Sneak Peak! Weeds in the Sidewalk

We sat quietly side by side on the crowded train surrounded by the knowing eyes of the haves and the condescending relief in their eyes that their lives weren’t as pathetic as mine. Lisa was talking to me, her voice bouncing against me like a slapping hand, but I didn’t hear her. She wanted to know what happened. She wanted to know what I saw, what I remembered. I would never tell her. The shame that stuck to my skin like spider webs was mine to wipe away.

Running. Always running. It was what I had to do. Unworthy of a life that was given to me, a gift I didn’t deserve, wallowing in the dirt that filled me to the core; the push and shove of routine bodies, crotches and asses in my face as I sat on the plastic seat and stared into an abyss of mindless words and laughter. None of it mattered to me, the feeling of death, the brake-slamming stop, when a person is simply no longer there, behind closed eyes and closed lips, a silence beyond a single breath.

I felt her hand touch my hand. For a moment she was just Lisa, not the witch hiding behind the blackness of her walls. She understood without knowing. I could see Rodney in my mind chasing me, always chasing me, trying for his own personal reasons to be a god that he thought I needed. The warm sunbeams on the back of my neck like a reassuring squeeze from him that I would be okay. But I knew better. I knew why…

Staring at the walls of my room, the shadows that streaked across the ceiling from outside, a fan gently breathing on me with a constant cool breeze, I knew that I was finally dead; the musky stagnant smells; the window with prison bars, my empty stomach slowing dying, the flood of my stolen days.

 It had to be my fault. Rodney did what I asked. He opened the locked door and let me see. I couldn’t hide in the darkness. He had turned on the light. There was no escaping the past. I needed to see my savior, smell his wretched stench and look into his blackened smile. I needed to feel safe again. I needed to forget again. I wanted to hide behind my strange drawing that I used to not understand. I needed to erase everything from this point backward. My world needed to come to an end.

The linoleum was cold under my feet as I stood in the kitchen in the glow of the city coming through the window. The blade of a butcher knife in my hand reflected like a star...

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