– Non-fiction by Lori-Ana Guillen –
I ask myself what I’m doing here in a room filled with friends and family who are strangers, sipping on beer. I laugh, trying to conceal the scars as the subject comes up as to why I ignore him. He is family after all. My smile begins to fall.
It doesn’t matter how old the wound is; the mere mention of him makes my mood shift.
“Let the past be the past,” they claim. I am. “What’s your problem?” I have none.
Three drinks in and my mind takes me back there. I am hiding. Playing my favorite game of hide and seek when he finds me. Telling me if I was really quiet He wouldn’t tag me out. I didn’t even shout.
I open my eyes when it’s over, unsure of what game this was when I try to explain. But who believes the babbles of a child over an adult who has words for every reason. No one wants to see the bad. So, we make excuses. “Kids do that. It’s a joke. It’s exaggerated.”
Well, it happened.
No one talks about it so it sits, building under the rug. Everyone tiptoes around afraid of the dirt that will come up. They look at me as if I am the one that is about to cause this eruption. Why, because I don’t say hi?
I am not mad anymore. Not mad at how they handled it. Or, how they acknowledge it now only in whispers. Or even, how every time he sees me he runs in the other direction spewing gossip to try and tear me down and discredit who I am. I am not even mad at myself for staying quiet or shutting my eyes instead of fighting.
“Let the past be the past,” they claim. I am. “What’s your problem?” I have none, because I am the lotus growing out of the mud and no one will ever force me to do anything again.
Not even to say “hi.”
About the Author – Lori-Ana Guillen
Lori-Ana Guillen is a Miami, Florida native. She grew up in a blended family of Venezuelan and American parents. Through a colorful journey, she has been able to persevere through trials of abuse by using writing as her outlet. She is a graduate of Barry University. Currently in pursuit of a Masters at University of Texas- Arlington, Lori-Ana hopes to one day help others on their journey to recovery.