A Visit from my Inner Child


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

The Bee Gees played loud in my ears as I scribbled in my journal, my To-Do list was gaining length and the groves from my pen were transferring to the pages behind. The bench was starting to hurt the bones in my body, but the weather was too beautiful.

The air was crisp. With every breath of fresh air it no longer felt like pins pricking at my insides, but rather it filled my lungs with grace and left me wanting to breathe it again. Though the bench was no longer cool. The bench’s wood was wearing down, but it still felt like sitting on concrete. Though today I felt a tapping on my shoulder. It was a little girl. She had her blond hair in pigtails, something that I never let my mom do when I was her age. The about seven-year-old looked more put together than me. I imagine her living in a great big house with a set of parents, that show affection and tell each other how much they love each other, setting an example of what love should look like. I imagine her oblivious to adult problems and growing up earlier than normal.

“What’s your name?” she said while looking deep into my eyes, something I would have never done when I was her age. I told her while returning the same question.

“Can I tell you something?” She did it again, looking deep into my eyes. I nodded again.

“My parents told me today that they are getting divorced. I cried for a really long time.” I didn’t turn away, but my heart sunk into my stomach. Suddenly transported to the age of five when I was constantly getting dropped off at different gas stations or different apartments. Making sure I had enough clothes for school or making sure I had both pairs of gloves during the winter. Realizing when I got to college my anxiety came from that time in my childhood. If I break a routine I can’t sleep or get nauseous, making me not eat resulting in a sudden drop of weight.

After a minute, I responded and told her mine are too. Her eyes became wide and watery.

“Are they really?” As she finished her question, she laid her head on my shoulder. I reclined on the bench. I told her that her parents loved her enough to know that divorce was the best option for her family, and she would be thanking them when she was older. I could hear her sniffle. I kept my hands in my lap. I realized that for once I felt comfortable on the bench.

“Cayley, leave this poor woman alone, let’s go home.” Her father walked up to the bench and put his hand on Cayley’s shoulder. I spoke and told the father that it was all right and that she was good company. I watched her pigtails bounce up and down as she walked further away from me and I never saw her again.