The Reason For Pain
My scars across my chest and lower abdomen suddenly looked deeper in the candlelight. Pain consumed me; sharp in my abdomen, dull and throbbing in every single joint, intolerable in my neck. Nausea filled my stomach as the feeling of my body being destroyed consumed me. I pressed as hard as I could into my hipbone as though it would somehow stop the burning creeping down into my legs.
Snow falling so effortlessly, leaving a small dusting on the same front porch that you hung our Christmas lights on every year of high school (and this year, since we are both home.) Headlights from passing cars illuminating pictures of who I used to be; platinum blonde curls, red lips, dimples. Soft hymns coming from the television Mama has on in the other room. And, yes, I hear that sniffle you try to mask with Mama’s hymns.
You asked me why I had this pain. I didn’t deserve it. We grew up together and you knew all of my secrets. I just smiled, taking your calloused hand in mine. I told you that if I didn’t have the pain I would have never gotten to know, like really know, my soulmate. I probably would have been some stuck-up diva with no awareness of others’ obstacles. I would not have the close relationship with God that formed over years of sleepless nights and medicines that didn’t work. I would not appreciate the little things, knowing just how much a giggle is worth in heavenly currency.
Watch the snow. Light the candles. Listen to hymns with Mama. And, if you have a sniffle, it better be from a damn cold. Know I never minded the pain, I only cared about the people who had to watch me suffer. Find your reason for the pain you feel now.