Daily Dialogue: My Nightingale, Part IV

The beginning of Imogen’s misery. And the end. And now it’s dark…

Imogen
I was out one day. Shopping at… I can’t remember. I didn’t remember my wallet, either, and that didn’t occur to me until midway in line to the register. I found some really cute pants, too. Black with white cuffs, and zip-up pockets. I don’t know why they bother giving women’s pants pockets when nothing we own can fit in them. I asked the clerk to hold them for me until the end of the day. I lived about an hour away, but I didn’t wanna commit to a specific time. Didn’t matter, because I never made it back. When I got home, I saw my brother’s car in the driveway. In my spot. Always in my fucking spot. Ugh, I shouldn’t have used that word.
I ran inside to my room to get my wallet. On the way there, you have to pass my brother’s room. As I got closer, I could hear what was going on, but they couldn’t hear me. I wasn’t eavesdropping, but I couldn’t help it. They were SO loud. And his door was open. He didn’t expect anyone home so he felt free to let it all out. So did… So did my mother. I didn’t want my stomping to distract him so I tip-toed by, and got a slow reveal of her on top of him. What do you do when you see something like that? There’s nothing in school or normalcy that could prepare ANYONE to process that. The only thing I could do, and I still have no clue why I did it, was laugh. A lot. As loud as my mother moaned. It took them a while to notice me, but I was on the floor in tears by then. My brother got to me first and I looked at him, laughing… almost barking. Then I saw my mother. She looked at me with so much anger. But there was something else in her gaze.
It was hard to figure out with the watery eyes, but I quickly figured it out. When you literally grow up with someone, you develop a DEEP nonverbal vocabulary with them. You can recognize every single one of their gestures and glances, and any combination of them. So I knew what that other look was. And I stopped laughing. And I started crying. Because her gaze told me that she’s done that to me, too. But how? I wouldn’t have blocked something like that out. Then it hit me, and a lot of mysteries in my life suddenly made sense. Once in a while, I’d wake up with sore legs and… crotch. And I’d be wet. I was always too embarrassed to ask anyone what’s wrong with me because women in this country are shamed outta knowing about their bodies. A lot of women are even too embarrassed to know what their vagina looks like. I was. Am. So I didn’t ask. I knew that people sleepwalked and that some women hump pillows, so I thought that I did both of those. Until that moment my mother looked at me. I asked my brother if he knew. He didn’t know what I meant, or pretended to know. I asked him again and again and again and again… my voice was already hoarse from the laughing and crying. Then my mother made things clear for him. Then he nodded.
I asked them if my father knew. My brother’s face went white, so he hoped he didn’t. My mother explained to me, so coldly, she sounded so cold during all of this. And a little outta breath because of… She said that my father was too busy cheating on her with his job to notice anything that went on here. She said that one time she even f– had sex with him with my brother’s stuff still inside her. I asked if she was worried about getting pregnant and she said that I ruined all chance of that happening again. That when I was born, I took some important pieces with her. That, in a way, I helped make it so that she and my brother could be together. I kept trying to rationalize everything while trying not to go into shock, which is probably why me asking why she didn’t find someone in a bar to cheat with made sense to me. That’s when she walked to me, knelt down, and pushed my brother out the way. Then she held my head like she did the way I always remember. My forehead on her chest, a hand atop my head, and fingers on my neck. Even then, it felt good. And she whispered… she whispered…
“My children are so beautiful. How could I not want to be with them?”

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2 Responses to “Daily Dialogue: My Nightingale, Part IV”

  1. All I’m going to say so far is “Dude – wow”

  2. […] Wanna Do Something That Matters « Daily Dialogue: My Nightingale, Part II Daily Dialogue: My Nightingale, Part IV […]

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