November 19. Last year.
What had I been doing?
I pinched the bridge of my nose as I contemplated the events of last year.
Being an artist meant that I had easy access to sharp things. My ruler was made of metal, the edges were so sharp, I found myself getting cut whenever I held it wrong. I own my own exact-o knife aside from my sister’s plus the razor refills. There are three kinds of scissors in my room, all oiled and cleaned for optimum use.
My sister thought it would be a great idea to gift a girl, who searches for sharp things and hides them in corners of the house for easy access, a red Swiss Army Knife with not one but four sharp knives. I keep a detached razor under my pillow for safekeeping.
Love is for the weak, that’s what my mother thinks unless it had to do something with her. She has to be loved. Anna Mendoza must be loved by everyone because she is perfect and does no wrong. Everyone loves her but she loves no one back.
And I was the same.
I expected love when all I never wanted was to be like my mother.
My fingers twitched. I could feel every nerve in my body pulse, egging me to rummage through my belongings, unpack my packed bags, and look for that razor I’d stuffed in my jewelry making box. I turned to the mirror, ready to throw it to the floor. I’m sure the shards would do very well as substitutes. I needed a fix. I needed a way out of the pain.
So fucking much for being sober.
Brown eyes. That was everything I got from her.
“Oh, you look just like your dad.”
“Did you know you're the only one who looks like a ‘Mendoza’, like your father?”
Everything else was from my father, the guy who pretends to be a part of the family only when it’s convenient. Only then. She says it too, Anna. Anna says I look like him, the guy she regrets marrying. I look like the guy she picks a fight with just because he was smiling and was having a better day than her.
One shallow run of the small razor for Anna, the fucking perfect mother.
Another for the deadbeat dad.
One each for the sisters who pretend they’re listening only because they need to be listened to.
Then another for friends, for every time I had to bite my tongue, and a deeper one because I look like my dad.
“You’re so smart and cute, Georgiana. Fucking pretty.”
“You’re so thin. I wish I was thin as you.”
Another for the false compliments.
I fucking hate myself.
So what is love?