I watch the night’s sky graying with black clouds following their invisible trails to evanescence, ghosts of a time that is no longer there and let my mind wander away with them. Occasionally my eyes fall on a blank page imagining a chaos of spilled ink on it. Between my index and middle fingers I toy with my pen and from time to time, I let it draw words on the paper but then, I tear it and start anew, staring at a stark white page. It’s been hours and I still don’t know what next to write. What is her name going to be?
She feels every eye scrutinizing her. “What’s your name?” The teacher asked. They all want to know. With each minute elapsing , a daunting pain hunts her young heart. Finally, the teacher tells her to sit down, but at that second, her voice finally escapes her lips. “Drew,” she says. Silence. Everyone laughs. She said her name the wrong way and now she has to be trapped in the echoes of it being imitated by the other children. Listens. She listens. But she cannot bear it anymore. “They all hate me” They all hate her. Rage is building up fringed by her shields of silence, but then, it evades. “Stop!” She yells, “Just stop!” She runs out of the class, slamming the door behind her.
At the end of Drew’s first day in middle school, two things happened: She got punished for leaving the class and she earned the name “Drew the Whacko”
Drew. Her name has to be Drew. She is Drew.
When I hear the sound of footsteps thudding, I hide the papers under the desk and manage to slip the pen into my pocket. Matt must have woken up. He says good morning. Then, I find myself within Drew as the next scene gets written within my head.
Years pass by. Drew is now married. She stands silently watching her husband as he gets dressed knowing too well what his destination is going to be. Creased, in her hand, is a note she’d found the other day forgotten in one of his pockets. She can face him, tell him she knows but.....
Matt’s cell phone rings. I move out of the room as fast as possible in order not to hear.
He calls me on my out.
“Drew,” I turn my head, “Can you please wash the black suit? I am having a meeting tonight”
Yes Matt yes, it was in the black suit that gave you away. Her name is Jane and not James, like you are calling her in front of me. And by the way, I know you are not going to any meetings because you were fired two months ago. But you think I am Dumb Drew that’s why you find it so easy to obliterate me and talk to her while I am in the room. But you are right, I am dumb and stupid. I wash to you every night the clothes you stained with her so that she can see you as beautiful as can be, while all I deserve is you in your dirty pajamas. I cook and clean to save her the effort of doing so. And of course I have to pretend that it’s all alright treating my heart like a stone. But Matt, I won’t be the one shattering the peace of our family. I will have to wait. I am the one you love. I am the one you come to at the end of the day.
When I am done, I hurry to my story. Drew faces her husband. He confesses but also tells her he can’t be with her anymore. He leaves her and all she gains is regret for shattering her shields of silence.