“I’m so sorry about what happened.”
“You poor thing, I’m always here to talk if you need.”
“If there’s anything you need give me a call.”
Meaningless words flooded the room as if to fill the space, as if to colour in the hole that grew in the pit of my stomach. They weren’t really sorry. That was just what they said – what everyone said, what they had to say. Were they sorry for the black dress that hung like a cloak from my slouched shoulders? Or were they worry for the lack of tissues because I’d use them to wipe my tears? They asked me to talk, to give them a call if I ever needed anything. But would they be able to give me the one thing, the only thing, I needed? Would they bring him back? Would they even listen to my guilt-filled words, my cracked sentences and my deep breaths in an attempt to keep everything locked inside of me? The sorrow, the anger, the constant wishing that I could rewind that night. Would they listen to the whole story or tune out at the parts I needed to say the most? Would they believe me when I told them it was my fault? Would they comfort me or convince me that the truth wasn’t really true? I needed their words even less than they needed mine. They knew nothing. They didn’t know that I’d been the one to suggest late night smoothies. That was me. Would I tell them? The street was busy, too busy. Would I tell them that I’d been sitting in the back seat? I didn’t see the car. Neither did he. He didn’t swerve. He didn’t even scream. Would I tell them about the hospital and the lingering scent of coffee on every corner? I’d start telling them what it felt like to explain, to explain what we were doing, to explain why. I’d wanted blueberry and apple flavour that night. The thought did nothing but sicken me now.
They would hear, but they wouldn’t listen. Not really, not the way I needed them to. Their words meant nothing. Their apologies shot right through me. Just like the car shot through my father.