Rain is coming down, little drops, then bigger drops. Drip Drop. Tick Tock. Breathe in Breathe out. Constant heartbeat. Thud…thudathud. Swinging back and forth, in the rain, on that swing set where mom would take me. Back when things were still, peaceful, and safe. Where I knew you were there. Always there. I grew up, learned as children do, that life is taught through experience. We are molded in part by what happens to us, but we always have the choice to be who we are supposed to be. You taught me that mom.
“I’m always here.” You said as you pushed me on that swing.
But now I’m here, and you’re not. Cruel years have separated us, only memories of you remain in my mind, and there’s a door between our beings. Yet I can hear you here, on this swing, in the rain, behind me, reminding me, that you’re here. Always right here.
But mom…you’re not. You were taken from me! I’ve spent years and years trying to fix it. Giving my life over to the cause of what hindered our existence together. Trying to answer everyone else’s questions even though the ones about us were never brought up.
Mom if you were here I could ask you about him. I would ask how could I ever get over the hurt of being left? I’m a survivor mom, you know that. But how can I survive if I let him in and then he left me? You would understand, I could talk to you. He’s been here for four years mom. I hated him at first. Then he made me trust him, then he made me laugh. For the first time I feel alive and I, like a fool, keep gambling with Death!
Mom, he told me he loved me. He told me that he was here. Right here. But he broke my trust, like a vase that was already cracked, and threw it on the ground, right in front of me mom. Doesn’t he understand?
The rain keeps coming, and the answers seem to be stuck in the clouds, unable to get out, despite the spilling of it all onto the ground. Into my hair. Mixing with the tears on my tear streaked face.
Mom! My heart seems to squeeze shut so that I can’t release all of the hurt inside of me. How have I not been able to understand? What is wrong with me? I want him, and I keep pushing him away. What should I do?
My thoughts scream out though my voice is stuck like a tight fist inside of my esophagus. The contradictions of my body and my emotions bring a crashing headache through my skull.
Thudathud. Heart beat after heart beat. I’m listening now. I need to know. Where do I go now? Where can I go to feel safe? I almost died today. I’ve almost died everyday, trying to find you mom. To answer that one question.
I danced with a devil today to find that answer. But mom, I don’t care that he didn’t give it to me. I just wanted him. My him. My Castle. My strong place. My constant. My trustee. My partner. O! It’s all I can think about mom. He’s all I can think about. All I want is him. But mom, how can I trust him? How can I trust anyone? Why should I trust him?
A deep breath drags across my throat, raggedly pawing the surface. I just need the answers, but all I hear is the rain.
Drip drop. Tick tock. Thudathud.
Swinging back in forth. In the rain. In my tears. In my emotional battle.
Why should I trust him?
A scene flashes in my mind, catching me off guard. I see us standing across from each other. Just hours before. But this time I see it differently. He’s telling me that he loves me, and I’m telling him that he doesn’t. I watch us fight. I wonder. Who is right?
Then he says it.
“Four years, I’ve been right here. For years. Waiting for you to open your eyes and see that I’m right here!”
I see him say it again, this time with new eyes. With the eyes that danced with Death, and stared him in the face as he asked me why I wanted to live.
Suddenly I’m at his door. Not Death’s but the door to Castle. He’s on the other side. I knock. Still drenched from the rain and the emotions of the day. He’s here, I know he’s here. I knock. The door opens.
His eyes ask the same question that I have been asking myself. What am I doing here?
“Beckett, what are you doing here?” He asks. O! How he should hate me, but I can see it in his eyes and feel it in my heart…understand it in his hoarse voice.
“You.” I say. “I almost died and all I could think about was you”
The words slip out of my mouth. All I want is him. To be in his arms I now realize is the safest place in the world…because its exactly where I need to be.
How have I put this off for so long? I never knew, though I took it for granted everyday.
That he was there. Always there. Right here.