I am at home, with my cheer uniform on waiting to go to practice, I hear screaming from the back of the house. Swear words filling the entire space and my silence suffocating me. My hair is done in my favorite hairstyle, two little pigtails, with two blue “bobo’s,” burettes, at the root of each. I just sat there.

I stand there motionless as I watch the black leather chair replicate my stance as it is tipped over and is left bodiless. I watch her long black hair leave the chair and lead her down the hallway while she grasps at anything to hold, to be greeted by tears from her own eyes and betrayal from her heart. I just stood there.

I missed cheer practice. I watch a vacant body with life only in its’ eyes stare blankly into a mirror. Eye’s red and face swollen from the streams that were made. I continue watching as her fingers run through her hair leaving the sink to fill with the hair that was left behind. I just walked to my room.

It is 11 at night. I am supposed to be asleep but I have heard a door slam twice. One slam sounds near and one sounds distant. I must have thought this was an act of deja vu, because the scene was so repetitive. When the echo’s of the doors left, wailing swayed throughout the empty hall. I just put a pillow over my head and fell asleep.

Everyday was not like this. Some days were good. Some days were better than others and some days were worse. This day was worse.

I am very good at cancelling out distractions when I feel I need to until I can’t. The yelling is spreading wall from wall and corner to corner. I was in the living area, joined by the black leather chair that once mocked my silence and my brother. The yelling is followed by a slamming door, a sound I am too familiar with. The yelling continues and the eggshell colored door controlled the volume for a moment.

— I was still.

The sound of thunder from two banging fist on the door catch my attention. I am still. I see the door fling open unmasking the color red, blue and purple. The flinging door unmasked a howling cry. The flinging door unmasked a stranger. And all I was, was still.

I am the most calm I ever thought I could be. Gathering the tears and the blood and packing it up with me, as I look back to say, “Ask for forgiveness.”

We always looked good on paper. We have all pretended to the public eye that this was ideal. That this was real. This is when I knew the dangers of living in my head versus the reality that was built for me. I have painted scenes that I taught myself to believe and I have erased memories to restore my belief in the figure we needed you to be. Perhaps my biggest mistake was thinking I could forgive you before I forgave myself.