Last night I remembered the little girl. I don’t think of her often, but last night I did. She is seven, maybe approaching eight years old, with shorts just above the knee and a white polo shirt on. From behind you can see her long dark blonde hair is dishevelled and trying to escape it’s bindings, and she could be playing hide and seek- until she turns around.
Her face is bloodied – her front teeth have obviously been knocked out before they were ready, and you realise that the dishevelled hair has been pulled roughly. Her arms are covered in scratches and the first blushes of purple bruising. Her knees are skinned, the right one full of gravel, and the left is also bruised.
She doesn’t cry. Instead, she looks around, and checks she is alone. She closes her eyes and wills the pain and the confusion, the fear and the questions away. To her surprise it goes, and keeps on going the more she wills it.
What she didn’t realise was that day, a neutron star was formed.
I don’t think of her often. Only when the neutron star makes itself known and threatens to consume me and I feel as if I’ll be sucked in. When the pain rears it’s head and hurts in all senses. Not just the physical. When all I can do is stop myself from screaming, and push back against the expanding blast that threatens. That’s all I know how to do… put it back in the box in the box in the box in the room in the place I daren’t go.
Last night I thought of her, and the moment the neutron star was born.
Sometimes I wonder whether it would be easier to just be consumed by it. There is no picking it apart and that is what worries me. It’s all or nothing, and I’m not so sure I can withstand the blast.
But I can’t sit and allow myself to be consumed from the inside…. not any more… so I choose the hard road.