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Jun 2015
I ask myself what I'm doing here
in a room filled with friends and family
who are strangers sipping on my beer.

I laugh, trying to conceal
the scars as the subject
comes up for why I ignore him.
He is family after all.
My smile begins to fall.

It doesn't matter how old the wound is;
the mere mention of him
makes my mood shift.

"Let the past be the past" they claim. I am.
"What's your problem?" I have none.
Leave me alone.
Three drinks in and there I am, hiding.

Playing my favorite game of hide and seek
when he finds me.
Telling me if I was really quiet
He wouldn't tag me out.
Three years old and I didn't even shout.

I open my eyes when it's over,
unsure of what game this was
when I mention it to my parents.
But who believes the word of a toddler
over a seventeen year old
who has a reason for everything.

No one wants to see the bad or even acknowledge it.
So we make excuses.
"Kids do that. It's a joke. It's exaggerated."
Well, it happened.

No one talks about it as it sits as a lump under the rug.
Everyone tip toes around afraid of the dirt that will come up.
They look at me as if I am the one that caused this pile.
Why because I don't say hi?

I am not mad anymore.
Not mad at how they handled it.
Or how they acknowledge it now only in whispers.
Or even how every time he sees me he runs in the other direction
spewing gossip to try and tear me down.
I am not even mad at myself for staying quiet
or shutting my eyes instead of fighting.

"Let the past be the past," they claim. I am.
"What's your problem?" I have none,
because I am the lotus growing out of the mud
and no one
will ever force me to do anything again.

Not even to say "hi."
Elisa Holly
Written by
Elisa Holly  DALLAS
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