Sitting, un-lost in a field of yellow and green. The sun warm on my skin. I hear the bird’s song highlighted by the subtle backdrop of rustling grass. My song won’t sing itself. Sadly, I listen for it. But a small hard knot of fear, deep within, is chilling me and drowning out the song.
A moment ago, before I ran away to this place, my little brother came to me.
“What’s this on my foot?” he asked, holding his little foot up for me to see with his blue eyes curious and blond hair sleep-tousled. I looked expecting an invisible scratch, an excuse for a band-aid. I often waste band-aids on his skin, gladly! But not this time. It’s a lump. No pain, no scratch, no bruise. Just a swelling, soft under the skin. I can’t see inside to know what it is. I am afraid.
“No, please no”, my heart-whisper cries as memories rush in to write the unknown ending for me. Outside, my voice says lightly, “We might have to let the doctor see what that is.” Satisfied, he runs off. Heart sinking, I come to this place.
Sometimes existing hurts. I try to push away the lead weight and look at beauty instead. But the glow is gone. And I know I will only find it again after I walk here, down the gloomy path I don’t want to tread.It is hushed here. The towering trees block out light and sound, blanketing the air with a stillness I can feel. I walk slower here. My body feels pulled down, down to the floor which is soft and fragrant with a musty sort of smell. I yield and touch the ground with forehead and elbows and knees. I wish there were a shell around my back to keep me from the pain.
But it comes; unwanted and unwelcome. The years of not knowing what is wrong inside the body of someone else I love. He is big and strong. He kept me safe and explained things. He always knew until…
He didn’t know. He asked me if I knew. If I would help him find out. I bravely nodded and steeled my heart. “Be strong,” I told it. He needs you.
But I couldn’t find out. I tried, hard! I dug and searched and asked and nothing was right. Nothing told me what was wrong. He went to doctors. I was relieved because the weight was not on me to find out. They would know.
They shook their heads and sent him on to another and another. They all tried to guess and finally admitted, “We don’t know. We can only try things and hope they help.”
Years of trying things. They have helped. They have helped keep him alive. But the thing is still inside trying to kill him. And sometimes after laying still so long that I believe it finally died, and try to forget it like a bad dream, it flicks its tail and creeps out again. Breaking more things inside him and breaking my heart in me.
It won’t stop! It seems to enjoy this cruel game: hurting and breaking one little piece at a time, savoring the torture. I hate it!!!!! I hate the thing and want to kill it, dead. And beat it and strangle it for torturing him in front of me!
“STOP,” I yell at it till my throat is raw. “Leave him alone! I hate you!!!!!” It hides from me. I’ve never seen it and so I cannot hurl my fury at it and scorch it with the flame I feel kindled.
I stand, chest heaving. I do not know what to do.