I’ve been talking to a girl whose name I know, but who hasn’t given me permission to use it yet, so I’ll simply call her She. She’s been telling me stories about where she has been and all that has happened to her since she was born and I listen with a rapt ear because although I know of her, I have never truly known her.
I am not her mother–She is the daughter of misfortune and I listen to her now because I have spent the entirety of her life pretending she did not exist. She would speak quietly and I would sing over her; She would tap on the windows of my soul and I would swiftly pull the curtains. I knew with every painful beat of my broken, unhealing heart that she was there. It is guilt which salts the wound and will not let it close.
Now, I am tired of her ceaseless whispers and tapping. And so, after all this time, I have invited her in for coffee so we can talk. Well, so She can talk. I have promised to only listen and relate what She says. I have promised that no matter what she has to say, I will record it without altering her story. I have promised to unlock the door . . . she need not tap on the windows any longer.
I think she knows this will not really be a record of her life, but rather, a record of her death. By the time this story is finished, She will have relinquished the borders which give her substance and I envy her strength–reciting her memories, such terrible memories, in her soft and steady way. She does not seem to mind that she is fading with every word. I also, a bit grudgingly, admire her cleverness–She said she came only to speak her truth, and I let her in not realizing that, in order to hear her, I would have to let go of my lies.