Thursday, September 23, 2010

What else

Emily Marxson watched her father pack his business suitcase much fuller than usual from the dim hallway, hugging the door-frame to his bedroom. Don't go, she begged silently. Please don't go.
Outside the window, into the cold night air, the city was holding on as usual, put-putting along just fine without much trouble. Slight Emily couldn't help but wonder what life would be like had they moved to the country. The country, a place her father couldn't run away from easily.
No, the city she loathed so dearly could barely hold him, flinging his bags into a taxi with a sigh of relief, breathing in the dirty exhaust, and tears running down her cheeks. She knew that he could be gone for a very long time, and she should be calling her mother to make the arrangements, but Emily stood in the door-way, her silhouette a dark shadow in her father's life.
Things took a turn for the darkness when her father started going away every weekend. But darkness wasn't real, anyway, and Emily Marxson was very aware of that. She knew just as well as anything that darkness was simply the absence of light, just as death was the absence of life. But neither hurt any less, felt any farther from home, no.
"How long will you be gone?" she asked, playing her role in the script ever-so-carelessly.
Her father didn't look up. "Not too long."

She was older now, a full fifteen years of age, but the frame of the door hugged her body just the same. The smooth blue paint felt just as cold and stiff as it did when she was five, when she was six, when she was seven. Years had passed, but the scene remained the same, as it must, in order for everything to stay together.

Her father's gruff voice always said the same sentence, the same way. All emotion missing, all loving, caring, tenderness lost in the grey city rush. Emily hated the city with everything she had, but she needed it to hold on, too.

The silence that passed through the room was amplified, buzzing in both their ears with cars honking down the streets, racing past their noses, pushing them back onto the side-walk before they got hit. As fog was on rainy days, neither spoke when her father walked out of the room, hoisting his heavy bag just to his waist.
"I love you," he spoke, no meaning behind the words. Emily nodded.
"I'll see you in a week, maybe."
Then he left, the front door shutting with a quiet click, a noise not audible if you weren't listening.
Emily stared at the door. Her eyes caught the way the light faded slowly. By the time it was night, new shadows had formed from the city noise, and she stared motionless for hours until the phone rang.
Such a noise one was accustomed to in this house, as the phone rang nearly every minute of weekdays. Her father would spend hours on the house phone, the business phone, his cell phone. It was almost hard to recognize him without it plastered to his ear.
For this reason, Emily had her own cell phone, one she loathed just as much as her own family. Her own blood meant nothing.

Her younger brother, clean flesh, laundry-smelling, car-noise of a child. He loved green shirts, and racing. Emily couldn't look him in the eyes.
Her mother, a woman who lived to cook and work, being the perfect balance of mother and job-hoe, Emily spoke to with clipped words and no warmth.
Even her friends, her encounters, her teachers... Emily couldn't stand any of them. But she must. She did, because the city was based off of who you knew, and what you did.

Emily was the perfect teenager.
She got A's, and nothing less. She played sports every day and ate the right foods. She went to the right parties, drank the right drinks, and knew the right people.

But inside, Emily was a monster who hung around in her little brother's closet, coming out at night with sharp teeth and claws. At night, Emily watched her mother from the backyard, the window opened, but the lights always off.
While her father was away, Emily tormented her family from the comfort of her deserted house.

Having killed herself at the age of fourteen, everyone in her family had their methods of coping. But her father lived in the city rush, constantly in motion, so her angry ghost couldn't keep up, couldn't break him apart.

She was loved, was she?
But no one knew enough to show it.

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