1.7 – Reflecting

(Warning for one NSFW-ish screenshot)

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I could never shake the thought that my mother would be disappointed too, if she saw me now. 

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Clarissa used to tell me, be good for Kendra, Sarai. It never made sense as a kid because she was gone.

I don’t believe she can see me, wherever she is, but I get where Clarissa was coming from now. I was supposed to honour her memory by being the kind of daughter she’d be proud to have raised.

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Whenever I fucked up she would say dammit, don’t you know how disappointed she would be in you, Sarai? Even for the tiniest shit. I’d be ignoring my homework or have just broken two dishes and she’d play the Kendra card.

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Especially after I dropped out. It made sense. I wasted my own time and my aunt’s money and arrived at back Clarissa’s apartment like an unwanted boomerang, broke and at a loss for ideas.

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Kendra Hayes died at the age of twenty-five. I was three. Head-on collision, dead on impact. Then Clarissa took me in, raised me as her daughter, but she wasn’t really around much, not until I was a bit older.

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Then it was all Sarai, do you think that will make you successful and meet this contact and you have to do this internship and straighten your hair! I had to suddenly be perfect for her, and it was clear I didn’t measure up.

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Suddenly she was shoving me in directions I never thought twice about going in, and there’s never any arguing to be had. Thank fuck I didn’t quite give in.

Clarissa told me Kendra would want all those things…

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I wouldn’t know. I don’t really remember her. In fact, it’s just one thing. She was laughing and I was on her back and it felt like the most exhilarating ride. I was really happy, I guess. 

But then you grew up, I thought, and turned into this. Whatever you are now.

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Over fifteen years later, without just that one memory, I go to her grave, on the anniversary of her death. May 17th, a few days before my own birthday. I tell myself I’ll just lay some flowers and be out of there quickly. I’ll be dignified, I say to myself. But it never happens, and over time I’ve learned to go there in the evening, where no-one will see…

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Because of course I fail at the ‘dignified’ thing, every year. It’s the one of the few times I can’t keep it together. Yeah, I miss my mother…but it’s more that I never got to know her. I don’t even know what I’m fucking mourning, and it sucks. It’s like everything I think just pours out of me on this one evening, because I can’t sit around thinking about it. Don’t dwell, Sarai, I was always told. Just focus on yourself…

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It’s stupid – stuff I’ll never find out no matter how hard I think about it. Which is why I don’t. Things like what was she like and would she raise me differently and what would she think of me? Honestly, I’m pretty sure I know the answer to the first one. She’d be disappointed too. Sorry, Mom.

——————

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I had spent my twenty-second birthday alone, practicing yoga in the park after my last class was done.

It was only the second time I’d done this, but it already felt like I was making a little tradition of the aftermath of that evening. It had been a disaster, and I still kind of regretted how things went down with Becca (and Dianne and Michael too)…it was good that I stayed away from them. Same with my other ex-roommates…I occasionally wondered how all their lives were going, even imagined it, which was fucking weird in itself…

I was temporarily living in an old, draughty converted loft right at the edge of the Fashion District. The owner had taken off to backpack around Europe for a year. It was cheap which meant I didn’t have a roommate. In fact, I didn’t really have anyone. I kicked Caden out of my life soon after I turned twenty-one, and I wasn’t jumping at chances to hang out with Clarissa.

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For the past six months it had just been me, work and the usual string of flings. It was fun, yeah, but it was getting repetitive. And I wasn’t about to invite Cam out for my birthday…I didn’t want to make a big deal of today. I was just…born. Like everyone.

But on their birth anniversaries, ‘everyone’ does stuff that…isn’t this.

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I never had the time to just think, consider my life…but why? I was doing well. In my adult life, I covered my own rent in a fairly expensive city and successfully worked at multiple jobs. I never had problems getting a date and I wasn’t really lonely…I was alone, a lot, but I’m fine with that.

Are you? Is this how you’re going to live for your whole life? 

I shifted about and attempted to clear my mind. Yoga was a lot less taxing than this.

At twenty-two, did I need to think about these things? I had a whole lot of living left. There was so much time to marry, or have kids, and to think about doing these things. If even wanted them.

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I stared at the floor. So many years, and birthdays to come.

What do I want?

I’d never really thought about the future, or done any reflecting. Well, not about what I was going to do in the future. I would occasionally remind myself that I was not turning out like Aunt Clarissa. But…

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Well, fuck.

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Fuck fuck fuck.

Was I headed straight for ending up like her in thirty years? Or sooner? She’d been like this all twenty-two years of my life.

At least I wasn’t likely to be handed children who had lost their parents, and be asked to raise them…If I did have a kid, ever, I wouldn’t raise it like Clarissa raised me. Still would fuck it up though…

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I never really thought of anything like this. Most of the time I just tried to focus on the present, tried to find people to spend time while offloading others who mistakenly still hung around. It was always a bit scary, when people wanted something long-term. I didn’t know how the fuck to deal with it…and so they were removed from my life.

Nothing but my career was long-term, and I couldn’t really go anywhere from where I already was, in that. 

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Was I going to be stuck like this forever? There had to be somewhere to go, after the pool of available flings dried up and I stopped looking like a model, and I had to find it.

Too bad you have absolutely no fucking idea how.

I had to go home. It was all too much.

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The morning after my birthday, I was still thinking about it all. My heart was beating too quickly and it took me twenty minutes to eat a bowl of yogurt, because I couldn’t concentrate on anything. But I realised I don’t have the time to dwell like this; what I do have is years ahead of me to make my future into whatever it will be.

Though I still wasn’t especially cheered at the thought of living like I am now, forever. But then I was never a happy person, and I’m still not. So what’s new? It was fine. Everything was alright for me, and it would be.

6 thoughts on “1.7 – Reflecting

  1. This is so depressing! She has some serious problems to work through. Maybe she has taken a teeny tiny step towards realizing she can’t live like this forever and maybe she doesn’t want to be alone. Time to take control of her future in a positive way. To figure out what it Is she really wants, not what her Aunt tells her she should want.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, hopefully that was an unsuccessful attempt to cover her realisations with denial.

      And you’re right in saying that Sarai doesn’t really know what she wants. Most of the time she’s either trying to please people or fill the hole in her heart…

      Liked by 1 person

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