If I stopped you one day and asked you for a moment, would you spare it? You see I need to ask you a question and only you can give me your answer, but if you can’t spare me a moment then I suppose I’ll have to be willing to let your answer slip by.
You see I can’t promise I’ll be quick, since it’s you who will hold the clock and seconds, minutes, hours can only be counted in your mind. But I’m sorry; you don’t want to hear me rambling. I’ll ask you my question, perhaps you will answer and I’ll move on.
Who do you think I am? I’d be very interested to know. I’ve tried to answer myself, but I need a second opinion and I’d like to hear yours.
Would you mind terribly? I do hate to be a bother, it’s just I’m a little lost. Not geographically of course, in that sense I’m well and truly… un-lost. But within myself? Well, that’s a little more complicated I suppose.
It’s a bit like a maze, and around each bend is a promise. But if I choose the wrong path I’ll trip and the promise holds out to be false.
It was better at the start, there were more paths to choose and less of them had roots or brambles to trip me. Then the paths began to narrow, and of the few that were left, even the ones that seemed right, grew to thwart me and catch my feet.
So if it’s not too much trouble, could you please tell me who you think I am? You see, if you can find me, then maybe I can too. I must be in here somewhere, just tangled in the undergrowth, like a coin someone dropped without notice. I only need a little help and if you would I’d be so grateful. Can you spare a moment? Or maybe even more? I won’t hold it against you if you don’t; I’ll just wait a while more.
The rumpled covers of your bed are sprawled out behind me. I half expect them to still retain some warmth some essence of you. They remain stone cold beneath my touch though, like marble carved into an illusion of comfort.
It’s the last thing to pack. Everything else has already been piled into plain cardboard boxes; their lids sealed closed with tack, brown tape.
Inside rest old toys, which though broken, you still could never bring yourself to throw away. C.Ds which you collected, slotted around the vinyl albums that you found at car boot sale in Leeds. You spent weeks locked up in your room, listening to those old things, just being wonderful bazaar you.
Another box is crammed with scraps of paper. Portraits you drew of people I never met, places I never saw, yet somehow in each one you included me.
You said it was because I was your little sister, the person who you would always love the most and could never be replaced. Therefore my essence was always with you.
Your room was once a collage of your life, the walls almost pulsing with the vibrancy of who you were. Now they just stand stark and white.
I didn’t want to give up on you. I tried to convince them that there was still a chance, I tried to convince you! But everyone just shook their heads and looked at me with pity. Especially you.
You held me as I cried, whispering that everything was all right and that I would be fine. My own fear outweighed yours and you left calmly.
Everything isn’t alright thought. I’m not fine. Because your bed doesn’t retain your warmth, and your room no longer echoes you. Not anymore. None of this holds you anymore.
My laptop stands open, the harsh white light of a blank page staring out at me accusingly, because for some reason, I seemed to have betrayed it. Instead my hand creeps for the slick, silver curve of my favourite pen. The one for which I even search shops, to find the right sized ink refill, just so it can live a little longer.
It lounges in the cradle of my hand, its tip hovering over the lined expanse of a new notepad, my excitement pouring through this extension of me, waiting to spill out. Elbows resting on the unyielding wood of my desk as the world drops away, and a million voices rise to clamour for my attention.
Characters of youth and age, scrabble towards the page beneath my pen, their desperate dash to be the ones who finally spring to life in words and ink. Slowly the nib comes down and the white of the paper is blemished, unchangeable now in its imperfection, but perfection does not exist in the mind of a writer.
Plot lines and people, fall out of my head in scribbled, vague messes, as if I stare at them through a stranger’s glasses. But as the pen moves, black lining what was once clean, those blurs begin to sharpen and change. Pirates hang from the rigging of long lost ships, sailing across uncharted waters. While fairies dance across roof top beams and enchant sleeping children. The witches hide in mountain valleys, their skin coiled with spells and Elvin Queens sit on lonely thrones, while their children scorn their choices.
Sometimes I will stumble, and the pen with stall and stutter. Unspoken words hang broken, unfinished, mixed in among confusion along my brow. Soon the rhythm comes rushing back, plunging into fantasy, worlds that spin and twist and turn inside no one but me.
So as I sit with pen in hand I see almost everything. It’s not the world I visit though, the one supposedly occupied by you and I, but the great expanses of kingdoms and domains that unfurl within imagination. My home is wandering among ideas and capturing in words what I feel and see.