Who I Had Been – A Poem

I stepped ontosmall

the elevator and

noticed him immediately.

He had a

shocked look on

his face and

then I watched

as his eyes

changed from the

widened gaze of

surprise to the

narrowed gaze of

contempt. A little

smirk played around

the corners of

his lips, thinned

to a small

line. When the

elevator was empty

of others, he

said to me:

“Is your name Jamie ______?”

He looked curious

at what my

answer would be.

“That used to be my name.”

I said to him.

His voice was

filled with derision.

“You used to date a girl named _______?”

I nodded, shocked

that this person

who was a

stranger to me

knew who I

was. His grin

widened and the

malicious twinkle in

his eyes brightened.

“I’m __________”

He said, as

if triumphant,

as if he

had somehow found

me wanting, even

after all these

years. Immediately, a

fog from the

past rose up

inside my head.

The fog was

brought me back

to who I had been.

Shrouded in darkness

and seduced by

shadows, I looked

at the child

that I had

been: shrouded in

fear, I wore

another’s hatred like

a mantle of

glass. The cuts

that had been

absent for so

long showed again

on my body,

slashed into my

skin with harsh

words and the

blade of a

knife. In the

fog, I heard

his laughter that

sang out whenever

he was near

me. I shook

myself out of

the fog and

looked at this

man-child that had

held onto his

hatred of me

for over twenty

years. I thought

how small his

life must be

to hold onto

that kind of

darkness.

He vibrated hatred

and his lips

curved again in

a smile that

held no warmth.

“It’s nice to see you again Jamie.”

I shook my head.

“That’s not who I am anymore.”

I said, stepping

off the elevator

and leaving him,

and what he

represented, in the

past where he

belonged.

 

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