Once more, I am participating in Rachael Ritchey’s extremely enjoyable and challenging #blogbattle. I am aiming to do this every week, but time has a habit of getting sucked into a black hole. But here is this week’s entry on the theme of bribery. Enjoy. 🙂
“You can’t bribe me to eat, Val.”
“I know. I’m just trying to keep you with me, Kate. I just want us to be happy again.”
“I get it. I want that too. But I don’t know if I can be. Maybe it would be better if…”
“No. Don’t even say it. Don’t even think it. I’m in this for the long haul remember?”
“Yeah. I remember. I just don’t want to see you hurting.”
“Ditto. It hurts me to see you this way. I get that I can’t get it, I get that I can’t hear the voices in your head and understand the pain you’re in. I won’t pretend that I can. But I still see the pain, in your eyes, in your body….”
“That’s what I worry about. We’re just hurting each other.”
“Then stop. The cake’s still there. And so is my offer.”
“I wish it were that easy, I really do…”
“It can be. Just one bite, please, and I’ll take you shopping. Any notebook, pen, piece of stationery, book, anything….Please, Kate?”
“Val…you don’t know how torn apart I am inside. I want to do this for you so much, but, it’s just…”
“Oh, Kate, I love you so much. And I know you’re trying. I know you are. Maybe we can try again tomorrow.”
A week later I stood at her funeral. I watched her body lowered into the ground. I listened to heartfelt lines that could describe anyone in the world. I felt tears streaming down my face, ruining the dark eye makeup I had made an effort to wear.
Inside my bag was the notebook, the one I’m writing in now. The one I earned with that first bite of cake.
I cried then, too.
So had she.
She’d want me to live. That’s the only reason I’m still here, the only reason I haven’t gone through with any of the thoughts, the images in my mind. My hand is shaking, so forgive the writing, if anyone is reading this.
I am on my third cup of coffee this morning. With every bite I take a sip, forgetting that I am putting food into my body. They tell me when my brain gets better I won’t hate the thought of having it inside me as much anymore. They tell me I’ll think clearer, better. I’ll see a point in life beyond Val’s wish.
I don’t believe them, not completely. But just enough to keep swallowing.
She kissed me goodnight, that night, holding my hand tight as she did. Looking back, it’s almost as if she was saying goodbye, like somehow she knew. She couldn’t have though. That’s just my shrunken, drowning brain twisting reality, turning into something it wasn’t and couldn’t have been.
I waited up, waited for the door at 4am as always. Three nights a week. It didn’t make a sound. Couldn’t. It had no one to make a sound for.
When light broke I started to panic. I can still feel that dread and pain in my heart. It crushes any other feeling that tries to surface. Then there was the phone call. The body. The mangled car. I shouldn’t have insisted on looking. I shouldn’t have seen it. Imagined her inside it. Imagined the blood and pain. Imagined the light fading from her eyes.
I see it all when I close my eyes, every image and thought painted with the colours of regret. The dead heavy feeling inside muting my mind and spirit.
The phone is ringing. More sympathisers.
I always notice the stars. There aren’t many that shine over the city, they don’t belong here, in this world of man and concrete and steel. They belong out in the world of green and open spaces and the calls of animals. Sometimes, though, some look down on the buildings and roads, curious about foreign places.
I used to do the same. I used to take peeks at places I don’t belong, at worlds that could never be mine. I used to love imagining life in someone else’s reality. Back when money and health were mine to take for granted.
I know I should be sleeping right now. I am tired. My eyes are sore and painful, my stomach the same. I just can’t get her out of my mind. I can’t forget that only just over a week ago she was lying here by my side, stroking my hair, whispering stories to me as I fell asleep.
They say I should start to get rid of her things, that it would help me forget. I don’t want to forget. I want to hold on, to keep her with me as much as I can. I want her back.
She’s not coming back though. Accept it, Faith says. Accept that she’s not coming back, it will cause you less pain if you do. But how? I don’t get it.
Faith is my therapist. I saw her twice before Val…well, before. She said I could get better. If I wanted it enough. She said she would help me get better. Now she says she will help me move forward, that my broken brain needs energy to move forward. My body needs to heal. But how can it heal when it feels like I am falling apart inside? When it hurts so much that I think I might die from emotional pain alone? When I feel like if the scales go up, even up a kilo, I might die. I would look in the mirror and scream myself raw.
I don’t know how to make her understand.
My body is broken. My heart is broken. My mind is broken.
And I don’t believe anyone can heal me. Only maybe Val, and her bribery…