The ground is dappled with the shadows of the leaves overhead, a tranquil scene from a movie that seems unbearably perfect for romance or happiness. I sigh and kick a pebble, the fact that my mind immediately thinks romance causing me much annoyance. I narrow my eyes and look up, the sun filtering through the leaves high overhead.
Why am I even here? I can't help but wonder. I really have nothing important in my life, the most I have going for me is that my friends like what I write. I narrow my brows angrily, my nose wrinkled in disgust. I was such a depressing person, my only saving grace is that I try and make up for my depression by making the people around me happy.
I close my eyes and the branches creak overhead from the wind, and it's soothing. "Hush little baby, don't say a word. Mama's gonna buy you a mocking bird..." I sing quietly to myself, opening my eyes. Mom.
I think about my mom, and not my step-mom this time. My biological Mom, the woman who has put me through so much pain and hardships, the reason I don't fully trust anyone. Is it bad that I have no memory of her singing nursery rhymes to me? It makes me sad to think that, in reality, I have very few memories of her.
I can remember preschool, remember waking up one morning and as I walk out the living room of our trailer to go catch the bus, she's sitting on the floor doing laundry. She gives me a hug and tells me to have a good day at school.
I remember summer, having water guns and chasing her through the house with my little sister. Mom hid in my bedroom, closing the door behind her to keep us out. I had pounded on the door, yelling at her to come out, lying that I didn't have the water gun. She opened the door and sprayed me, so I sprayed back.
A smile touches my lips, happy for the moment on remembering her. Yes, I hated the woman, hated her for everything she stood for, but I missed being little and actually having Mommy in my life. I close my eyes sadly and let the bittersweet memories take over.
Being in my swimsuit all weekend, waiting for Mommy to get home so we can go to the lake with Daddy and go swimming. Mommy coming home hours later with her hair wet, she'd already gone swimming with her friends. Daddy yelling at Mommy about not being a good mother. Tears start to slip down my face as I remember the fights, as I remember Daddy being angry and throwing a fan through one of the walls rather than hit Mommy.
I can't stand the torrent of emotions coming from these memories, feeling for all the world the five year old girl that's living through it once more. I walk off the path, walking until I find a large push surrounded with thick grass to hide behind. I take a deep breath and lay down behind it, curling up on my side and holding my eyes shut.
I remember the cops taking me away from my dad at night, the red and lights flashing. I start crying and screaming, telling them to take me back to my Daddy. Daddy is just walking behind us as the cops put us in their car, Daddy isn't doing anything. He promises that he'll see us soon, and promises that this will be over quickly.
I remember how it didn't happen. I remember the foster homes, the therapists, the courts. A first grader shouldn't have to deal with the court system, shouldn't be worried about the therapists that have such an active interest in her to suddenly have an interest in her younger sister.
I wipe at the tears in my eyes, hating myself for breaking down like this. I turn seventeen in a month, and bawling about the past is no way to deal with it. It was the past, it should stay the past, right? And yet it's because of the past that I am who I am today.
I roll over, thinking of my younger half brothers. Gavin and Joe. One I haven't seen since he was one, almost two, and one I've never even met. i remember how after Gavin had been weened, I set up his crib in my room. I would be the one to wake up when he was crying, the one to feed him and change him, give him his baths. I smile at the memory. I was in first or second grade, third at most, and I was taking care of my baby brother, being Mommy to him because our own mother couldn't be bothered.
My heart aches, and I start to think the same thing I always think when it comes to that woman. Why doesn't Mommy love me? Why wont she contact me? Did I do something wrong as a child to make her hate me? Why can't she be Mommy? I know, I start thinking so childishly when it comes to her, but what more can I do? Inside I'm still that little girl who just wants her Mommy to be there, who wants her Mommy in her life.
I open my eyes and glare at a blade of grass, angrily wiping them from my face, my throat closed and burning. I'm older now, smarter, wiser. I read the court records, know that she couldn't pass a drug test to save her life. I remember the men she would sleep with, all of them in and out when Daddy was at work. She's a stupid, drug addicted whore! I mentally scream at myself, forcing a wave of hate through my body.
I haven't called her Mom or Mommy in years. I call her by her name, Monica. She doesn't deserve to be called Mother, she has no rights to me in any form as far as I'm concerned. She was never really a Mommy, so she doesn't deserve to be called one.
I look around me at all the flowers, the bushes. Roses, lilacs, violets, daisies, so many flowers and different scents. I look at the bush and notice the soft pink flowers. I glower and rip a rose off, grabbing its petals and yanking them from the stem angrily. I rip the petals into many small pieces, screaming with rage and pain, then throwing them away from me. That flower had looked so perfect before I grabbed it and destroyed it, and I feel a twinge of joy at the violence I just did.
"Nothing is perfect." I mutter mutinously to myself, standing up and brushing some left over petals from my jeans. I look around and glare at the flowers, hating how 'perfect' they all look, hate and disgust making my skin crawl. My stomach drops and I feel like I'm going to be sick, the beautiful, happy scene making me double over. I put a hand over my mouth and turn, running as far as I can from the garden.
It's strange how something as simple and beautiful as a garden path can throw your entire life at you and destroy the fragile string your life is resting on. The perfect flowers and beautiful scenes tricking you, making you believe that life would turn out great. This is why I hate walking along those garden paths, why I stay far away from them and ignore them.
I look up at the bright sun, not caring that it could damage my eye-sight. I'm already damaged as it is because of that creature who gave birth to me, what's a few more bruises and flaws? I turn only once and look back at the garden path. I smile, a soft smile, and feel the small bird of hope flutter its tiny wings in my chest. Perhaps there will be a time where I can be happy, where I can walk along the garden paths of my mind and finally feel happy, and feel like I belong for the first time in my life.