“I didn’t mean to kill her. I mean, I didn’t kill her. No, no. I would never. That’s not my job. The others, the outside, they’re the ones who did it. They’re the ones who drove her over. That’s not my job. My job is to protect. To protect her… I protected her from them on the outside. I had to. I had to because she didn’t know to be afraid. She didn’t understand how dangerous they could be. You see, she was too reckless as a child, too free. That’s why I was assigned to her. She needed to learn. . . I guess you could call me a teacher. And I’m very good at my job, you know. By the age of 6 she knew to be afraid of the dark. Every night I would remind her to turn her closet light on. And I wouldn’t let her go to sleep without it because every night I would show her what could possibly be waiting for her in the shadows, what creatures crept and crouched down the hallway. She kept her closet light on for years. Even as an adult, every now and then, she would remember the things that I showed her. Those images will always be there. It was my job. My job. By the age of 13 she knew that failure was not an option. She knew that mediocre was not an option. She knew because I taught her. And in those moments she forgot she wasn’t perfect, I would remind her. I made sure to do so in front of everyone so that they could see that she wasn’t perfect, and that she knew to be better. I’ll admit, I was hard on her, but she had to learn. And it was my job to teach her. My job. I’m very good at my job, you know? Up until her last days, she knew better than to be less than perfect. She knew not to try if she was anything less than. Because the others, on the outside, they wouldn’t accept her at mediocre. You see, they’re the bad guys. They’re the ones who want to hurt her. I mean, wanted to hurt her. Just like every male I told her not to let in. By the age of 17, she knew not to trust one to love her because at the age of 7 she saw how her father treated her mother. I made sure she saw. I knew that even though she wouldn’t understand it at the time, she would later on. She needed to learn that if she opened up that door to herself, that’s how she would be treated. Always. But as she grew older, she also grew stubborn. She decided not to listen to me. The reckless behavior she practiced as a child kept creeping back up. That four-year old heart of hers that wasn’t scared of anything kept opening the door. And whenever I would slam that door closed, she would open up the window. Seven times this happened. And on the seventh, a grenade was thrown in. I remember it setting her room on fire. I remember keeping her door locked… No, I didn’t help her. She should’ve listened. She should’ve known better. I had to teach her to know better. It was my job. So from that day forth, whenever the others would come around, no matter how “nice” they looked or how “good” they portrayed themselves. I would remind her. I would remind her that she’s not perfect, that her door shouldn’t be opened because the others wouldn’t like what was on the inside. I would remind her of her scars, and of her room that the sun could no longer reach because the window had been burned black. I would remind her that she is still afraid of the dark… Yes, you could say it isolated her… I isolated her? Oh no. No. That’s not my job. My job is to protect her from the others. Was, I mean. Don’t you remember? They’re the bad guys. I explained this already. I didn’t mean to kill her. I mean, I didn’t… I didn’t kill her.”
A few days ago I received a prompt from a fellow writer and friend. He told me to pick the perspective of anyone or anything and to write from that perspective without unveiling the identity of that perspective. Not only that, but I had to start the piece with “I didn’t mean to kill her.” It’s a very exciting prompt and it didn’t take me very long to figure out what it was that I wanted to write. It is something that I’ve been struggling with more frequently than I was prepared for since I got back to school. And even though it’s not necessarily a nice thing to experience, I knew that this prompt was the perfect opportunity to finally write it out.
Everyone has a voice in their head that kind of accompanies them throughout their days. It never really stops talking and it has an opinion on every and anything that they may see, hear, smell, do or feel. For some, it doesn’t even have the decency to shut its mouth when they’re trying to sleep. And just like the tangible, these voices have their good and bad days. Their tone, the message they want to send, and the words they choose to send these messages may vary. On some days they’re harsher than necessary, and on others they are your personal hype-man/hype-woman. And some days, they make you laugh when no one else can. Now, from the piece you read earlier, you might assume that all my days with my voice are bad and that they’ve been bad since I could write my name. That’s not true. I have a lot of good days. It’s just that recently, when the bad days come around, they’re especially bad. They’re almost cruel. And it’s only recently that I have been able to identify why I sometimes convince myself that my friends don’t care about me, why I isolate myself so often, why I rarely ever speak up when I’m being mistreated, and why it’s taken me so long to finally start writing for real and sharing what’s on my heart. It’s because of that voice in my head. For so long, it’s dragged me to that grey space it’s created in my mind; a place that lacks any type of self-love or self-worth. It’s kept the lights off , the window covered, and the door locked. It’s kept the people that love me on the outside. And it only lets me out when it feels like it… But I think it’s time to change things up a bit.
I’m painting the walls yellow.