It was because her parents had named her for the grandmother who had broken her mother’s heart. The grandmother whose heart was supposed to have melted from her birth and hadn’t.
That was why her mother barely looked at her. That was why she called her ‘girl’.
That was why she liked to pretend she was the quiet woman in the background of an old black and white movie. Because everything here was like an old black and white movie.
[And if she really looked back, her mother had never appreciated the elegance of the 1950s enough.]
It was because she hated surprises. The surprise she got on her sixth birthday when her father left taught her just how a single person had the ability of taking your soul, splitting it in two and wearing it on their breast pocket like a white carnation waiting to die.
That was why when she lifted a book, she looked at the last page first.
That was why her namelessness had become a comfort to her.
That was why she understood how she was like a fizzy drink without the fizz, too cold coke left on a windowsill, and a half drawn painting sitting in the back of a sketchbook.
[What she didn’t understand was why she never reacted when she heard a loud noise, a sudden movement...and most importantly, by the nightmares that crushed her chest every night.]
It was because she misunderstood the kiss he gave her that night. The sky was sparkling with diamonds, the air was thick with heat, the wind was enough to caress their fevered skin; it was too perfect for the flawed existence she had grown to know.
That was why when he tried to kiss her again, she asked him to kiss his unloved flaws, his bones instead.
That was why her movements were so restricted when she touched him, why his hand fell away when she reached for him, why he never felt guilty for leaving her out in a storm at 3 a.m. Why she refused to let herself love him.
She was nothing but an almost lover, an almost friend, an almost daughter. The little bit of left over hot chocolate in a cup that had long since been consumed.
[This is what happens when you don’t find yourself on the right side of seventeen.]