“What about you, Sage? What’s your story?” Violet asked me that day when we were all in her house for girls’ night.
How could I have told her everything then? It was ugly, it was complicated and more than that, it still hurt. “It’s too complicated for girls’ night.” I shrugged, trying to look nonchalant.
She smiled with a teasing gleam in her eyes. “C’mon, we’re pretty smart girls here.” She had no idea what she was pushing.
I laughed without humor. “It’s a long story.”
“We have time.” She winked at me. I knew she wanted to learn about it. I could see the curiosity and interest in her grey eyes, but my story wasn’t a fairytale.
“Not enough for this.” I exhaled deeply, and she fell silent. No one talked, but I could feel the questions behind their eyes. Memories of my past were a burden that was hard to carry. I locked them all in a suitcase and carried them with me wherever I went, putting them under my bed or inside the closet where monsters lived. I was afraid of unzipping the suitcase to take a peek. But their innocent curiosity was a temptation for me, and I couldn’t resist.
“I found love when I never expected it. Then, I got pregnant with someone I shouldn’t have. I killed someone and went to jail. Then I lost my love. And now… I’m here, dancing in the club,” I said after a few minutes of silence.
“How?” her voice was just a breath.
I smiled at her, shaking my head. I caught a glimpse of my monsters; they were still alive. My fears and the pain of my heartache was waiting for a second of weakness to get free of the suitcase, and I wasn’t ready to face them yet, not when they were still hurting me, but mostly not when I saw his smiling face every night.
How silly hearts worked? Even though you’d been through hell, the small heaven you found was hurting you more than hell itself. “That’s a story for another time,” I said, finally.
Violet’s eyes were full of questions and maybe even some fear after my confession. I wondered which question she’d choose. Because what people ask would show their real personality.
“Wh-What happened to the baby?” she whispered. My air sucked out of my lungs. I wasn’t expecting this question, most people would have asked who I killed, how or why I did it, but Violet was a good soul, and like every good thing and every good people she hurt me the most with her innocent, compassionate question.
“Miscarriage.” My answer was short, but that was all I could muster with the lump in my throat. I turned my head aside to hide my tears, and the conversation ended there.***
I haven’t been able to tell a soul what happened to me for years. When I did, it was used against me. My past became my weakness, and people chose to hit me there, where it hurt the most. I didn’t trust people, and when I did, they left me alone, taking the small hope they gave back along with parts of my soul.
I’ve been a pathetic soul, a loner for so long, a woman who has tried to find her place in this cruel world. I thought my past made me weak, but later I realized it was hope and trust that made me vulnerable. So, I take the suitcase from the closet and open it to face my monsters. I put my past on me like armor and created high, impenetrable walls around me with my pain and heartache.
When Violet asked me my story it wasn’t the right time, I didn’t close some cases in my mind. I was still hiding behind my stage name –Sage. I buried Veronica with my innocence.
But now, I’m ready.
I’m ready to face my monsters and play with them. There was no more fear or heartache.
I’m Veronica Sage, and this is my story.