a little piece of fictionI was asked once, “If you could go back and do it over again from any age, what age would you choose.”
There was only one answer, but not one that fit the rules of the question.
There are many nights when I can’t sleep. I lay awake tossing and turning, the only thing that soothes me is writing myself into a slumber. In my head, my story always starts the same…
***There was silence in the house as all were gone but as I sat still, there was the hum of a sweet song. I wondered whether or not the sounds were in my heart or in this world at present, for the song was familiar but the sound of innocence was not. I quietly tip-toed in and out of lonely rooms where lives of happy children once lived. I shifted through the cobwebs and dust but became still when the song became louder. She was here. I just had to find her.
I stared in the mirrored glass. How old I had become. The lines around my eyes had stunned me. Where had the time gone? As I questioned my reflection, the image of myself shook and slid away. Behind my reflection, she was there. The little girl that was left behind sat still, sat smiling, just humming her song. I knelt down slowly, not wishing to startle her, but she seemed to have been expecting me.
“Hi,” the little voice proclaimed with a bright smile.
I paused and stared. How perfect she was. How innocent and happy. I would never have known if I hadn’t been told. I had waited to long to speak,
“Hi. Who are you?” she said as she reached out to touch my knee.
“Oh, hi. I’m sorry. I’m, well, I’m just someone who’s been looking for you,” I told her.
“Oh good,” she breathed out in exaggeration, “I’ve been wondering who was going to find me! I’ve been waiting for quite some time, you know!”
I laughed as I told her, “I bet you have been! I’ve found you though. Before you come, out, sweet girl, I just want you to know it’s all going to be okay.”
She didn’t question me, she only replied, “Ok,” and took my hand as she crawled out.
***I would go back to when I was five. I would reach through. I would not live it over, but I would live it with the little girl who watched it all leave before she had the chance to say goodbye. I would tell her it would be ok, that none of it was about her, that she was loved despite what she would hear. I would tell her that all of this was about them, I would let her cry because she fell not because she was pushed. I would make her deaf to the violence that would try to rob her soul. I would blind her from the lies that would disguise themselves as truth. I would be her pill, I would be her razor, I would be her sustenance. I would be all she would try to hurt herself with. I would be her heart, her love, her faith.
Five is the age I would go back to.