I'm still mad at you. You should know that better than anyone. I inherited your temper and Dad's love for books and writing. You might wonder why I started my letter with 'Dear You' but you're smart, I got that from you, you'll be able to figure it out. I don't know if I'll be able to forgive you, and it's not like you'll write back or maybe even read this once you see the return address, but my shrink says that it'll be good for me, and Dad agreed. He doesn't talk about you, he's gotten really good at changing the subject.
Lately I've been looking at myself in the mirror and thinking of you. I look at myself in the mirror and think about how I look almost exactly like you. Something I've always resented. You have the same butt length black hair, except you always wear it in a messy bun, I put mine in a ponytail or braid. I stare at it's reflection in the mirror, glossy and thick, occasionally annoying.
You have the same golden-hazel eyes that have those flecks of green and blue in them that have always mystified me. They're slightly slanted so it makes me look like I have Asian ancestry, which I don't. Though you've always loved things like sushi and bon mei, so different from me, who loves foods like cheeseburgers and lasagna.
We both have very tanned skin, almost like coffee mixed with creamer, that light brown. I never liked coffee but you love it. I have a light sprinkling of freckles across my nose and the tops of my cheeks, which I still claim are from Abuelita and not from you. Though you have them too and Abuelita doesn't have those freckles anymore. Have you seen her since The Thing? Probably not. She's been over a lot recently, she gets this look in her eyes though whenever she sees me open the door. I know that it's because I look so much like you and it hurts to see me because of The Thing.
As I write this, I keep glancing at myself in the mirror. We're so similar, and it honestly makes me a bit sick. I'm getting this queasy feeling in my stomach now as I write it. We're both tall, though you were always a few inches taller. We both have long legs, you always joked with me about how guys would stare at yours in high school and laughed when I told you that they did the same to me.
We even dress in a similar style. A mix of hippie and punk rock and trendy. Although you always were a bit more trendy than I am, I've always liked to stand out, while you like to fit in, to be accepted. You probably still are, both accepted and trendy. Unlike me, who's always been 'chosen last' like in that song. Do you remember when I played it for you? You said that you didn't like it and told me to change the song to something happier.
And when I asked you why you didn't like it you hesitated before telling me that you weren't always popular or trendy, you used to be that person that was 'chosen last'. I couldn't believe it, and I still can't. You were always chosen first to my memory, by Dad, by Abuelita, by your friends, even by me. And by that man you ran off with. That man you started a new life with. And I had to find out from Dad that you got a divorce.
You didn't even say goodbye. Not a hug, not a kiss on the forehead while I slept, not a whispered 'I love you'. Dad told me that you left in the middle of the night, you stormed out with just a suitcase and your purse. You didn't try to text or call me to explain everything, no phony excuses about, having to leave for love, or because you just couldn't stand Dad anymore. Nothing.
Every time I look in the mirror, when I'm checking to see if my hair looks okay, or when I'm parting it after a shower, I see your face looking back at me. It sounds, and feels like something from a horror movie or novel, the kind that I like to read in summer, with a cold iced tea. Because it's less scary that way, in the sunshine and with the good taste of tea dancing on your tongue. You never understood my love of the thrill of horror books, you preferred your romance novels with swooning women on the covers.
I hate seeing your face where mine should be in the mirror, reflected back at me. It makes me feel even more angry at you, I want to never look in the mirror again. I want to change something about how I look. Maybe I'll convince Dad to let me dye my hair blue or get more ear piercings or use more makeup. Even though you know how much I hate it. You always used a lot, especially towards the end. I thought that you just felt like it, or wanted to look nice for Dad, but it was for him all along wasn't it?
I know though, that I should just move on, try to forget about you and go on with my life, get a boyfriend, graduate high school and go to college, get married, have kids, be happy. But I'm afraid, I'm afraid that you're going to come back someday, hoping that I'll choose you again. I'm afraid that I'll see a pleading, trying-to-be-pitiful, expression on your face, my face and that I'll cave, and I'll let you in. And I'm afraid that I'm going to get hurt again, because you'll leave me. You'll find someone else.
But there's also the possibility that you'll have another me, another little copy of yourself. Another little girl you'll raise and smile at and help up when she falls down. Another girl who you might leave, and she'll have to feel what I'm feeling. The feeling of anger and disgust and sadness every time I - or she - feels when we look in the mirror. And that possibility, is what scares me more.
I still love you, you know. I'm not going to call you Mom, you don't deserve that anymore. I just looked in the mirror again, at my eyes, my hair, the naturally red lips that we share, the long fingered hands, and that odd-guy-out freckle on my right shoulder. I feel like an exact copy of you. But I know I'm not. I don't leave family behind, I wouldn't leave my daughter to grow up without a mother. So now, when I look at my reflection, when I see your face where mine should be, I'll try to remember to be better.
I'll try to remember not to be like you, to not abandon the people I love. So goodbye. . . Mom.
Love, your daughter, Alona.
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wow. The emotions flowing throughout this was incredible! I could feel what Alona was going through with her mom, the anger, the sadness, the queasy-ness. It was all described so well and fluidly. Super awesome job with this one!
Thank you so much! I honestly love this story to death XD I'm so glad that you liked it! I kind of love writing sad stories as depressing as that may sound, and I love trying to make my readers feel what my main character feels and so hearing that from you just absolutely makes my day. Thank you so much!!
I can see why you’d love it :p I like writing sad stories like that as well for some reason lol You’re very welcome, was a cool read :)
I have to admit that "Dear You" had me teary-eyed by the end. Hope this piece gets all the recognition it deserves, and that you, as an author, get all the praise you deserve. Seriously, this story took my breath away. Great work, I can't wait to check out your other submissions!! :)
Thank you so much Riley! I love using emotions like that as cruel as it may sound, thank you thank you thank you!
It was beautiful and everything was described in a good way. All the emotions, the comparisons and the entire story was well handled. To be honest I was a bit confused at first but it all made sense at the end. All the best!
Thank you, and yes I realize that but I kind of wrote it to be that way, to make my readers think.
And it was awesome that you did that!
Dang, Everett. This story was so deep and powerful, intertwined with a kind of depth that only family has on you. Amazing work, I'm really enjoying ur stories :D
Thank you so much!