I am small and cold, my bare feet curled under me, my gaze fixed on the quiet street outside. Where is he? I think I see him, long brown hair ruffled by the wind, cigarette in hand, a gaping hole in the right knee of his blue jeans. He disappears quickly…maybe he was never there in the first place.
My hair is in pigtails, and my new Cinderella shirt is blue. His favorite color is blue. I hear Mama yelling on the phone in our bedroom, but I am four, and want to go ice skating with Daddy.
"Where are you Ted? You should've been here an hour and a half ago!"
If he doesn't come he won't see my new shirt, and we won't get to go ice skating. He promised…he always promised. Every car that turns down our street might be his. Maybe he got a new one. Maybe he got a blue car.
I am small and cold, my bare back pressed against a wall of the tiny closet. The smell of cigars and cheap tequila seep from his poors onto me, the sound of his heavy breathing pounding in my ears like thunder.
"Good girls don't cry."
With one hand he holds my arms above my head, and the other he shoves inside me, causing waves of pain to wash over me like a flood. Thirteen only knows how to survive, and I think about anywhere but here; Narnia and its lion, Oz and its wizard, England and its queen. I taste him, but I am not here; I am in Fantasia on my luck dragon, finding a way to change my name.
I am small and cold, my bed providing little warmth on this October evening. Tears and alcohol do not drown them, noise can't silence them, time doesn't make them fade. Yes, dreams are where ghosts live, and I am their eternal companion.