Tag Archives: empty

Unseen.

Quietly, I shut the door behind me, the light disappearing as it closed. Silently, I slipped up the steps, hoping this was okay. I had ignored the “authorized personnel only” sign on the door. No one saw me enter and once I was in the balcony, no one below had reason to turn around. I was safe.

One empty chair was there. I grabbed it and began to roll it closer to his, which drew his attention for the first time. Surprise lit his face as he said hello. In typical fashion, he reached for my hand and shook it, doing some handshake I had never been able to catch on to. Then he pulled me closer for a hug and told me it was good to see me. It was good to see him too.

“We’ve missed you.”

I just smiled.

If he had said, “I’ve missed you,” I would have been able to respond that I missed him too. That I wish I could see him more. But he said “we” and I didn’t know who “we” was and I couldn’t say anything polite back while still being truthful. So I just smiled.

If I missed the “we” I assume he was talking about, I wouldn’t have had to sneak up to this vantage point. I could have walked in like a normal person and sat on the ground level in the chairs with all the normal people. But I knew they would be among the normal people, and so I couldn’t.

He was the only one of them I felt comfortable around. The one who had treated me kindly. More than that. He treated me like I had value. He saw beyond what he could get from me and saw into who I was. And not only did he see that, but he accepted that. He accepted me for who I was. He still does. And I can smile and laugh and talk with him without faking everything. He saw me in a world where I had been glanced over. A world in which, if I was seen, it was only to look briefly down on me, as if I was some annoyance to remove. Not worth the time they were forced to devote to me.

Before the show had ended, I felt the need to get out before anyone saw me. I leaned over and whispered that I had to go and he hugged me again. I told him it was good to see him and he told me it was good to see me too. He said, “Come back again” and without thinking, I replied with a simple, “I will.”

And maybe I will. But only when it’s safe. And when there are a couple of people wondering around him that are not safe, I can’t make any guarantees.

I slipped back down the stairs and out the door. Through the lobby, quickly, without even a glance around and made my way outside. As I made it through the double doors unseen, the fresh air hit me and I took a few steps before my air threatened to leave me. I stood still, trying to breathe, a relief at being out running through me and pulling tears to my eyes. I stood for a good moment like that, trying to not let sadness and hurt and disappointment and death and sweet relief overwhelm me.

They sure did do a number on me, didn’t they?

Remember the entry where I wrote about having to leave good things behind when you left bad things? He’s one of the good things. And it sucks having to leave those good things behind.

But I can’t face the bad things.

-Melissa

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Missing you.

I couldn’t find the vanilla.

I knew exactly where it should be. I’d been down the baking isle three times. I wondered from it, up and down every isle now because clearly it had to be here somewhere.

A song came on the radio. The familiarity struck me even before I realized what it was. It was late enough that most people were in their homes instead of grocery shopping so the store felt peaceful. I sang the song softly as I wondered around. What had I been looking for?

Did you still listen to this band? Hmm. I never would have heard of them if not for you. I found myself looking for a drink you once got here that I’d never been able to find since.

Where would I be….How different would my life be…. If you were still in it?

I squeezed my eyes shut for just a moment and tried to picture calling you right then if nothing between us had ever gone wrong. Because I wanted so badly- I want so badly- to talk to you. And not to rehash anything or figure out what happened. Just to talk. Just to hear your perspective. Just to hear you. Just because I miss you.

Yes, even still.

But I couldn’t picture what my life would be like now if our friendship would have lasted. I can’t imagine it. It’s taken so many unexpected turns since I knew you. I don’t know if they would have been effected by your presence in my life somehow or not. I just don’t know.

But I do know it sure would have been nice to call you today and here your voice… I so much hate that…. it seems like a foreign concept now. I’ve… I’ve lost pieces of you as time has gone on. I so much wish I had never had to. But I… the person you knew no longer exists and the only memories I have of you… well, they’re actually hers.

The way you cared about me wasn’t fair, you know. The way you saw me wasn’t fair. It didn’t make sense. You shouldn’t have been so good to me. You shouldn’t have been so in tune with me.

Because now I miss you quite terribly.

And then the song ended. Something much friendlier came softly through the speakers above me, like the other song had never played. And no one noticed the change. No one felt like something so, so, so good had been cut way too short. No one felt an emptiness in it’s absence.

Except me, of course.

Now….where was the vanilla?

Missing you.

-Melissa

Good.

Scared, I spilled my words out on a page and handed it to you.

You didn’t know me. And why should you? You read over it quickly, and shrugging, handed it back to me. You shook your head.

Quietly, I walked away and hid the page, never to see the light of day again.

But now, much later, I’m frustrated you didn’t give me a fair chance. Because it took something for me to give that to you. And it was my pain and my glimpse of beauty that you rejected.

You didn’t reject others. No. You accepted them again and again. They who are already so seen, so heard. They who already get to have their say.

See, you accepted the fearless and made the scared more fearful.

I sat, quietly, reading the words of others that had come to light. Some hurt me. Some confused me.

I sat, alone, in the quiet house, my feet tucked up under me, my toes finding warmth wrapped up in my skirt. I could hear nothing but the clock on the wall, the hum of the air conditioning, and the soft knock of a butterfly as it tried to break its way through the window.

I do wonder what it’s like to be great. Good is nothing. Because anyone can be good. But not everyone can be great. I have seen great people. The chairs that they have sat in, empty now, surround me. So many.

They wrote words you accepted. They wrote words that touched you, haunted you, belittled you, and upheld you. The took photos that gripped you, painted pictures that captivated you.

I’ve painted images with so much more to be desired. I’ve taken photos that couldn’t hold interest long enough. And I’ve written words that made you shake your head and whisper. Not good enough.

Because it is not enough to be good. But I don’t know if I have the ability to be better.

-Melissa

Alone.

I sat in a decently crowded room, papers and books spread out on the empty table before me. My mind should have been on the test that I was preparing for. Instead, I felt the weight of loneliness fall over me.

I just felt… empty. In that moment, all I longed for was the presence of another. They would not have had to say a single word but just to have someone there beside me would have made all of the difference. And goodness, I longed for a hug in that moment. Just someone’s arms around me. Just someone to be physically present enough to make me realize that I was not alone as I felt. I was not as alone as I thought that I was.

What scared me more was that I knew how to fix the problem. I knew that all I needed to do was to text someone. Walk about fifteen steps and find someone I knew. Call someone. Get someone to be there beside me.

And I could think of no one I felt comfortable enough doing that with. Tears burdened my eyes.

If that was the case… Was I more alone, did I experience more loneliness, than I am willing to admit?

And am I the one who causes the loneliness?

-Melissa

Ivory.

I stretched my fingers out. Looked at them. Watched them flex under my skin.

They were itching. Not in an actual, I want to scratch them because, physically, they itch.

I could imagine it upstairs. Sitting there. Alone. Waiting for me. I imagined the room. The white carpet. The beautiful huge windows. The light of dusk filling the space. I wanted it to start raining. Pouring. Sure, it’d make the room a little darker. But the water, dripping down the windows, which took over almost the entire wall. Actually, a couple of walls.

I love the windows.

I imagined sitting there. My fingertips touching the smooth, cool surface. I could almost already feel the way my chest would fill with breath just to let it go. How the whole, empty house would fill will the music. The music I made. With my voice and with the piano, bending underneath my fingers. The words I wrote spilling from the depths of my lungs. The rain adding to the noise.

Oh, how I wish it would rain.

Either way, I’m going to have to go. I need to play the piano now. When there’s a piano in an empty house…

Goodness, how can anyone say no?

Plus, I just heard thunder.

-Melissa