I don’t miss the way heat felt suffocating. The way temperatures teasing 70 threatened me. And my hair.
I don’t miss the caramel creams I bit into when I realized my dad was never going to get, or be, better. I don’t miss dropping them at the sound of his scream. Picking each one up before we rushed to the hospital.
I don’t miss the Lucky Charms and the Corn Pops and the Honeycomb that helped me with my homework. They never filled in the answers like I’d begged them to.
I don’t miss wondering if invisibility would be a more comfortable state. There are no places to live there.
I don’t miss the way my legs chafed, the way shorts rode up until I discreetly tugged them down.
I don’t miss the way my legs fell asleep if I dared sit cross-legged on the floor.
I don’t miss feeling like a wallflower.
I don’t miss watching people move, and act, and sing, and dance and wishing, oh wishing, I felt that free.
I don’t miss sealing my hopes and dreams into an envelope and mailing it to the future. I never knew how to get there. Or why it never came.
I don’t miss thinking, “Someday they’ll see. I’m better than they know. One day…”
I don’t miss my stomach calling my brain to tell her I’d eaten enough and I just couldn’t (couldn’t!) eat another bite. She never answered.
I don’t miss the staring.
I don’t miss loading a gun with ‘fat’ and ‘pig’ and ‘whale’ and handing it to others to pull the trigger. They never heard mercy.
I don’t miss the excuses and the regrets and the feeling like I’d wasted precious years.
I don’t miss the tears.
I don’t miss dreading, oh dreading, any occasion with dresses, or dressing up, or dressing, really. Certainly not the prom gowns. Not the girdles. Not the high heels that made my feet appear four sizes smaller than my frame. The panty hose.
I don’t miss thinking that size 16, 18, and 20 would fit differently, more acceptingly, in different stores.
I don’t miss waiting.
Then waiting some more.
For life to begin.
Because she was hanging out all along.
And when I found her sitting quietly, off to the side, just waiting on me to begin her
I had missed her.