There was that day you wore your hair in pigtails.
You were thirteen. Pigtails and a pale blue summer dress. I think the dress was new.
My mother had died three days earlier.
You and I were sitting on the stoop, looking out across the street.
Neither one of us was talking. I remember spitting a lot. Watching a foamy, spit-puddle form.
It was rare for you to be silent. Silence wasn’t your thing.
Silence, pigtails, a pale blue summer dress. Somehow it all went together.
Your hands were fidgeting though. They were placed on your lap and they’d spasm. As if reacting to some sort of allergy.
I’d sneak glances at your hands and worry. As a source of disquiet, they terrified me. I wanted to scream.
Yet I was able to calm myself by focusing on your pigtails.
I wanted to swing from them.
I thought my life would be different, for a miraculous thirty seconds or so, or that reality would soften around me if I could shrink myself down and swing from your pigtails.
I never told you that, Anya.
I’m telling you now.