The Scars of Our Lives
It is ten in the morning and already, it’s been a long day. Too long.
I walk through the swarm of zoot suits and other business people who call themselves successful.
What is the meaning of success? Seriously, does it all come down to the flashing dollar bill that screams how rich we are and what kind of lifestyle we can afford…
I finally make it to the wooden bench, out in the middle of nowhere.
Well, at least it seems that way. For starters, there’s bird crap plastered all over the goddamn bus stop bench. Dried up too. All white and gray just mushed together.
Trees that should have brown branches hollow over like James the Giant Peach—both James and the peach. Making any lighting from the radiant sun seep through. Literally, I am in the shadows.
But it should be no surprise. It has only been a full ten minutes since I left Dr. Ruiz’ office. I forgot how many sessions it has been—maybe thirty of forty, but that’s what happens…
That’s what happens when you are someone who is deemed as damaged or fucked up. They think I am a freak at school…none of my friends look at me literally. Instead, I am just a shadow on a bench, sulking into my forced black abyss, because nobody wants to befriend a girl with quote begin issues quote end.
I sit anyhow, curving my backpack onto my lap. I plug in my headphones and then…I just wait. All alone at the bus stop, just inches from the curb…
“Well, good morning to you.”
What the hell—
An older gentleman takes the seat next to me, smiling, even though I am sitting in the middle of the bench. Well, I guess I shouldn’t be complaining. After all, I don’t own the bench, but neither does this old geezer.
Geezer? Jesus, I’m getting old. Or maybe it’s because of this man’s outfit. That outfit…
He must be related to Dr. Seuss with a checkered overcoat and brown slacks, topped off with a gray newsboy hat. Unless, he’s a cast member from Newsies?
“Lovely day,” he babbles on.
I nod, trying to not be an asshole or as society puts it, “Spoiled/rotten teenager,” even though I am practically an adult (turned eighteen a few months ago)…
The thoughts swarm back…I…I, I don’t know how to put it, but sometimes these images come to my mind like flashing thunderbolts. Pow. Pow. Pow. I’m…I’m a bit shaky again, as Dr. Ruiz puts it, “The memories will surpass, but first you must embrace and accept what has happened, happened and no taking back.” He usually tops it off with taking it day by day or seeing that I am safe and sound (like the T-Swift song) and will find my own silver lining.
Silver lining, I used to ask, like the movie—
Yes, like the movie. We each find our own in every aspect of our life, whether it be good or bad.
Like going away to college, there’s a silver lining in that.
I laughed. How?
“Excuse me, miss,” the elderly man’s voice snaps me back in.
By the time I look at him, it hits me. First, my arm was already going up to ram in one of my earbuds; and secondly…he sees it and he sees me seeing him…
My sleeve drops ever so slightly, showing off my battle wound. An almost skin colored tone scar, thicker than blood, that stretches onward and onward, starting from the tip of my palm and ending—
“It’s not nice to stare,” I spit out and yank down the sleeve of my jean jacket. It rushes over me, starting from the feet up. In seconds, I am ten…twenty…thirty feet away. Then, I hear it again—
I stop dead in my tracks, spinning around. “What do you want?!” I can’t tell if anyone is around us, but if they are…god they must think I am an asshole.
“You’d dropped these.” He opens his hand and out pops out a black snakelike string—my earbuds.
“Oh…” I receive them. “…I didn’t see them falling.”
“I’m sorry,” his voice drops ten octaves alone. “I didn’t mean to frighten you.”