Views from the Valley Literary Magazine - Page 10

...and I believed him because no one else went out of their way to love me, or so I believed because I was so infatuated with him. I chose a bubble of solitude for him to be able to stay. He was more a father than my actual father. I developed a type of asthma that doctors could not see. I struggled to breathe because I didn’t want to, and loneliness told me it was okay. Criminal charges include child abandonment. He loves me, he loves me not. I sit murdering flowers with a bright facade on my face trying to show that the game you play to determine if someone loves you didn’t matter to me. “Dad!’ I yelled out of pure excitement when he got home. He hugs me and spins me around even though i’m too big. A part in a play. I was the lead. Don’t let him know that your pain flows out of your eyes at night because you know he doesn’t love you more than the bottle, or the pills. He leaves again right after that, only coming home to retrieve something seemingly important, which wasn’t me. Sweat on his forehead, and widened eyes would bore into a wall with no picture. Running to loneliness because who else could I run to? Riding in a car full of smoke. There goes my asthma acting up again. Blue can open and nearly gone, about to be thrown by my feet with the others. Criminal charges include murder in the first degree. With every puff puff came a little more ease for him and pain for me because of my lungs. There was a family portrait above the loveseat. Mom and dad higher up than the rest, one with a newborn in arms, and the other with a grinning toothless boy, he was seven. Two girls remained crouched down at the bottom with smiles that you would think would be painful. They were. The painting was taken off the wall and crucified as Christ was. Unfairly. Cruelly. Painfully. However unlike Christ they did not rise the third day. The glass covering was shattered by lies. The paint was disintegrating because of the acid which was thrown on it by the herbal remedies which weren’t quite legal. Finally it was thrown into the fire by hatred. Ruined was the family who once stuck together, now they were scattered among the different states. Ruined were the children who loved their father, and adored the floor he walked on. Ruined was the girl who lived freely. Murder in the first degree because the daughter’s body was finally found after a month. She was found in pieces, the torture techniques precise, and along with her was her heart. Pulled free from her body. They did an autopsy of her body, and found that her lungs were scorched from breathing in her father's poison. The file somehow landed on the judge's desk, and it was reopened. The new sentencing was death. Windy days are the worst for fires, especially when burning demons which have haunted you for years. One by one they were set free as ash in my clammy hand, some still sticking to it from the sweat. Free, but not quite. They could hurt me no longer. He could hurt me no longer. Letters in a drawer could bring me loneliness and sorrow no more. Ash is all that's left of the demons, and it reminds me of reincarnation hoping my pain could somehow create something beautiful. Letters in a drawer are trapped no more.

-Kierstin Rogers

"Letters In A Drawer"- Kierstin Rogers