V: Telling Stories

I sometimes don’t know how to tell my story. Stories are difficult things that take time and energy. They make me want to sit in the corner and cry, stand up and twirl in circles, walk down a familiar sidewalk. But, sometimes, the words, the images, just don’t make it to the keyboard. Sometimes it’s just too complicated.

“Elle, it’s not your fault. I told him that you would train her,” Cheryl runs her fingers through her hair, exasperated, “It’s not a big deal. I mean, you trained me.”

I kick at the curb, curls falling over my face as I turn my head to study her.

“You know how I felt about this. There’s just you and me. I won’t be responsible if something happens to another girl,” I fold my arms over my stomach, rubbing my sides.

Every now and then, you have to sit and remember the details. If it’s particularly difficult, like something that leads to a bigger story, one without a happy ending, it can take months. The most difficult stories can take a lifetime.

“I swear, I’ll help you. I’ll go with her if it’s such a big deal,” Her tone is sharper, her irritation in each delicate inflection.

I don’t respond. I stand straight, watching the water ripple. Reddish leaves float along the surface; spring on its way.

If it’s a story that you regret, it may be one that you never tell again.

The toes of Cheryl’s sneakers appear next to mine. Her reflection stares at me in the water, tall and lean. My nose crinkles in frustration, then reluctantly breaks into a smile when she sticks her tongue out.

“I’ll go with her,” I say.

But I never should have agreed.

The ones that you regret; well, sometimes they need to be told.

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