My Sandbox Partner in Crime

by Amelia Kanan

AlfredI remember being at a dinner party, surrounded by people you would’ve hated, in a city on the other side of the country, when I heard someone say your name.

My stomach dropped. Hearing those syllables. I felt like a baby bunny. Sensing danger but unsure of the direction in which it was coming.

I realized that the guy, speaking so cruelly about you, had never met you.

I sat up straight, no longer threatened and crinkled my brows, perching myself for an attack. I glared for awhile with that look you always hated, buying time to think of something cunning to say.

“Do you realize how mediocre you seem, saying something like that?” I asked, with a smirk and a chest puffed out with rage.

There I was, defending you with the same behavior that drove you away. My beady-eyed coldness and one-liners that were carefully crafted to dig, deep inside where the flesh was most tender and weak. Mindfully wanting to damage the most precious piece of you that was

I had left you, so long ago and never looked back. Who was I to defend you, I didn’t even know you anymore?

Crickets chirped while everyone stared at me.

Who was the women with so much evil? Her outwardly-facing softness and smile that had greeted everyone so warmly was gone. Ready for a defense. Eager for some kind of socio-economic debate. That wasn’t what I was trying to defend though. You were broke. You were injured. You were struggling. What I wanted to prove was that you were wiser because of your humblings. Your struggle, your perseverance actually put you in front of them. Making all those wide-eyed, mouth gaping people who were staring at me, losers. Not to mention, you had more heart than the sum of all the hearts around me. I missed that big, stupid and throbbing heart.

My stupid anger. My stupid follow-that-heart logic.

Looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have used that anger to propel me back to you. We know that aftermath: a moving truck and a two-year domestic challenge to assimilate and compromise that too quickly evolved into authentic-self sacrifices.

There’s no doubt that we loved each other. Not only did the passion prove that but so did the desire to forfeit so much just to make each other happy.

I’m not sure if I will ever fight for anyone as hard as I did for you. I don’t believe in forever anymore, which for I’m grateful. It’s liberated a huge load off my shoulders.

I’ve loved since you. The first one, was a rekindle ex love. Before I added any more notches, I wanted to feel loved by someone who knew me well – flaws and all. We all know how loveable I am at first glance…the challenge comes later. At least, for you it did. I needed to be re-assured that someone can love me long after that shine dulls.

I missed you today. I’m glad I can miss you. I don’t get angry when I hear your name. I don’t even get sad. You taught me too many good things. Not to mention, you made me feel like I wasn’t the puzzle everyone makes me feel like I am. You made me feel easy.

To this day, It’s still your voice I hear when I need to push past my fear. “Don’t run from fear, run into it” or the simpler version “Don’t be a baby!” Sometimes I laugh and sometimes I argue back “I’m not being baby, I’m being smart. Something you don’t know anything about…”

Detroit, thank you for being my sandbox partner in crime.

I will always defend you sweetly.