A non-fiction essay by Tea Jay
I fucking hate summer.
Summers remind me of eating too many hash gummies, riding the T, not knowing where my panties went. The warm nights remind me of head highs from puffing on cheap cigars and anti-climatic phone sex. Mornings with pale sunrises and birds chirping remind me of sleepless nights and suicide attempts. And losing you. Yes, summers remind me of losing you.
You’d be five and my entire life would be entirely different as a single mom. But you would have been so loved, I would have found a way to not be sick and to love you with all my might just like I would inevitably get away from your sperm donor. I would have made things right.
At least, that’s what I would like to believe. I’d like to think that your life would have given me incentive to get better, maybe more than your death did.
But there’s no good in putting energy into what-ifs. You’re gone and the only place you reside is in a permanent void in my soul. I can never repent, I can never forgive myself. I allowed this to happen. I didn’t say no, so many times I wanted to scream it, protect you, defend you, but I never said it. I agreed; with the private counselor I agreed, with your father I agreed, with my God I agreed. Through gritted teeth and forced smiles I sighed yes, giving my consent when I wanted to say no.
It was what I had to do to survive.
Because of you I lived. Because of you I got better. Because of you I was able to find myself, find what real love looks like, and not only absorb it from wonderful people but from myself. But I can’t say that without the noise in my head shouting that it wasn’t fair to you. It wasn’t.
The day you left this world I dissociated until I didn’t know where I was. I think that’s where my timelines tore and I entered my own personal hell. My innocence died along with you, my faith was buried with you, because you carry a piece of my soul that I can never get back.
And what did you do for me when I gave you nothing? You sprouted wings and became my angel. And maybe it’s another one of my delusions, but a week after you left me, when I creeped into the mansion’s garden, sobbing over the sundial, breasts leaking, I know it was you with me in my darkest hour. I don’t have a god, I don’t have a savior, but I have faith because you showed me the light.
I am learning to live in this void.
I am teaching myself to believe in something aside from the lies a man can tell. I am trying to trust, sometimes a little too easily. I am learning to be the person you need me to be.
I’m a progressive, modern woman. If any of my sisters told me the same tale as I, there would be no blame to place on her. I would love her and hold her until she melted into me and I could absorb her sadness. I know there is a rational, logical side to the actions I committed to. Still; my heart sinks when I think of what your skin would have felt like in my arms.