we looked like giants

One day you are a princess. The next day you are a dragon, knocking over buildings composed of little, colorful blocks. Then you are your mother: all high heels and red lipstick and pearls. Some days you don't know who you are so your mother laughs and plunks a hat upon your head. The brim always falls over your eyes but you don't mind because it is the key that unlocks your imagination again.

You never ask your father. If you asked him he would just purse his lips. Frown. Reply quietly, "Why don't you be a good little girl and help your mother?"

He packs up all your dolls one day because of your shrieking, red-face tantrums. Sometimes you think that, if he could, he would extract the imagination from your brain, toss it carelessly into a box, and leave it to rust in the dusty abyss of closet space.

Mother dresses you in flouncy dresses. In ribbons and Mary Janes. And he smiles so you smile too. Mother is so enamored with his smile. Giggling to yourself, you shield your eyes while they share a kiss or two.

Mother dresses you in paint-splattered overalls. In glitter makeup and her strappy high heels. And he scowls so you cower, lips trembling. Mother hates his scowl. She always shouts when he frowns. They scream and mother cries and father sighs. You wail until you cheeks change hue from red to blue.

The walls quiver, tremble, shake.

And, one day, one shouting match upon a time, mother leaves you. She packs her clothes and her toothbrush vanishes from the bathroom and all her favorite vases are gone. All traces of her – gone. Even the yellow curtains she loved have divorced the windows, leaving a stain of sunshine to travel over the floorboards as hours, days, weeks pass.

Father works harder. There are fewer mouths to feed but still he works longer and longer hours.

You grow up without him. Without anyone's help. Your imagination finds itself locked in the boundaries of the box you used to fear. Sensible clothing replaces flouncy dresses and tearful faces are no longer available in your catalog of facial expressions.

You always hear father clicking and clacking away on his computer.

Mother is all high heels, red lipstick, pearls. Like her old self stepped right out of a photo and into the present, into the future. But she is also vanilla-scented now and brimming with apologies. She has a cushy job and a younger man on her arm.

Yet she has no idea who she is.

And when, on one of her rare visits, she asks you, you laugh bitterly. You are sixteen – young and more than a little foolish - and you want to hurt her. Tight-lipped smile. Hard, blue eyes – her eyes reflect back at her. "Well, you aren't my mother so maybe you should do your soul-searching elsewhere."

You do not crown her like she to do for you. You stare straight ahead, waiting for her to leave once more.


A/N: it's been about 3098530957 days since i posted anything new. ):

for those of you who actually read purgatory, which i do plan to finish, i have no idea when i'm gonna get around to it. probably eventually. maybe once i've finished semester finals and winter break rolls around. lol, erm, wish me luck? XD;