Ten. The age of double digits. The age of new discoveries. The age on the peak of growing up. Well, sort of. We felt so old, yet we were so young. We still had so much to discover, and to be honest, we still do. We felt as if we could conquer the world. Our plastic shields and sword battles, our pillow and blanket forts, and our cardboard box houses full of dreams allowed us to imagine and create our reality. As our heads hit the pillow at night, our eyes shut immediately, not waiting for our minds to stop, but allowing them to lead us as we dreamed of sugar plum fairies, knights in shining armor, spaceships, adventures, and princesses. In the mornings, our little bodies would bolt down the stairs, as the smells of breakfast awaited us. We were in the age of cops and robbers. The age of pirates and indians. Those were the days where happiness was found in the bottom of a cereal box, and sadness was found from a scrape on your knee. Christmas involved Santa, Easter had the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy still left money under your head while you slept. Boys still had cooties, tag was the game of the block, and the dream of being a ballerina was still on the table. Simplicity was at its finest. Heads were held high. Dreams were held higher, and there wasn’t a care in the world. Look at us now. My how times have changed.
I think I’m starting to get over it. I think I’m starting to get over you, or at least I’m trying. I get it. I really do. You aren’t over her yet, and it will be a while, but times ticking my dear friend. Time is ticking by as fast as lightning, yet you still cannot let it go. It has been so long. You have had so many chances. Time is ticking by my friend. Time is ticking by. I told you last week. I told you how I felt. I told you how I felt about you, and you neither claimed nor denied feelings. You left me with a piece of hope that intertwined into the deepest portions of my heart, and I no longer will be able to heal. There will always be a piece of me with you, and a piece of you with me. Whether we establish this or not, it will always be with you. It will always be with me. You will always be with me and there is nowhere in the world that I can run to change it. There is no way to erase the vivid memories from my brain. There is no way to escape the stitches in my heart. There is no way to erase you. There is no way to escape you. I have been forever scarred because of you, and because of you, my heart can no longer love.
All of you. All of you show off yourselves as if we are at a club. As if we are in a club of whores. It’s sad but true. You wear shorts too short and shirts too low. Your clothes too tight and your dresses are as see-through as a window. A window with no blinds. A window that shows no modesty, but shame, and you know it. You know it and you crave it. You crave the attention. You crave the attention because all your life there has been no one there. There has been no one there to give you the simple attention you needed to thrive, and so you went elsewhere. You found yourself sleeping, dating, and cheating on boys. Not men, boys. That’s why you’re empty. That’s why everything you do makes you feel more worthless than when you started. Not just because of the boys. Not just because of the windows you allow them to look through. Not just because you are a whore. It’s because you have looked all your life for attention, but you have been looking in the wrong places. Look up darling. Look up to the sky and realize there is a father up there. He thinks you are beautiful. He thinks you are worth it. So, look up sweet child. Let your tears flow. Let your masks fall. Let yourself run into arms full of all the love and attention you’ll ever need. Let yourself run darling. Just look up.
Innocent minds of innocent bodies, all built up into what we call youth. When we are young, we are taught to dream, to believe, to trust, and to embrace love, yet as our innocent souls reverb and change, so do our innocent minds. Love flees as we dream, and just when we believe enough to embrace, it runs even farther away, breaking our trust, and building up walls over our hearts. With those walls come regret, pain, and fear, but somehow we are able to push them away and overthrow our thoughts as we build the walls higher and higher. But as our youth flees, our excess thoughts and insecurities slowly begin to swallow up our minds. The passion that flowed from our souls begins to fade, as the innocent echoes of our past are slowly and subtly mottled under the surface. We are unclean now, and we know it. We have ourselves a strand of hope and they broke it. They burned it. They did whatever they could to tear it down, and we let them. We let them tear us down.
Fear. A simple, one syllable word that I live with everyday. Two absent-minded fools expect me to. They expect me to walk on eggshells. Any normal child can tell you that eggs are a beautiful part of childhood. It sounds strange, but it’s true. Sometimes the strangest of things are the truest of things as well. We grow up eating eggs for breakfast every Sunday morning. We grow up coloring eggs, hiding eggs, and filling them with sweet treats to enjoy, but not all kids get to enjoy them. Not all kids wake up every day to colored eggs. Some wake up to eggshells. Some kids wake up to broken promises and dreams scattered across the surfaces they trace with the souls of their feet. The surfaces I trace with the souls of my feet. The eggs I walk on are white, hollow shells that splinter my heart with each crack. Each crack represents the crumbling pieces of my heart, ceaselessly portrayed on the floor with each cautious step. Breathless they fall. Lifeless I live. Each night I collect the shells, hoping that the pieces of my heart will be picked up as well, but they aren’t. They’re stuck to the livid tiles we graze upon every day, constantly being smeared, destroyed, and walked upon. My blatant heart aches from the steps of hatred, theft, shame, guilt, pity, and jealousy, that are echoing through the footsteps being smeared across the floor. There is no cure. There is no love. There is no heartbeat. Only dead eyes walk on the eggshells now, collecting a broken jar full of pieces of hope.
Memories. Fading away in the distance like the vibrant sun does every day. You think you’ll remember them, but you won’t. Bits and pieces will never leave, haunting you ever so slightly when you least expect it, but all the so-called lifelong memories you thought would never leave you, have already quickly fled your mind. We spend so much time trying to remember, that we cause ourselves to forget. The boy you swore you’d never forget, has already been forgotten. You have quickly replaced his shoes with someone else’s, and once you hold the laces you try to re-tie the knots, but you realize that you forgot how. You have already forgotten how before you even took the time to remember. You still feel the feelings, but find yourself beginning to forget the thoughts, so much that your memories blend together into a big knot. The laces are tangled with memories. Un-tie them if you can or forever hold your peace. Your idea of the perfect life slowly slips away from your mind with each gnawing breath, sub sequentially allowing you to fall into slipknots. They hold you by your neck. They caress you with the feeling of a mother’s love, but it’s all fake. It’s all just a memory you thought you experienced, but instead it’s just a part of your messy web of knots, making its way to your pile of untangled laces that you add to your collection of shoes. The shoes you wore last year, didn’t fit you last month, and the shoes you wore last month didn’t fit you last week, so you switched out the laces, only to realize they were the wrong style, or the wrong type, they didn’t feel the same, they caused you to forget, so you quickly removed them, but it was too late. You had already forgotten. Today you switched the laces in the shoes you wore last year, but as you tried to fit back into them, as you tried to fit your stitched heart back into the memories you once shared, you realized you had already moved on. You had already forgotten and the shoes no longer fit. You do all that you can to re-imagine, to re-invent a way to make them fit. You cut the laces apart, thinking that if you can just loosen the shoe, if you can just forget the new memories and replace them with the old, that you will remember. You think that you will remember the thoughts, and that the thoughts will connect to the feelings, but you have cut them off. The laces fall to the floor like the pieces of your innocent mind that is now vastly spread across the room. Empty. Your subconscious has been cleared by your thoughts, because you spent too much time trying to remember, that you forgot all the memories and have now filled the empty lace holes with the fake memories you have created for yourself in your little cardboard house. Your little cardboard house full of all the dreams you had as a child, should be blatantly be shoving the memories into your face. As you stare into the walls that are covered in tears, filled with laughs, and dented with hope, you think you see something. You think you feel something. You think you thought something you had once thought long ago. But instead, you stare right through the walls. You look right past the memories. You rip off the shoes in a hurry, in a fit, because you cannot feel, you cannot touch, you cannot think, you cannot see, and you cannot dream what you used to, but it’s no use. Your lucid mind has lead you into the white house. You are living a dream while being awake. You are consciously aware of everything, yet absorbing nothing, because everything you ever hoped for had fled from you. You find yourself digging a hole. A pit. A pit where your memories might lie. You pray, you hope, and you dig, but they aren’t there. Your translucent mind has fled from your soul. While you were asleep, you were consciously awake, and you threw out all the shoes, and re-tied all the laces. It appears you were never able to un-tie like you had wished, so you just pieced things back together until your mind felt content enough to work. Until your mind felt well enough to function correctly, and you somehow were able to wake up and live again. Now you hopelessly hang by the slipknots around your neck. You look at the sun fading away in the distance. You think maybe you’ll remember, but you’ve thought wrong. Your thoughts will continue to haunt you until the day you die. But the day is coming quickly, for the slipknots you are creating keep getting tighter and tighter. You’ve spent so much time trying to remember, that you’ve allowed yourself to forget your life.
You confuse me. Your mind, so manipulative yet impulsive, I am drawn to stay. How long will I stay? How long will allow myself to configure out the pieces to a puzzle I have yet to find? No one knows for sure. Not even I. Your piercing brown eyes hold secrets of their own as well. What they have seen, I have yet to see. What they have experienced, I have yet to experience or even know. Days pass by, but I cannot comprehend the mysterious whispers your lips compel from deep within your soul. They are masked. They are masked by the walls that have built up overtime, from the people you loved the most, and thought could hurt you the least. Instead, they tore, and they spit, and they added bricks to your little stone house that you have concluded around yourself. I have yet to break it down. I throw stones, but they only break the surface of the person you know. The person that lives inside the little brick house of fear. You write on the walls of your little brick house, hoping that one day, someone will pass by and realize. That someone will pass by and realize that you are there. That you have been there all along, and you want to escape and let your soul free. Let me tell you my friend, I have been reading the writing since the first time I passed. I have been reading, and deciphering, and decoding the scribbled notes on the wall that echo your reality. I have watched as people have taunted you. Your eyes would look out the cracks created by the stones people throw, and you would allow yourself to watch. You would allow yourself to watch as people spit on you, and lied to you, saying they would let you out of the little brick house. They would lure you in and allow you to stay by the cracks for a while, and you would stay. You would stay in hope that what they said was true, but it wasn’t. In the end, they threw another brick on the pile. Every night, I would come by and hope that you were peering out the cracks, but you never were. I wanted to tell you I was ready. I wanted to tell you that I’m ready to start tearing down the house. That I’m ready to start destroying the walls piece by piece, and destroying the people that try to stop me, but you were never there. Months went by, and you would try to break out yourself. You would try to break out by searching for that one person who loved you for who you were, and wouldn’t throw stones at you when the walls weren’t there. People passed by every day, but you finally gave up and left. You left in search of someone. You left in search of someone who would help you tear down the walls to your brick house. Along the way, I watched. I watched you find someone you thought was real, only leave you even more broken in the end than when you started your journey. While you were gone, I studied the bricks. I studied the walls that held your phrases of reality. I studied the people that caused you to write them there, and I realized something. I was one of them. I was a part of the hurt. I was a part of the pain inscribed into the walls you used to hide yourself, and I cried. I cried for days on end, knowing that I could have stopped you. Knowing that I could have erased my contribution just by walking up to the cracks and helping you out, but I had let you down. You had seen me. You knew me. You had already solved the pieces to my puzzled life, and you silently begged me to come over to the wall, but I never did. Instead of following you, I gave up. I climbed over the wall and began to discover the pieces to your puzzle. I stayed there for weeks, solving the puzzle to your life, and by doing so, I began to discover my own, until one day a stone was thrown. A stone was thrown not at the wall, but over the wall. I could not say how long I had been there, because I had never looked out the cracks until now. You had returned to tear down your house. You had found someone who loved you enough to erase the walls and destroy the pain. I was too late. It took me too long to realize what the walls read. It took me too long to discover in myself the missing piece that I too had been looking for. I realized the reason why I stood, watched, and waited by the little brick house, is because I longed for what was inside, but I was too late. I took too long to shift my ear towards the whispers. I took too long to look into the piercing eyes staring at me through the cracks. I took too long to tear off my own masks and show you how I truly felt. I took too long to tear off your masks and show you that I had been there all along. Now I am no longer confused, for you are not confusing. You tear down the walls piece by piece, and discover me there. I run to you. I run to your piercing brown eyes that hold secrets I have interpreted, and I listen to your lips as they whisper from deep within your soul. I have seen what you have seen. I have learned what you have experienced, and I weep. I weep as I begin to build my own little brick house, but you stop me and give me the last piece to my puzzle, that allows all my walls to fall down. We burn the pieces and share the stories, crying together as we realize how foolish we were not to notice each other all along, although we had been staring at each other the whole time. We finish building our new brick house. The brick house we built together. The walls are still filled with secrets, but not just any secrets. Our secrets. People still pass by throwing stones, but we don’t care. We both found the missing piece to our puzzle that allows us to fill the cracks and say, “Welcome home.”