Possession of Power

While asserting one’s dominance, they tend to leave behind a trail of tears.

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Possession of Power

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PARENTS

There’s still a divot on the left side of mom’s bed.

It’s colder now than before he left, only because I sleep with my little sister when my dreams get dark. The left side is always tucked in, the corners and the pillows still flat, just how he likes it. Even though sometimes mom shivers, I hope he’s warm at night… regardless of the woman on his right.

Part of me still wishes it was mom that was with him.

I don’t really talk about it anymore, I never have, only when my best friend and I are driving into the depths of Kenosha, way past curfew. For some reason it always comes to mind then. I feel safe talking about it, but that’s on a rare occasion.

When I tell her how he let another woman into his life when he already had three, my voice cracks.

I don’t even realize, but I begin yelling, yelling so loud I can’t hear my voice cracking or words shaking.

All I can hear is the excuses I keep making for him, the excuses I’ve made for him since the day he left.

The power he has over my family and me is sickening.

He flipped our lives upside down. No one can fix it, not even him.

FRIENDS

Every Wednesday night I drove down the darkest street in town.

She lived pretty much in the middle of nowhere, hidden from the rest of the world. To pass time, we screamed Adele lyrics the entire way to the Rec, where we had practice twice a week. I didn’t think much of it; I confided in her when she questioned why I was quieter than usual and I was grateful that she always wanted to listen. I’d describe her as very similar to her house: closed off and dark.

As young, emotional teenagers, we talk to whomever will listen. We usually don’t have to question why one of our closest friends always wants to take the long way home, asks to come inside when they drop you off after a late practice, gets upset when you don’t call before falling asleep or reads your diary without asking. At least I didn’t question it, like she always said, I owed her for how good of a friend she was to me.

She was always there when no one else was, she only allowed herself to be. She’d get upset if anyone else tried to comfort me first.

I left family parties early, bailed on my friends and lied to my significant other just because I “owed her,” and when she wanted to see me. I had to see her. If I didn’t comply, she would throw a pity party for herself… she thrived off of my guilt; it made her stronger.

My age was always a joke that floated around constantly, but I never found it funny like she did…

I’ll never understand her crippling sense of humor because everything I find serious has always just been a joke.

I left family parties early, bailed on my friends and lied to my significant other just because I “owed her,” and when she wanted to see me. I had to see her. If I didn’t comply, she would throw a pity party for herself… she thrived off of my guilt; it made her stronger.

COACHES

I have never been afraid to play the sport that I am passionate about.

It’s something that makes the worst days tolerable; it gives a tired heart something to look forward to. Yes, I know: it’s just a sport; however, it’s more than that for me. It’s how I’ve spent every one of my summers since I was eight years old; I’ve had to miss sleepovers, family reunions, parties; it’s a sacrifice.

“You’re not as good as her.”

“You’re just not what we’re looking for.”

“I loved your bat last year, but it isn’t impressing me anymore.”

“You need to battle it out for a spot.”

The only way I can describe it is defeat.

I felt defeated; I still do.

The man who almost cost me my softball career coaches some of my idols. I dreamt of playing for him since I was small.

He didn’t stunt my playing skills, but he did make me question them.

Like my mom always said: he clearly knows more than I do. This is why I had to take the punches that were thrown.

Every single time.

On the bus on our way back from games, I would drag my finger down the window and watch the dewy trail it left behind. I would think about all the things I was told were wrong and harshly contemplate if I ever wanted to play again. Despite the traumatic few months, I was with my travel team again. The environment was drastically different and even though I felt at peace with people I considered my second family, I was still hesitant to put myself out there for others judgement.

LOVE

“Wait.”

So I did.

I waited and waited, until I couldn’t wait anymore.

I begged for answers, pondered new questions and everything in my mind raced about, but never got a response.

He told me to stop taking his absence so personal;he told me to get out of my head;he told me that I knew how he felt and overreacting was silly.

That’s all we were, that’s all I was: silly.

Even though waiting is long and painful, I was happy.

I was happy because I would rather him be distantly in my life than not at all.

That’s exactly what he wanted: an ego boost every once and awhile, someone to make him feel wanted.

I have always pictured love as something different than this, more magical.

Maybe that’s why I am taking his loud spoken actions so personal.

Maybe that’s why the palace I’ve created in my head is slowly crumbling, but I continued to wait and watch the faucet drip until it ran dry.

Now the only thing that’s “silly,” is how I feel.

Like an open wound that was only stitched halfway then left to heal on its own.

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