When I was five
And not a meter high
I used to dream that I could fly.
My greatest wish
For all my life
Was but to bend
In the wind.
I dreamt of blue skies
Where I might roam
Where birds are free
And man is caged.
I made paper plane airships
And drove them through the air
Perfecting each one
With precision and care.
I cried the first time
I flew in a plane.
I knew, I would never be so high again.
But then I discovered the drug at 16,
And I flew higher
Like the greatest wish
For all my life.
It had been the last straw, yet another message filled with venom and the most destructive constructs of words tapped gently onto a screen and delivered. Perhaps the sender felt that a WatsApp message had the same implications as spoken word. When words are spoken in hatred they fly into the ether, released yet etched in the mind of those which it effects. But this, this could not disappear. It was there, written in black and white. After an hour of back and forth, resentment after resentment, bringing to the fray every disgruntlement and every memory of wrong-doing – she had said it.
‘Clearly your anxiety has deluded your perception of reality.’
She lay on her sofa, reading those words again and again. Her partner gently pottered around their small flat not wanting to get in the away, aware that they were arguing again. Silently.
‘How dare you?’ She retorted. She threw the phone down into the pillows at the opposite end of the leather seat and felt it buzzing moments later. Not just a message but a call. Her partner stopped and looked, she could feel him watching. Waiting for her to pick up and for this fight to become real. But she didn’t. She sobbed. She put her pale hands to her face and bent her shaking head into them and cried. She cried for her childhood. For what she had hoped this relationship could be. She cried because she knew the author to her sadness would not be there to watch her marry. She cried because she was relived. She cried because she felt guilty and angry all at once.
But most of all, she cried because she was tired of it all.
The phone had stopped its demands for attention and laid silently. She breathed deeply into herself and chanted in her head; ‘you have the strength to do this’. She picked it up and opened WatsApp, holding her fingers over the virtual keyboard as she debated how to phrase it.
‘Let’s just end this civilly and move on, separately’
The response came back almost instantly.
She knew in that moment that her relationship with her Mother had ended. Ungraciously and painfully. She knew that there would be fall out and crying pleas from her Step-Father to change her mind, to fix it if only for him. She knew that she would cry again but she also knew that it was right. She knew that it right. It had to be right.