Megan Elgart

April 16, 2017

Apr
16

It rained today. At times it seemed like the end of the world was coming. Down and down, the water fell from the sky.

If she couldn’t cry, the weather would do it for her.

She looked down at the thin, paper-skinned hand in hers. This hand was cold, covered in purple and black bruises. The hand that belonged to the woman who lay reclined in the special bed, with the special sheets, and the special accessories.

“Is there anything you want to know?” the woman asked.

“No,” she said gently but loud so the woman could hear her. And all she could think of asking was what had happened between this woman and her daughter to cause the underlying current of displeasure that was present in both of them.

What had happened for them to be this way towards one another? What was it about the mother and daughter relationship that drove two women apart instead of together? There were so many elements that it could have been, but none of them seemed to answer for the pain and unease the two had around each other. She thought it might have been the shame that came from not being able to financially take care of oneself, or maybe the disappointment of not living up to expectations, or choosing a different path than the one you had set out on.

Maybe there was a power play here between mother and daughter, but wasn’t there always a power play in that relationship?  None that she could think of, yet there was so much she didn’t know.

There were so many elements at play, but no specific one that she could think of as being the one that would cause a rift that would fester like an open wound for nearly 45 years. Yet there was so much she didn’t know.

“No,” she confirmed. “I don’t need to know anything more than I do.”

The woman sighed and leaned her head back on the pillow as if her head were too heavy for her neck. And that was likely the case.

The woman closed her eyes. Within minutes she was sleeping.

April 15, 2017

Apr
15

“I don’t know if I ever loved him or if it was the drugs talking,” she said before quickly looking away from him. Unease, shame, he wasn’t sure what he felt rolling off of her, but it wasn’t the comfortable ease he shared with her.

“Does it matter?” he asked nonchalantly as if the emotions warring in her, that had been warring in her for years, had been a waste of her time and energy. As if emotions were so easy to brush off.

She paused, casually flicking the ash off of her cigarette, her attention focused on the grimy sidewalk underneath their lived-in sneakers.

“Yes,” she replied hesitantly, sounding as if she was still questioning it herself. She raised her not-quite-green eyes to his. “I don’t know. Maybe it was the coke talking. I’ve never felt the passion, the connection, and the drive to be in someone’s orbit like I was with him and- and… Well, I want to know if I’ll be able to feel that again, but without the drugs.”

The weight of her words settled over them. She took a drag off of her cigarette, quickly exhaling. He crossed his arms and kicked at a piece of glass on the sidewalk.

Sirens sounded in the distance. The sounds of the city at midnight wrapped around them.

“Maybe it eases the pain of rejection to think it was only the drugs, that it wasn’t me that chose someone who could treat me like that,” she said.

“Did he treat you poorly?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know what to trust in myself.”

Throwing her cigarette down, she crushed the cherry under her shoe and turned to go inside. He stopped her.

“Trust yourself,” he said softly. “No one else can tell you how to tell your story.”

She smiled wistfully at him and slipped past him, back to the party.