Written by Trey Briggs

Mother, 

 

I have to tell you something, but I know you only accept words from real people. You used to tell me that real people cry, and they laugh, and they stumble over words. I can’t cry. I never know when to laugh. I’ve left my blood in so many dictionaries that words are in my DNA. I can’t stumble over them even when I try. 

 

I don’t know what to say to you to make myself seem real. You bred me for perfection, and then you left me for the same.

 

When you speak with me, I’m an audience. We’ve never had a conversation. You’ve used me as a living recorder to inhale your moods, your feelings, your experiences. There’s more of you in me than there is any trace of a person. Maybe I’m your mirror. 

 

I don’t know who I am outside of you.

 

Even as an adult, I’ve woken up wondering what you think of the dreams I have. I’ve gone to sleep hoping you understand why I’m going to bed before you’ve given me permission. I’ve opened cartons of milk in my home, this home I paid for, this home I worked for, and I fear that I’ve overstepped my bounds. 

 

No love can compare to the love I have for you. At the same time, no fear can compare to the terror you’ve instilled in me. I go to sleep hoping you understand that I am not just a tool to avenge your real loved ones. I wake up wondering if I’ll ever get to be one of your real loved ones. 

 

Mother … despite my best efforts, I won’t hate you. I eagerly await your anger. I daydream about the ground you used to walk on, about your heels clicking against floors that didn’t seem to deserve your weight. I want you to come back more than I want anything else, but I have to tell you something first. You’ll be so disappointed.

 

I don’t know how to tell you that I’m a person. That, in your absence, I decided I get to be a person. 

 

I don’t know what to say to you to make myself real.

Don't Stop There!
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Astor has always wondered what Alicia wanted. In these hard days of her youth (between her father’s death and her transition into Noah’s household), she wondered the most.

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