He watched my favorite movie.
He hated it.
How could I blame him, a film student, for hating a rom-com called Stuck In Love for God’s sake?
But what I feel right now is not blame.
I feel small.
I feel like the little girl who sat in her bedroom at night
on her pink and white comforter with the flowers
With a notebook in her lap and a pen in her hand
Who wrote fairytales.
I am that little girl
Who got called out of class
To talk to Child Protective Services in the main office
And answered questions like “what does your dad feed you?”
Who was looked at like she was stupid
By plastered-on concerned adult faces
Who just wanted to do their jobs
And bring in the bad guy.
But the bad guy was never just my dad.
He lived in my brain and slept in my skin since before I was born
He pressed his thick heel on my lungs and never let me forget
The heavy hand of conflict that never ever ceased.
Divorce, for me, wasn’t a word it was a life and my earliest memory
It was my backbone and my breastbone and every single fucking bone in me.
So when I sat on my comforter
And wrote about romance
Or that bright shining willow wisp I imagined it would be
I latched onto the boys like Lou from Stuck In Love.
I escaped into stories of people finding each other
And I don’t care if it’s not real life
Because it never had to be.
Stuck In Love is a movie about writers,
About a love that I thought was sacred in my room with my pen at 15.
They have the same favorite book.
They kiss in a car in the rain to the sound of an indie song about kissing in cars in the rain.
When Lou’s mother dies of cancer, they cry
And I always cry
Because this cheesy amalgam is real to me.
It is a version of life that I could only hope for myself
It is penned by a little girl on a pink and white comforter
And she is damned proud of it.
And she should be.