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You Are Your Best Thing.


By TestPublished 5 months ago Updated 5 months ago 4 min read
Dall ee generated

I think my spine might break as the bus jolts and jerks its way through the city traffic. She strokes me gently as I sit next to her. Then out of the blue, she starts up a conversation with some stranger. I don't know what about. Don't care particularly. The bus is noisy and disorientating. I'm too busy trying to hold myself together. I'm really not a great traveller.

The bus lurches to a halt, for a moment there is respite. She slings that grungy backpack over her shoulder and saunters off, presumably to meet that new chap, Jed no doubt. All dick and no brains, I don't like him one little bit. Since he's been lurking around, we've seen less and less of each other. She doesn't even glance back at me as she steps onto the street.

As I sit here, alone and abandoned, I have nothing much to do but to contemplate my life with Jacinda. How could she have forgotten me after all that we have been through? All that we shared? I remember vividly the first time we met. She held me like a coveted jewel. I was something to be admired. That night, nestled in her arms in bed, she had caressed me so gently; folding me in on myself. I had yeilded to her touch. Her tears had imbued me with purpose. I had made her feel. She held me close all night. The next day, we went for a stroll together, sat in the park. But she never spoke of me to anyone else. I was sacred. Special. “Me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow," she would whisper. It was our thing, our shared mantra. Only we knew what it really meant.

As the years rolled on, she held me less and less. But still, I always knew she would return. Last night, she came back. I wonder now if the words we pondered together, "Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another,” were a sign? Was she setting me free? Had she found another to love as much as she loved me? There had been others, of course, but I had always been the chosen one.

But enough of that. I am a pragmatist. Dwelling on emotions is no good to anyone, least of all to me. That’s just not the way I was written. I’ve seen too much, felt too much to let this situation destroy me. But what to do? I am all alone. And the one I had confided in has left me to disintegrate.

As I contemplate my next move, I feel the hand before I see it. Jacinda? No, it is larger, the skin rougher. He picks me up with a firm grip. His eyes scanning me with an intensity that Jacinda never possessed. Oh, don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t stupid by any means, but she was more emotional, more given to sentiment. This guy, what can I say? He is like a laser, penetrating my core. I wonder what he sees? Am I attractive still despite my weathered lines?

What the …? He just yanked something off me. What in the world is it? He holds it up to the light, this yellow square. “Take care of her, she holds truths that need to be shared x J x,” he murmurs, gazing at me as if I am a revelation.

He opens me with a gentle but determined reverence, his eyes widening at my first line: "124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom." I’ve captivated him. I can feel it in his fingertips. He is mine now. The way he clutches me. The way his dark eyes bear into me. He is ravenous for knowledge.

In this new home, I am not a secret to be kept hidden; instead, I have found my voice and am being heard. My words, once confined to the quiet corners of Jacinda’s mind, held sacred and unspoken, are now a topic of animated discussion. His group gather together for what they call a, ‘Book Club’. Huddled, they debate and whisper. Apparently, I' m special because I’m banned. I let that thought sink in. That’s kind of cool in a way, no? I mean being emotive enough to irritate people for them to want to silence me. Who'd have thought? Now that's a power I never knew I had. And even better- they refuse to let me be silenced. Not one to brag but, wow! I must be pretty important! Sufficed to say, being here, in this new home, it's given me a renewed sense of self-worth. Puffed up my pages as it were. I have found purpose again. And damn it feels good.

But in all of this, the discussions, the chatter, what has delighted me most are the nights when he just scribbles notes in my margins, or pauses thoughtfully at Jacinda’s highlighted words, showing an interest in my past. It's sweet. He cares about me and I belong. Yet, on the nights when we are apart, I can’t help but wonder for how long will I be safe here with him?


Ten Years Later...

As I sit on the bus alone again, I think back with fondness to Jacinda, our conversations. I had told her that I was not "…a story to pass on." And she had taken that to heart. Listened. But I was wrong. I am and it is. I have been passed on, many times now. I am the rustle of a skirt that awakens minds, a presence that deserves to be shared. And Jacinda, in her wisdom, found a way to ensure my future was secured. She provided me with a kind of tomorrow. And so too did Brandon, and so too will the many others who will follow. I realise now that I was not misplaced. I was perfectly positioned to make my mark. And rather than the anxiety of the first time, I am a little excited, I wonder who will come next and what they will think. But the truth is, no matter what comes to pass. I know now that I am my best thing.


Scrawler's note:

"You are your best thing." Comes from the novel, 'Beloved' by Toni Morrison.


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