I walked into her bedroom, it felt empty and cold or maybe it was me. I hardly remember getting that call, yet I remember every word, “Hello Mrs.. it’s about your daughter”… Everything inside of me stopped, I think my heart stopped too.
Now here I am in her bedroom, the place she grew up, where I held her when she cried at night, where we told stories about distant lands with Princess and fairies, a land where dreams came true. Her bed feels so hard as I lay down, hard and insignificant. There it was, the letter I was expecting to find. I knew my daughter, I knew there would be a letter.
I know your heart is breaking while reading this and I’m sorry about that. I’m sorry I was never the daughter you wanted me to be or even needed me to be. After dad left it was just us… you and me against the world but the world got to be too big.
I know you always told me to fight and stand up for what I believed in but I just couldn’t fight anymore. I smiled when you were around so you could only see the good but I lied and I’m sorry. Every day was pure hell. The taunts and whispers from kids at school. I tried ignoring it, tried making it all go away but they wouldn’t stop.
I really fought hard, but that was never enough, I was never as strong as you. Most days I wish I was five years old again. Remember that time in the park when I fell off the Jungle Jim and you held me in your arms and told me it was gonna be ok, and that sometimes I’m gonna fall down but there’s always a way to get up? I couldn’t get up anymore mum, I’m sorry.
I wish I was what you deserved as a daughter… strong and smart like you but I wasn’t. I was happy though mum… I think I even found love. Her name’s Katie and she’s smart and funny and sweet, she told me I have a beautiful smile, just like you use to. You would have loved her too but after her mother saw us kissing she sent her away. I wish you had met her, maybe you could have spoken to her mum. You were always great like that, not just as a mum but as a person.
I wanted to be so much like you, I will always want to be just like you. I hope you know that. After Katie left everything went dark, my world lost its light. Then there were those boys. Every day with the taunting, name calling, I prayed they would stop. I would close my eyes and pretend I was invisible but they always saw me.
It happened last weekend. I tried to stop them but they were too many. I should have been stronger, I should have screamed louder but I couldn’t didn’t. I made myself be dead inside, but the pain was unbearable. After the first three were done I think I passed out until number five finished with me. I felt like a toilet, I felt dirty and disgusting and scared. They walked away laughing, the last thing I heard was one of them saying, “and that boys is how you convert a dyke.”
I’m sorry, that this is how I had to tell you, I’m sorry this is all you get but I can’t be scared anymore. I can’t stand to be in a world where I can’t love. I will ALWAYS love you, ALWAYS but this world is not mine to live in, not yet. So for now I will live in your heart and in your memory and in the place where all your dreams grow. I will live there and be the daughter you deserve.
I love you Mum. To the moon and back… Always.
Tears fell and my heart shattered. I didn’t think it could break anymore but it did.”My baby, I should have protected her, I should have known. Little boys! I let little fucking boys destroy my baby.” An anger grew inside of me, a fierce, strong anger that would not stop, then her photo fell. Her photo of us when she was five. I remember what they told me at the hospital “Sorry Mrs… but we found your daughter. She hung herself in the girls bathroom at her school”.
“NO!!” I crumpled to the ground “no, no, no!” I tried convincing myself that it was not her, that they made a mistake but then they gave me her bracelet. The one I got her for her sixteenth birthday five months ago.
As I sat there on her bed, holding her photo, I came to realise that I had no idea who my daughter was. I should have known but I didn’t. You think they’ll always be the little girl in pigtails, climbing the Jungle Jim, asking you to tuck them in with hugs and kisses but they grow up, they grow up and have to fight the world.
I kissed the photo, closed my eyes and said “Don’t worry baby, Mummy’s got you now.”
There I stood in my bedroom, yelling at the person I hated most in this world. I could hear the words of hate, anger, regret and fear spewing from my mouth as if a dam had broken and the raging waters were unleashed. I felt powerless to do anything but listen to myself.
“I can’t believe you did this to me… I trusted you. I trusted you above everyone and you are the one that hurt me the most. You turned my life upside down and for a moment I felt okay, for a moment I felt right, but look at my life now. No one talks to me; my parents can hardly look at me let alone stand to be in the same room as me… I HATE YOU!”
I could feel the anger in me rising, I could feel the fear getting darker but I just couldn’t stop, I couldn’t breathe, all I could do was yell and hate. I walked round the room like a lioness stalking her prey… back and forth, watching those same eyes watching me… seeing the fear in them… I knew without a doubt that what I had to say I had to say now…I had to make them see how much I hated them, how much hurt they caused. I had to make them feel the same hurt my heart felt.
“I thought I knew you, I thought I was gonna be safe and loved. I believed that once I let you be a part of my life that everything was going to be okay, but I was mistaken. Nothing was okay, the whispering and the giggling, the constant finger pointing. I was the one that had to go through all that, you were oblivious. All you saw was yourself; all you thought of was yourself. I can’t believe I was so naive… I HATE YOU! ”
I could see myself shaking. I couldn’t figure out if it was because of fear, anger or a mixture of all the emotions that were coursing through my body. I felt like something was being ripped out of me. Something I had been holding back for so long it became a part of me. I knew that after tonight things would be different forever. I knew that and for the first time I felt I had the power, I had the choice, I was the reason my life would change and I was okay with that.
“Nothing…nothing will ever be the same because of you. Why? Why did you have to do this to me? Why did you have to make me think everyone would be okay with this? You lied, you pretended like everything was going to be okay but it wasn’t. I lost the people I loved most in this world because of you. They will never look at me and see me, now whenever they look at me they see you; they see you and the person you made me. I hear my parent argue because of you. Two people that loved each other more than anything, two people who I have never heard say one mean thing to each other in my life. I now hear them screaming at each other, I hear my mum crying and my dad slamming his study door in anger, all because of you.”
That’s when I felt it, the tear. I looked down at my hand and watched it roll down, onto my finger tip and then gone. That was the moment… I couldn’t changed anything, I realised that above all I could do nothing about what had happened, all I could do was let it go. I felt peace. I took a deep breath in. The air smelled different, cleaner, newer and I knew I was different. The tears now streamed down my face and I let it. I let myself cry, not for what I had lost, not for the hurt that my parents felt or the sadness I felt when others looked at me. I cried for the unbelievable fact that I let myself feel. I let myself feel everything, now I felt empty. Empty enough to be filled up again. I looked back up into those eyes that never looked away and I knew.
“This is all because of you. Because I let myself love you and that’s okay. I should love you, I should have loved you from the very beginning. I should have loved you when I thought nothing was gonna make me happy. I should have loved you when I thought that I was alone in this world. Mostly I should have loved you when I realized that, that was all you wanted. All you needed was to be loved. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not giving you the chance to show me what happiness is, I’m sorry for walking away from you so many times when you stood by me through everything. I’m sorry for hiding you from my family and friends, for trying to pretend you didn’t exist when I was in public. I’m sorry for breaking your heart more times than I could count because I believed it was what everyone wanted but it was never the right thing. Mostly I’m sorry for this… for hating you, when all you do is be you. I never hated you… I was scared but I’m not scared anymore.”
That was the last words I said. I walked to my bathroom and washed my face. I returned and glanced back at those ever unwavering eyes. I smiled. I knew that after that I was drained… I could feel every part of my body pulling me towards sleep. I opened my bed, crawled in and before turning off the light, looked back at the mirror one more time and said “Tomorrow we will be happy again.”