Silence devoured my surroundings during the car ride. It took me a moment to realize that my little sister was sitting next to me. I was still processing everything that happened. She was quiet. We were avoiding eye contact. We couldn’t speak to each other.
My mother did not look at us. She kept both hands on the steering wheels and eyes locked on the road until we arrived at our house. We each opened our doors and walked inside, my mother pointed us to the kitchen. She called my brothers and we gathered. My sister and I stood next to each other, in front of the breakfast table. My mother approached us, “What happened? Why are they saying things about your father and everyone else? It’s not true. What did they force you to say?” She kept asking, until she paused and waited for an answer. My sister stood her ground, “He did touch me.” My mother’s eyes filled with fury, “Why are you telling the teachers? Don’t you see what you have done? They will take you from me.” She looked at all of us. My brothers were supporting her, but they can’t be blamed for doing so. They were oblivious to what was happening to us and even more so, now that everything is coming out of the blue. My breathing deepened. I have to admit that I was scared of what was happening. I was so afraid of what I have done. I was sad that I made everyone feel that way, so I denied and I betrayed.
“I-I never said anything. They’re lying.” The words came out and a feeling of nausea formed. It didn’t feel right denying what I had just admitted. I looked towards my sister and she did not flinch, but a sad look formed in her eyes. She remained quiet. My mother looked relieved as if she was happy to know that her ‘perfect’ daughter remained perfect.
“It must of been your aunts spreading the rumors. They always had…” My mother’s voice subdued, and my mind took me to a vivid memory.
I was standing what I think was my room. One of my aunt asked me if HE touched me. I remember repeating the same answer, “No.” She gave me a melancholy expression. She knew that word was filled with lies. My mother barged in and they began to argue. My aunt continued to tell her that HE is a bad person, but my mother did not flinch in her defense towards him. I stood in the background, but I assume my mind blocked out the rest fo the conversation.
The memory is vague. As much as I try to find the missing pieces and bring color to the images, in the end it is futile.
I continued to nod throughout her Who is To Blame speech. I dissociated after a certain period of time
During that time, I didn’t know what dissociation meant. I just thought I was crazy. What person in their right mind would just block daily events without even noticing or remembering?
I knew a long time passed when I glanced at my window and the sky was engulfed in darkness. A small flicker stood out; a single star. I stared for a few seconds and a familiar feeling overwhelmed me; loneliness. I glanced over towards my sister’s bed and she was fast asleep. Maybe she was able to sleep because she felt like a huge burden was lifted. I, on the other hand, felt an immense amount of guilt, disappointment, and betrayal. I looked back at the star and began to cry. The overpowering feeling of loneliness grabbed a hold of me and I did not let go. I embraced it, because IT was the only thing that comforted me.
Like the star in the sky, I was alone. Even though I was surrounded by a plethora of other people, aid, and love, I singled myself out. I was afraid. I was guilty. I was dirty. I was unforgiving. I was a taboo.
I could not bring myself to shine. Instead, I took my shimmer and introduced it to a world of solitude.