Cabbage ... five years ...
Well ... it's been five years now since that day you came
home to find the house empty and me standing there with an
army of people behind me. Well, it will be
five years ... in 9 more days... September 13th, 1996. And
I remember your face ... the look of you as I stood there on
the porch and told you that I was leaving. That YOU were
leaving because the lease was in my name. The bulging of
muscles and angry red of your face as your eyes turned pure
black ... that vein sticking out on your forehead like it
always did when you became really angry. And I remember
feeling so relieved that I had so many people there because
I knew how badly you wanted to hurt me that afternoon as you
piled your things into that car and tore out of the
It was so hard to do ... I'm sure you have no idea. My
heart broke .. or rather .. it broke the rest of the way on
that day. You broke my heart much earlier actually .. six
months earlier. I'm sure you don't remember it. I'm sure
it was just another day for you, another hurtful thing to
say to keep me in place. But it is forever ingrained in my
memory .. a memory which is a joke cuz it's so bad .. and
yet I can remember how the air smelt .. the temperature of
the room .. how the light shined in .. exactly what you
looked like and what you were wearing .. I can remember
everything about that moment when those words
came out of your mouth ... the words that pulverized my
heart and stopped my breath ... those words that crushed
what was left of my soul ... that rang in my head,
reverberating like the toll of a bell so that I could hear
nothing else for days.
I remember every fight before and after those words were
said. Every hit of your hand and every forced sexual
encounter. I remember every flash of the camera bulb and
Sonny's laugh in the background egging you on that night. I
remember the crawling of eight legs over flesh and the sight
of a hammer flying end over end towards me with your angry
countenance as the backdrop. I remember the betrails and
the putdowns ... the things you said and did ... but over
all of that ... I most clearly remember that moment when you
said those fateful words.
I remember the good times too. Your gentle, careful
lovemaking as you broke my hymen .. making sure I was
pleased. And the amazing sex... And your smiles ... your
tears .... I remember the beginning when everything was
beautiful ... and how long we went without ever having a
fight. I remember being happy and feeling loved and secure
with you. Happy in the most ragged of apartments .. secure
in the worst of neighborhoods. And I remember when it
turned ... when things began to change.
It's been five years since I escaped. That's what I call
it, you know. My escape... because I was running scared.
Five years in which I have worked at recreating myself after
you destroyed my soul. Five years of rebuilding my soul ...
of trying to put the puzzle pieces back together only to
find the painting destroyed by turpentine ... and I've found
that I'm doing well ... that I like who I am
even if I don't like what I look like ... I have succeeded
in rebuilding my soul - a soul that I love and enjoy. And I
take pride in those things about myself that I
can appreciate ... such as my intelligence.
I have not succeeded in rebuilding my self esteem though -
but I will. Things that I do .. that I produce ... I feel
they are nothing .. that they are unworthy. My writings; to
me they are just words and thoughts, but others tell me that
they speak volumes and are poetry.. that they are much more
than words. My artwork I feel is lacking .. my friendship
pathetic. My countenance ugly and dowdy ... a mouse .. fat
and repulsive (granted, my father started that one, you just
built upon it). And sometimes I wonder why you saved me
instead of letting me die those two times I committed
suicide. Why did you yell at me and scold me? Was it
supposed to be your job to kill me and I had
tried to take that away from you? Or was there some other
Do you know what you did in those years we were together?
I'm really not to sure that you do. I don't think you
realized back then that the words hurt more than any
physical pain you could dole out. That your abandonment of
me emotionally was more painful than the baseball bat or
porch slat. And yet even after I left you continued to
insist that you loved me. I remember that too ... you
cornering me at the storage facility and pushing me against
the wall ... shaking me ‘til my head began banging against
the wall repetitively as you yelled how you loved me.
Ranting about how I didn't understand.. how it would never
happen again. That big Irish (or whatever he was) guy was
my hero that day. The college security guard my companion
for months to come. My rearview mirror becoming more
fascinating than even the most titillating of movies.
I am angry that I still love you ... even as I fear you. I
am angry that you left such huge scars on my heart .. on my
soul. I am angry that it has been five years and I am still
far from healed ... that as wounds heal I discover more
gaping and bleeding ones beneath. And I am angry that I
wasted those years of my life with you. And that the years
since then have had to be spent on healing wounds that were
deeper than I had initially realized instead of on mending
broken dreams. My physical wounds are long gone .. most of
the scars are even faded.
I can't hate you ... and I have learned to forgive you.
I no longer wish for revenge or retribution.
But ... I also cannot forget.
May your life be fruitful and full of happy moments. Your
soul at peace.
- the one that got away