5th August, 1987.
“And you? What are you?”
Her grin diminishes into that sarcastic half-smile and she shrugs.
I have always been in between things. Between names, identities, lives.
I just wasn’t always aware of it.
The tempestuous waves beneath splash on my feet again, the railing is getting too slippery to hold on.
I stand clutching onto the railing of The Blackburn Bridge, clutching onto my life, gazing at the monstrous river beckoning to me—unfriendly but with the promise of oblivion.
I ran away from the hospital, leaving a sleeping Kevin at my bedside.
Kevin. My heart aches.
Which one of us did he like?
Which one of us is me?
I’ve always inhabited the gray area between black and white. Splitting my soul, splitting my mind, splitting my life.
Just Marjorie apologized profusely in the hospital. Kevin told me I was now safe.
They don’t understand. It was never about blame or safety.
The only person who came close to understanding was Emily Dickinson.
I think she knew what it was like to not be afraid of death because you’d already had the life sucked out of you. She knew what it was like to be dead and stuck in the world of living.
I’m like the decaying flower you preserve in notebooks. You can delay my disintegration, but with time, I will wither away, for I truly died long ago.
I tilt my head towards the sky and try to remember my mother. All I can recall is that she was always crying and that she wore the scent of lavender.
Today, I tell myself, today I will fly.
Beatrice Ella Jones was alone.
Beatrice Ella Jones was broken.
Beatrice Ella Jones was me.