Passing that house, I can only look for half a second; a fleeting glance before my eyes pass on to something that doesn’t fill my stomach with bad memories. I try to focus on how the trees move against the sky, but then I see her standing in my doorway. What I remember are her eyes. Those blue eyes. They were, they are, colder, harsher, more bitter than ice. They were brittle, and glossy, and they killed me. Looking into them, I felt a January river rush down my throat, into my gut, back up through my heart and into my brain. The cold battled the heat that surfaced on my face. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t breathe. She knew.
I shake my head, as if my thoughts are just drops of water in my ears. That’s in the past. Don’t think about it. You’ve moved on. Move on. And I almost believe me. Sometimes I believe me. Like when someone asks, “Does it still bother you?” And I shrug and tell them, “I’m over it.” But then they stop asking, and I see her standing in my doorway. She’s holding that black backpack. It’s frozen, from when I put it outside. I tried to put it in the garbage but it was frozen shut. So I left it there, leaning up against the can, soaked from the water. All that damn water. I just wanted it to disappear. I didn’t think. I didn’t think. I didn’t think. And there she was. There it was; that black backpack. She knew.
I pass by that house everyday. I see us playing football, two against one, until we can’t see the leather in the air anymore, and then she sticks her head out the door and says, “Boys! Supper!”. Her voice sounded warm then. It almost makes me smile, thinking about that. But then I remember how far gone those days are. How I lost them. How they’ll never be back.
You ruined everything. You fucked up. Dishonorable. Disrespectful. Hateful. Wasn’t worth it. Nothing could have been worth it. Screw you. I didn’t mean to. I didn’t want to. I lied. How could you? I didn’t think. I think too much.