subject line: dear little girl


Akron, OH

I saw you, I probably was the only one who did.
I saw you trying to win your biological mom’s approval. The day you went up to her after a fight with your step-dad, and you apologized for it. Instead of a hug or a “it’s not your fault, you were told to pick sides that day.
I saw you when you pet the dog with both hands lightly around the neck just trying to show someone love that could be returned, and instead of believing you when you said you didn’t choke her, they called you a liar. You missed your big pre-school picnic that day. Instead, they sent you up to your room in the attic. I don’t remember seeing you eating, but I could be wrong. I do remember seeing you sneak down the attic stairs, crack the door, and longingly stare as they cuddled fondly with your little sister. You cried yourself to sleep that night, but it wasn’t the first time you had.
I saw you when you made imaginary friends out of the Winnie-The-Pooh picture frame on your dresser. You believed so hard that they were real that you swore you saw them move. They were your only real friends at that house, and you were in your room so often that you were glad you had them.
I saw you when you would wake up, and shuffle down the stairs only to be yelled at to return to bed until they were ready. You sat upstairs hungry, listening to music to get your mind off of breakfast.
I saw all the meals you skipped, not because you wanted to, but because you had no choice.
I watched you as you got older. And I saw the day that she forgot about your time with her. When you were supposed to meet at the baseball field at noon but stayed there until 2 because she had to be called and reminded of your time together.
I saw you when you sat with your sister behind the closed door of the back room, keeping an eye on the door so none of the partiers on the other side stumbled in and frightened her. I also saw you when you would hold your biological mom’s hair back as she threw up the next day. You didn’t share every story with your dad though, because you loved your sister too much to not go back.
I saw you cry out the window as your biological mom drove away with a new man. She moved to New York, and never said anything to you about their marriage or their new life. You saw pictures later and everyone was there but you.
I saw you the day your new step dad tickled you so bad it hurt, and you screamed for him to stop and he wouldn’t. When you were called a sissy for getting upset.
I saw you the day she sat you on the counter and complained to you about her marriage. When she trusted you and then told you that taking your advice would be stupid. I saw you the day she handed you a letter of apology, for everything she’d done wrong. And then turned around to her friend and called you the “oops” baby.
I still see you, ya know, you’ve tried all those years to earn her love. And now, though you finally understand it’s unearnable, you still want it. I hope I get to watch you get over her. And be set free once and for all, because that would be the good memory to remember, instead of all the bad.
I saw you, I see you. Let it go, set yourself free. You won’t earn her love. And she doesn’t deserve yours