The pavement is as dry as my mouth inside the long hallway of my bleak emotions. I think back to a time before time meant to me what it means to me now.
Before I realized my life was in my own hands. Before I knew no one was coming to save me and there was no way out of this alive.
I’m tracing a heart into the fogged back window of our old blue Chevy. I can’t be more than twelve years old, my torn up jeans hanging from my lanky frame. My fingernails are long and painted cotton candy pink. J + A in the center of the heart shape, with an arrow piercing right through it.
You want nothing more than a kiss then. Dancing in the darkness of the musty gymnasium. Stairway to Heaven, grape soda and Skittles. Your heart throbbing in your chest, smoke, sweat, and the anticipation of something you don’t even understand yet. But you want it. You just know you want it and you want it so bad.
We learn to crave dark things. We learn there are some desires we should not speak about to anyone but our diaries. We learn to drown for years and years without making a sound.
As the rain begins to really come down, I forget my day dreaming and remember my own skin. I hear the crunch of my boots on the ground as I make my way through the long winding streets toward the life I have built on a hill in the distance.
The dark heavy storm clouds gather in close circles and I look up at the thickness of the falling globes of water. I sense the pleasure of the feeling of swirling chaos, an atmosphere alive and electric with the change of season.
All we ask is redemption from who we became before we knew it could have all been different.
I open my mouth and swallow the weather. I have been thirsty for so long.
Photo by Jasmin Schreiber