Behind My Eyes

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My grandmother always told me that I had special eyes. “They are beautiful, like the water of a deserted island on a clear day,” she would say, unwavering. “Your eyes hold the boundless powers that no one else’s does,” she would continue, her voice suddenly becoming firm. “What powers, Granny?” I’d always ask. “In time, child, you will know. Only in time.” Her fixed answer always sent me into a tantrum, but I was never one to hold grudges. My grandmother claimed that her eyes ruined her life, that she was in her current state because of powers she didn’t know the depth of. My mother would laugh when speaking on the subject. “It’s not what you think,” she would say in her lawyer voice. “She’s slowly losing her memory now,” Mom would reassure whoever she was speaking to after my grandmother had moved on from the subject. “I’m sure it was, in truth, only a story about her cat. Only God knows what goes on in her head. It’s past time that we moved her to a retirement home.” Whoever she was speaking to would nod understandingly, “comforting” my mother and telling her how hard this time must be in our lives. My mother would always take the consoling to keep her façade on, but I knew better than that. She knew better than that. I always knew there must have been some reason behind my grandmother’s incantations. She just never revealed them to me until it was too late. * * * My grandmother died when I was thirteen; her funeral was simple. No mention of magical powers or anything crazy that my mother would be embarrassed about or that my brother would glance over at me, raising his eyebrow. When we dug through her seemingly endless mountains of belongings, my mother told me that I could keep a few of her possessions. I took the things... ... middle of paper ... ... needle in my arm pinched at the back of my hand and the sticky tape connecting the pulse monitor to my finger annoyed me in a way that muddled my brain even more. I was always moody after these situations, but this time my anger seemed outrageously escalated. The curtain separating my section of the room whisked open and my other strutted in, followed by a frazzled looking nurse. “Elaine!” my mother exclaimed, pulling me into her arms. “How do you feel, darling?” Now, my mother is by absolutely no means an idiot, but she sure can be insensitive sometimes. Naively, mind you. This was one of those times. “My head is bursting,” I replied softly. I’ve learned over the years that if I fake my anguish enough around her, I can get five minutes of silence out of her. She is a very sociable woman; her flamboyant disposition followed her everywhere like flies on dog shit.

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