wear clothes that scream respect, that remind them of good times, happy times, days with sunlight streaming through windows and blue skies with puffs of clouds and dogs barking and card games.
look in the mirror one last time before you leave, remind yourself that you can do this, it'll probably all be okay. fix your hair, deep breath.
say it like a promise, as if you don't feel like a little kid saying something meaningless to someone that doesn't care.
remind them you're the same person, because they cannot comprehend that this is who you've always been, they cannot comprehend that at all the birthday parties and christmases, every smile and laugh and joke came from the same mouth and the same mind.
hold your breath and watch their expressions, trying to push down the hope bubbling in your chest.
stare at the table as they lecture you on how it's wrong, how you were born is how you must stay. stare at the wall as they hold you and whisper we're going to fix this, you're going to be okay
remind yourself how strong you are. exposing yourself for judgement is something nobody else really understands. sitting at that table and tracing your fingers along the grain in the wood, knowing that you gave everything you could and it's not up to you anymore, pressing your face in the hood of her old sweater that you wore just for a bit of warmth, it's all things that they have no idea you're hurting over. don't they know it's all just love?
it's not really about you for them. in their eyes, suddenly you were transported to a different stage, a different curtain, a different cast. new programs with words they don't understand and colors set in orders that seem completely foreign.
no matter what, there's someone who loves you.
how did this take four days for me to finish it?? i have no idea.