I see it, in my mind's eye. The way it was. The way it must have been. You see, I wasn't there. I wanted to be. Somehow in my child like mind, I would have been able to do SOMETHING. But I wasn't there. I caused it, and could not have the chance to rectify it.
The orange and yellow red tipped flames rage upward, devouring the walls, swallowing the furniture, licking at the papers, turning them black and making them curl. Those beautiful flames, killing the heart and soul of a quiet haven, surrounded by woods and animals. The birds sing on.
The people everywhere run around like maniacs determined to "help" but they can't. Its out of their hands. So they watch. Sure, they did what they could. The fire had a mind of its own. Set on a path of destruction. The heat wavers above everyone and everything. The air is hazy and the smoke weaves its way in and out of the bodies of the firemen and women, who stand with arms crossed, and watch.
The body of the house stands sullen and stubborn. The belongings lay in pieces, melted, warped, unidentifiable. The grass is singed, the air smells strong of smoke. The people stand. The people watch. The people cry.
A small blonde girl with wide blue eyes and a scowl sits at home. She doesn't cry. She doesn't know why. She feels the pain inside though. It tears at her heart. Rips apart her soul. She can't put it into words. She is naive. But she wont stay that way for long.
The young blonde girl sits at home. Refuses to move from the couch. She plots how she will talk to the newspaper. She chews on the acidy, burning words in her mouth that she wants to speak. She watches with narrowed eyes the man on the news who knows nothing. He judges. He does not know. She fights the will to scream as her closest friend, her companion, her mentor, her love, walks across the television screen. Handcuffed and wide eyed, he looks lost. She cries in rage some where deep inside her heart. She wants nothing more than to go there and hold his hand. Tell him its okay. She is eleven now. She is no longer naive.
A hand falls on her shoulder. Her eyes do not leave the screen. The war inside her wages on. She listens to the voice only briefly. No, she doesn't want food. She wants peace, she wants to speak her mind, she wants to reprimand these people who don't know. She wants to right the wrongs being said. The young girl sits. Chews those venomous words. She will not move.
Seven years ago today the young girl is now a young woman. She is a senior in high school. She will be 18. She walks around with the world on her shoulders. She fights to stay above this life that is relentlessly trying to drown her.
She blames herself day in and day out. It was her fault. She might as well have lit that match. The match that started it all. The girl walks the halls. She chews on her thumbnail and she thinks. She chews those venomous words. Thay young woman goes home with more on her mind. That young woman dreams of letting out the scream she is keeping caged in. The young woman goes home. She picks up a pocketknife. The young woman makes another cut. Seven years ago today. The young woman walks on.
Seven years ago my grandparent's house caught on fire. Seven years ago my grandfather was accused of starting it. It was a pact made out of love. One would die with the other. Seven years ago today. It was my fault.
March 16, 1997. You are remembered. You are loved.