I race my tears home every day. Whether it was a good one or a bad one, I rush home like I desperately need to pee, but out of my face.
Don’t let anyone see your pissy little bitch tears. Faster, pussycat.
I know where I am and I’ll never be truly solitary (for better or for worse), but so often, I feel alone and lost. I feel this pain that I’m scared I’ll never understand, and just like that, I’m a small child again, lost at the school fair. No matter how many nice people give me cookies and tell me that I don’t need to cry, I still know that those nice people go home at the end of the day, and so do I. Their kind intentions are noted and appreciated, but never pursued. “Thanks, but you shouldn’t” was said many times. I remember running into the crowd near the main quad when someone offered to take me to my parents. Running from their concern, running from the gossip tea party before it starts. It can’t start until I leave, anyway.
Parents being parents – very concerned, but conscious of overstepping any boundary that’ll get my mother screaming down the phone at them, or even worse, ranting and stomping around in their driveways. The mothers swap stories about our family, and lament the fact that my parents don’t let me make friends. The fathers seem confused, and worried that I’ll corrupt their kids somehow.
Kids being kids – one boy says, “She’s gonna get a hiding.” Another girl says that she will tell the teacher on Monday that I won’t be there. The boy says something like, “Don’t do that, she’ll be here, crying all day.”
I hear laughter after this, unsure if it’s related. I tell myself I don’t care. I don’t care about being laughed at, I don’t care about being on my own, and I don’t care about being punished. I just don’t care. Everyone is here to be happy, and so am I. I can’t be happy when my parents are dragging me around, so I took care of that. What next? Candy floss? White elephant? Juggling balls made of balloons and rice? A ride on a small truck made to look like a fire engine, with an annoyingly enthusiastic clown? School is so weird when there’s no classes, and when there are mums and dads.
Except none of these thoughts help. So I decide to fill my day at the fair with as much stuff as I could, because when it’s all over, it’s all over. These are the moments that will comfort me when I have a smacked face. This small moment of freedom is worth being thrashed like a dusty hallway rug. I know I will be free one day, and I can defiantly stare out the window as I get lectured today about how free I’m not. She will have to punch my eyes shut to keep me from doing this. She will never break me.
I know where I am, and I know who I am with, yet I am still alone and lost.
Just don’t cry on the way home, or the beating starts in the car.