys, where I no longer tried to make the biggest splash, instead slipping into the pool like a pin. I remember when the anxiety seeped in. I remember the winter I tried to kill myself, at the bear age of 10. I remember the screech of tires as the P-Plater swerved to avoid me. I remember crying, tears clouding my vision with blurry red, green and black. I remember running away from the car, still half-lodged through the green fence that long ago melded with the grass. I remember the police tape the following morning, a large blue tarp draped over both the car and the gaping hole. I remember feeling guilty. I remember not telling anyone until it was too late. I remember them not believing me. Mum saying, ‘oh honey, no. that was an accident. Some drunk P-plater took that corner too fast. That’s all. Don’t think about it.’ I remember trying not to. Think. About. It
I remember the announcement at school. I remember crying. I remember making the choice to live for those whose lives I’ve ruined.