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The Misfit
by Katerina Charisi
2016-11-03 12:08:46
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It was that night my nightmares started. After I noticed the last shed, in the far back side of the land, next to the path leading to the woods. Emily’s glass eyes staring at me and behind me, somewhere that only she would ever know; an image I will never forget. I felt shame when the Myers stood there next to me, whispering together and sharing secret thoughts I couldn’t listen. Made me feel weak and I had since all of their attention, while all this time in the house I would never feel mine, I realized the best I could do was to stay out of their sight. Invisible, like the secrets they kept from themselves. But when fever started burning me and dizziness wouldn’t let me get out of bed for many days after that night, Michael brought the doctor to see me and only then I remembered another day of the past, when I found Emily’s helmet on the bench in the park and she told me about a baby that would come.

emi0000001_400“You‘re going to need another chair around the table”, the doctor said to Frances, when he closed the door of my room behind him. Frances stood next to the door, her hands crossed in her front, darkness in her eyes. If she felt anything else inside her, she never showed. I heard her thanking him and inviting him downstairs for a drink. He must have refused, for I heard the heavy front door closing a little later.

“You are lucky, it’s just a cold. You should stop wandering around in this cold, now. It’s no good”, Michael said as he sat on the bed next to me. “What am I supposed to do all day, then?” I asked. “I just stay here and wait for you to come, so I can at least talk to someone. Is all I have, it’s like “wandering around in the cold.”” He stared at his shoes and said nothing. Those moments of silence were more often. It was a heavy silence, carrying all the untold things we wanted to say to each other but never dared. I felt my love for him slipping through my hands, saving only a little for all the times we spent together before we came here. And now a new life was going to start, right here, in this very same home I wanted to leave some day. Some day... It was a thought coming and going rapidly through my mind and I never let it stay for too long, for not becoming a wish. My biggest part wanted everything to be alright, but I knew all we did was meant to fail.

As I recall now those days in this last corner that is my home, everything makes sense. It makes sense, in a non- sense way. Do I believe in ghosts? I didn’t. If Emily ever existed, I am the only one to say it. None of these people are here now to question my words. None of them... Except for one. And for this person after all these years Emily came back to make me remember. Remember and tell. Everything. If it was for me, I would still remain in my nothingness. It hurts me remembering. I would expect ending my life in peace, keeping my pain deep inside, forgotten. But she wouldn’t let me.

Oh, Emily. Life has been so cruel to you. Carrying yourself like that on that bike, running away from life itself. Running away from yourself. A misfit; a fugitive. Raised by gamblers, playing under pool tables and thick clouds of smoke, hiding in dark corners, sleeping under an old bed to escape her mother’s fury. Seeking her mother’s love that never was there.

It took her many years to understand that none of this was her fault. She grew up hating herself for ruining her mother’s life, running, running away. Some day she just realized it was pointless trying to escape who she was. But she never stopped running away. She stole her father’s old bike at her 15 and the money he always kept on the fridge, in a tin box and left. She left them only three words written with steady hand on a bill: Let me be.

She wandered in New Orleans, for who knows how long. Sleeping in filthy motel rooms, paying in advance and a little more, to prevent questions to be asked. Was it weeks? Was it months? Some day the money was over. That rainy night she carried her dirty bag on her back with her belongings, and went at Rose’s. She opened the door, walked in with her back straight and her head up, leaving behind her wet trails and mud. “I want to work”, she said to Rose, and Rose stared at her with her clownish make up behind deep puffs of her pipe, trying to smile showing her yellow teeth with a deep red spot on the front ones from her cheap lipstick, coughing instead.

“How old are you?” she asked.

“Old enough”.


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