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Green Eyes

Green Eyes

A Story by Aimee

“Well that’s it. I’m a boy now.”

I looked on as my daughter stared into the mirror, admiring, or not so admiring, of her new short, haircut.

“What do you mean silly? You’re a girl �" and a beautiful one at that.”

“Nope, I’m a boy now. I have yucky boy hair.”

All at once, I realized that my daughter was equating her short new hairstyle, one that was intended to keep her baby-fine hair from matting, with a sex change.

“No way �" you’re a beautiful girl. And your hair is so stinking cute!”

“But mommy, I thought the hair dresser was going to make my hair bigger. And now it’s little-er. I’m going to need ‘stensions.’”

“S �" You’re three years old. You do NOT need hair extensions,” I said, doing my best not to laugh at her predicament and proposed solution.

What I realized today is that the labels we place on ourselves are not necessarily indicative of age…

 

“Well that’s it. I’m a full blown psychopath,” I said, facing my reflection squarely in the bathroom mirror.

“Well you did act a bit crazy, but you’re not a psychopath,” I could hear my friend’s voice echo from the Bose sitting on the bathroom counter.

“Nope, I’m a psychopath. I went full blown American psycho on him.”

“No, you’re an amazing person and you’re feeling vulnerable,” Mary said. “And you’re searching,” she continued. “You’re trying to find reasons not to move forward with something because it scares you. And it scares you because you equate love with hurt. Falling for pain. So you’re picking that scab. And you’re doing it because you’re looking…”

 

I thought back to my first night with Jose. He picked me up in a white Acura.  “I love your car!” I told him.

“Oh thanks, it’s a friend’s. Her tires are bad so I’m letting her borrow mine while she’s out of town.”

“Oh wow, that’s so nice of you,” I replied.

“Yea of course.”

His demeanor was smooth and his eyes were dark �" evil to be sure. But with a gripping intensity that told me I was in for a ride. We fucked the first night we met and the passion intensified from there.

We were crazy about each other.

So much so that we moved in together after only two weeks. And all was good until one early summer night as we were lying in the grass, drinking beer and catching fireflies �" a white Acura pulled into the driveway. A girl got of the car. There are really no words to describe her except that looking at her was like looking into a mirror. Our likeness was exactly the same.

I quickly went into the house as the two began to exchange heated verbal blows. Finally, after minutes that seemed to go on for hours, Jose came into the house and closed the glass sliding door.

The girl ventured forward and proceeded to bang on the glass. “I’m going to tell her! I’m going to f*****g tell her! I want all my s**t back too!”

“Tell her what Julia?” he retorted. “That we broke up months ago and that you’re a full blown psychopath?”

“No, I’m going to tell her not to waste years of her life with you!” she screamed.

The heated exchange continued as I sat silently at the kitchen table, in a bit of shock as the two continued their banter, separated only by the sliding door.

“Well, that’s it. I feel crazy,” the mirror image of me continued as she stepped back and stared sadly at her reflection in the glass door. “I hope you experience pain like the pain you’ve caused me.”

“I’m sorry. Happy birthday Julia,” Jose said as the pencil-thin figure made her way back to her Acura and drove away.

I didn’t want to believe it. So much so that I simply chose not to believe it. This exchange �" it didn’t fit the preconceived notion I had of him. In fact, not only did it not fit, but there was simply no room for it in the wealth of love I felt for this man.

“She’s crazy babe. She’s my past. You are my future. It’s really sad that she came here on her birthday. Kind of pathetic actually. I’ll never be with her. I want a family and she’s infertile…”

 

“Alyssa? Did you hear me? I said you’re searching,” Mary’s voice echoed from the Bluetooth speaker on the bathroom counter. The sound of her voice brought me back to reality.

“You want to find something wrong early on, because you think that if you find it now you can save yourself from all this. Because you feel like it’s somehow all your fault. That you should’ve seen it. That if you would’ve been smarter or wiser or seen the signs more clearly you could’ve protected everyone. That you could’ve saved yourself the pain and you could’ve protected Julia and S from the abuse…”

“But how do you ever really know if you can trust someone?”

“Time,” she stated matter-of-factly. “It’s an answer you don’t want to hear, but it’s time. And maybe you will be disappointed…”

 

“Yes, these are the messages I received from Mr. Salazar,” I replied to the attorney. He paced fervently back-and-forth, commanding the attention of the packed courtroom.

“And what do the messages say? Can you read them for the court?”

“Call me and I’m going to let you know what’s going to happen next to your life,” I began. “I know where you and your daughter live �" sleep with one eye open. I’m getting back from Qatar tomorrow and I’m coming for you Alyssa…”

“And did Mr. Salazar ever abuse you? Outside of bruising because he’s claiming you have a genetic condition that could account for the marks,” the attorney proceeded.

“Yes, in one instance I suffered burns when he poured hot coffee down my arms and legs.”

“Judge, Enter Exhibit A. And what about your daughter? He ever abuse her?”

“Yes, he locked her in a hot car as punishment for crying,” I trailed off, tears beginning to form.

“And how to you respond to that Ms. Duvall?”

“I got my daughter back, got in my car; drove away and never looked back.”

“And who is Julia Becker?” he questioned.

“I’ve now come to know her as Jose’s long-time girlfriend…”

“And are you aware that Mr. Salazar was also abusing her?”

“Yes.”

“And have you ever seen Ms. Becker prior to this court date?”

“Only once. Through a glass door…”

 

“Alyssa!” Mary echoed.

“What?”

“Maybe you’ll be disappointed. But then again, maybe you won’t be. It’s time to stop sabotaging what could be great. Let someone in.”

My phone buzzed and it was Adam.

“I promised you I’d send a note to my ex-gf by end of week to cut ties. Not that it matters anymore �" but I’m a man of my word.”

F**k. The shame.

“I just don’t want someone controlling or crazy babe…” he continued.

Oh s**t. What have I done.

“Will you give me one more chance?” I replied.

“I’ll never bring this incident up again or hold it against you,” he patiently replied. “But you have to meet me halfway…”

 

As I looked into the mirror, I thought about how perception is a funny thing. Crazy can be a mask that we wear to keep others at bay. It’s also a label we sometimes place on others to keep the truth from surfacing.

“Mommy!” S screamed as she ran into my room. She continued, “Hey, I love you! You are so awesome. You like my hair? It’s yucky boy hair but I don’t care that much. I don’t care about being pretty.”

“You know, you and I,” she rattled on, “You and I �" we’re the same. The same kind of person.”

“And why’s that?” I laughed.

“Because we like all the same things. But mainly cuz I love you.”

 

And that’s all it took to change the feeling of shame and the image of the psychopath I saw in the mirror to one of self-love. My perception of being unworthy because HE saw me as unworthy was flawed. Those dark eyes saw everything as lowly, as not enough.

But as for S, her eyes are green. And if memory serves me well, Adam’s are brown but not black.

And the world is once again filled with possibilities.

 

 

 


© 2017 Aimee



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Added on March 24, 2017
Last Updated on March 24, 2017

Author

Aimee
Aimee

Chicago, IL