Life for a thirteen year old is very challenging if you’re not the ideal person everyone expects you to be. It’s probably not the worst time in your life but it's that age that you remember because you're going through that stage. The stage where you are one half child and one half adult. You're six and eighteen together; acting both but you don’t realise it. The world revolves around your space-less mind, while you're discovering new things.
We were drifting apart, you didn't look at me the same as you used to. I was changing. To you I was changing too fast. Every time I spoke to you, a scared look came across your face. It was like I wasn't even your daughter no more, never mind your little girl.
You used to sit me on your lap and tell me how much you loved me, cradling me like a baby, tucked up tightly against your chest, your head sitting neatly on top of mine. You would take me everywhere with you. My hand tightly fitted into yours. The hand that felt like i was holding onto a Gorilla's. The roughness of it pressed up against my smooth, small hand as we walked down the street together.
You used to dress me up; little pink dresses and sparkly shoes, flowery skirts and the boots that made that little clipping noise when i walked. But mostly, I liked to dress up the same as you. Looking up to you as you dressed me in my denim dungarees, feeling proud that you were mine.
You could always tell when you had dressed me and it wasn’t myself because I always looked like I had been dragged through a bush backwards. People would comment saying that you could tell that I was a relation of you from a mile off. There would be laughter - not from you. You would get upset whenever someone made a remark. Tears would flood up in your eyes but you would stop them before they ever got the chance to come streaming down your dry, pale, creased face. You knew you couldn't do a better job than what my mother could. You tried to hide your sadness away from me, but I could tell that you missed her. Things didn't bother me as much as they bothered you. I was quite happy for it just to be us two. I had never had the experience of having a mother that everyone else at school has.
We used to go grab a burger every Saturday from the van that parked up beside the river. I would sit quietly and scoff my face with the roll of greasy meat and hundreds of red sauce. I would often shovel it in too fast and red sauce would come oozing out, squirting onto my denim overalls. You would just laugh. "Can't take you anywhere" you would say.
Now it's not a case of "can't" but "won't."
It's the way that you stare at me that makes me uncomfortable. You stare at me awkwardly from the distressed, brown sofa that you sit on, looking at me as if you don't know me. Hadn't known me. Wished you'd never set eyes on me. When I started bleeding and the bumps began to show, you stopped caring. Those hourly long conversations that we used to have had been replaced by short, one word answers. There's no connection between us no more. You don't call me your "little angel" anymore. Your "rose bud, sweetheart, petal"
I had no one to talk to, nobody to turn to. The pain and emotional state I was in was confusing. I didn't know how to handle these things.
"Why do I need to wear a bra?"
"Why do boys look at me strangely?"
"Why do I bleed so much?"
"Am I dying?"
So many questions but so little answers.
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