I am numb. I can’t feel my own hands, which are furiously grasping at my arms, nails biting harshly into my tender skin. I’ve run out of water in my eyes, but now a scream is welling up inside, begging to be let lose. I can’t scream, of course, which makes it all the more painful. My chest burns, throbs, because it cannot free itself from this hurt. Knowing I cannot voice my emotions makes me feel helpless, and as Griffin so plainly put it, worthless.
How could I be so stupid! I was mad at him, but why? Because I find him annoying sometimes? Because he drives me crazy with talk of his big plans and wild dreams? I have no logical reason to be angry with him, yet I am; was. I tell myself I am the only one to blame. I am worthless. I have nothing good to say, so I’ll continue to bite my tongue.
I don’t know what time it is anymore. When Griffin spoke those words to me, I turned without a sound, and left. I did not turn back and I don’t regret it. Now, as I’ve made my way several miles from where we were, I do, however, regret not having said I was sorry; am. I growl. My mind is rebelling. I wish I had a time-piece of some sort. I don’t like not knowing the time. At home, I am looking at the clock every few minutes, willing the day to go by when I can sleep and forget everything and everyone. Night is my great consoler and confidant. I am never truly at peace or at rest until I am wrapped in its dark security.
When I’ve finally let go of my guilt, or part of it, I look up and find myself in an area I on’t recognize. There aren’t any houses, but I can still see the faint outline of our fence in the distance. I find a patch of weed that isn’t too scratchy and plop down upon it, shaded from the grey sky above by a row of sad looking ghosts. I pick at the ground as I begin to think.
I only concentrate when I am utterly and entirely alone. I feel as if anyone were around they could easily read my thoughts. My thoughts are not merely the internal workings of my mind, but expressive in every part of me. My face and body reveal all too much about the way I act, careless and disgruntled. Thoughts are dangerous, but I feel a little more reassured about letting them run wild when I am alone.
As I stare at the white, paper-like coating of the ghosts all around me, I think of Griffin. I start to realize – and this is hard for me to admit – that I may be wrong about him. However hard I try to believe he’s just a distant, unattached person, the more I come to understand that he is most definitely no those things. With the death of his sister and the mentally fragile state of his mother, I see him more and more willing to be open with me about his struggles. Does this frighten me? Yes, very. I don’t like to hear Griffin talk about leaving because it so preposterous. Not that he can’t leave; he can. He could go to the Western Region if he got a passport, and if he properly passed the worker’s transfer paperwork. I don’t like to think if him going because I’d actually miss him. I wish desperately that Griffin could leave and study medicine; find a Cure and fulfill his dream. but it’s impossible. Jumping through the transfer hoops take forever, and most people never gain clearance. He knows it. I know it. Why can’t he accept that leaving is near impossible?
I stare at the fence several yards away and smile. I wonder how easy it would be to burn it to the ground. I think I could overcome my fear for that.
When it’s beginning to grow dark, around what I assume is about 6 o’clock, I head back home to Ofelia. I find her knocked out cold on the couch and I’m pretty sure that whatever she was drinking this morning finally hit her. I look around and notice that nothing seems out of the ordinary. The place isn’t messier than usual and the TV, thankfully, isn’t on. I hear my stomach make protest about the absence of food all day and I decide I better find something to calm its nerves. When I wander into the kitchen, I nearly scream.
There is dirt everywhere. All over the counters, the floor, even brown smudges across a few of the cupboards. I step around the piles on the floor that appear to be trying to multiply themselves. I clench my fists and grind my teeth together. “I just cleaned this place yesterday!” I shout. There’s no response from the living room, so I push open the butler door, its squeaking hinges cowering at my ferocity, and stomp over to where Ofelia’s snoozing form lies on the couch.
“What’s with the dirt on my clean floor?” I yell in her face. She doesn’t move an inch, doesn’t even open her eyes, but startles me after a moment’s silence with, “clients.”
I roll my eyes. I’m not putting up with this.
“I’ve had quite the day today, so I’d appreciate your cooperation!” I feel tears welling in my eyes but I scowl to hind them. Why am I so emotional today? The moon must not be in my favor this cycle.
“Have you? Well, so have I,” Ofelia taunts back.
“Clients, I already told you.”
I lose it. “What were you doing with dirt in the kitchen!?”
Ofelia rolls over and sighs. “Don’t worry, I’m sure you can clean it up fairly quickly.”
That’s when I plop down on the floor, face in my hands and sigh. “Griffin’s mother’s insane,” is all I manage.
“You didn’t know that?” Ofelia rolls back over.
I look up and the face Ofelia glances at me with tells me she seriously can’t believe I didn’t know sooner. I pull myself up, walk out of the room. Running up the stairs and down the hall, I come to my room and slam the door, done with the world for right now. Finally, I let sleep take me away, food to ease my hunger no longer my biggest priority.
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