DEAR STRANGER,

If there was a way I could sit right in front of you and just watch you be, I would give a great deal to do that. Just you…sitting in front of me in this coffee shop…existing. It breaks me a little. I want to sit and watch your whole life. And so I do. I stare at my computer and begin writing the story of your life.

You are five-years-old, sitting with your brothers and sister at the dining room table. You are eating eggs. Your cream-colored shirt is tucked neatly into shorts that rest just above your knees. You are not smiling. No one is. You won’t yet understand that not all families are like this.

You’re sixteen. In high school, you meet the daughter of the woman your father has been having an affair with since you were born. She’s ugly. But she’s even uglier now. You’ll be mean to her – very mean. You will never forgive yourself for this. And you shouldn’t.

At twenty-three you'll become a father without knowing it. He will have your eyes, but no one will ever tell him that. The quiet girl in your Communications class, the one you only slept with a few times (and not because you liked her, but because you liked her more than you liked being lonely. Depression sucks.) When the sex , you tell her the two of you should just be friends. But she’s already fallen in love with the person growing inside her belly. She’ll keep the baby and never tell you she was even pregnant. When she disappears from school you assume it’s because she was never really that emotionally stable anyway. You don’t think of her again.

 

*


(…to be continued)

[©2020 by Ariel Maccarone]