Things I Will Always Remember (Sour)

Accidentally calling my teacher “Mum” when I was in my first year of school.

Taking a sip from the teapot at my mother’s tea party when I was tiny, scalding the inside and outside of my mouth, and then lying about having put a domino in my mouth and that it must have been poisonous or something.

Letting myself be naïve enough to be sucked into an elaborate fantasy constructed by a couple of nasty girls at school.

The woman that rammed my ankles with her pram and told me to “fucking move” when I was browsing the shelves at Borders on Christmas Eve.

Dragging my baby sister around on the living room carpet while she laughed and laughed, until we discovered the gigantic carpet burn on the back of her head.

Seeing myself in the mirror for the first time after my nose had been ripped to pieces; the fat, smug middle-aged man in the waiting room who smiled at me while I was in shock and covered in blood, saying, “I guess you won’t be pretty anymore”.

When I accidentally sucked up a nest of baby mice in the vacuum cleaner, didn’t realise and put it away without emptying it, only to discover the rotting chopped up baby mouse soup in the barrel the next time we tried to use it.

Waking up, walking down the hallway in a tank top and underwear, realizing that two huge men had broken into my kitchen – trying to rationalize for a second that they must be Nathan’s friends or something, before my instincts kicked in and I screamed bloody murder and chased them out into the street.

The time that my vision started flickering in my right eye and I couldn’t figure out why, until I went to the mirror and saw a huge moth attached to my fringe, beating its wings against my eyelid and cheek.

That drunk snake of a girl at a post-show party who was much taller than me, and when I hugged her goodbye, she leaned over my shoulder and tried to kiss Nathan on the lips.

Letting myself be slandered and losing people who I thought were my friends, because I was determined to be ‘classy’ by keeping my mouth shut and not defending myself by telling the truth because that person had made me feel like nobody would believe me.

Severe turbulence on a long flight across a wide ocean, bad enough that my orange juice spilled everywhere, bad enough that people screamed and cried each time we dropped.

When Rupert had come home from intensive care with bandages all over his head from muscle biopsies, still too sick to even walk or eat properly, Nathan was away in Canberra, and I was too terrified to sleep in case he died during the night.

When we had come to Australia on a holiday and were staying in a cabin somewhere, and I lost the gold and sapphire signet ring that my aunt bought for me, and never found it.

Going alone to a random man’s hotel room when I was sixteen years old and being shocked when he tried to kiss me, because I really did believe that he just wanted to show me his new jazz records.

Waking up during anaesthetic, in the operating room but before they had started, asking “is it over?”, seeing panicked eyes and quickly being knocked out again.

When I lifted my new, tiny puppy in the air and her head narrowly missed the spinning overhead fan.

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