It was at a headmaster’s funeral that she realised that her world would never be perfect. That she needed to let go.
I need to be Stone
I sat there, in that rickety chair, as though it was any other day
I sat there, in that rickety chair, as though it was any other day. My hands cold and empty. The breeze played through the strands of my hair, flicking it back and forth against my face. The icy remnants of tears stung my cheeks, while my breath came out in ragged gasps. The pain was over-whelming and it felt like my chest would burst from the pressure. It was too much for me to take. Though I knew it had been coming.
It was in that moment that I grew up, years passing me by as though a speck of dust in the wind, unnoticeable to the eyes around. It was in that moment that I grew strong. I had to. With six older brothers and no sisters, I was already hard to the small pains of life. But I remained soft on the inside. A bundle of emotions; raw and jagged, rubbing against my chest, burning me with their inflictions. I was not stone yet. I could still crumble. I could still fall.
I thought the world was finally going to give me my share, my small piece to claim, to call my own. I was getting something first; something before my brothers. No longer was I, the last child, the after thought, the unplanned pregnancy. I was there with a purpose, though it did not define me. It was who I had become.
And then it had all came crashing down, the weight like gravity, slowly pushing my deeper and deeper into the earth. But I would remain strong; hold back the tears that threatened to spill. I would stare straight ahead and clearly state that I understood. When inside, those raw, jagged emotions were screaming, screaming with questions unheard.
"Why am I always being protecting?"
"Why am I never the one fighting?"
"Why is it always me that's left behind?"
These questions raged inside me, fighting to push me deeper still but the earth could not have me. I would be strong, I would be hard, though I knew inside I would not stop crying. I would build a wall; brick by brick. I would place it between me and those unanswered questions, if only to survive the day, the minutes passing by. I would not get the answers. I did not need the answers. And so with my wall built, I would be me again. Not the girl that needed her world to be perfect. But a girl that took what she had and lived with it, the pain a dull haze to what she had lost.
Pain makes you stronger or so I have been told and I needed to be strong. We were at war. That was why I was here, in that rickety chair, with my insides torn apart.
So I needed as much strength as I could manage to face the coming day, with my head held high and with my eyes dry. I needed to say goodbye. Not just to dreams, that had only just seemed so real, but to him, the boy by my side.
I had to let him go. I had to regain the girl I once was, when I no longer cared. But I did care, that was why I needed to be strong. Not for me, but for him as well. He needed to know that while I sat there, our fingers still entwined, that it did not kill me to watch him go. For him to know that I truly under stood, that he loved me still, no matter what he said.
Though I knew he would still leave regardless of what he saw, regardless of if he saw the pain I was in, or if he knew about the wall I had built, just to breathe instead of cry. But I also knew that a part of him would hate himself for doing it. Would blame himself for causing me this pain and I could not live with that.
I did understand, that was why I was letting him go in peace, leaving me in pain.
So for now I needed to be strong, I needed to be stone, if only to survive the day when our hands would let go.