A letter to my enemy

February 15, 2008 § 1 Comment

Dear Caroline,

I never thought I would say this, but I am sorry.

There are lots of things I remember about you, about our time in elementary school together.  I remember how the girls would flock around you at lunchtime, and how you always got the best trades.  I remember your iron grasp of the playground, how you delegated who would have what role in which game.  You made me a babysitter, instead of a mother, and you gave my favorite doll to another girl.  I remember the time you wrote a racist note in my name and gave it to the teacher.  I hated that you were in the advanced spelling group with Jack and I, and that you copied his homework every morning on the bus.  I hated that he let you. 

You contaminated me; made me a carrier of some social disease the other kids wouldn’t risk catching.  But it wasn’t just me.  You spread the rumor that Elizabeth was a lesbian, when nobody even knew what that meant.  And I remember that she let you comfort her when she was crying in the bathroom.  You ran circles around them, like a sheepdog.

One day I was sitting on the concrete with some younger girls and I saw you approaching from across the playground.  You had an army fanning out behind you.  Whenever I hear the phrase “flight or fight,” I think of this moment.  I started walking away, but you caught me.  You asked me why I was talking shit about you behind your back.  All I can remember is looking past you into that army of excited eyes. 

I hated you, Caroline.  I reserved that word, hate, just for you.  I would never forgive you, or even pity you.  You would get what you deserved.

Now I have started to remember different things about you.  I remember that shitty little house you lived in with your four younger brothers and your adopted cousin.  I remember when we got to high school and no one cared about you anymore.  I remember when you started hanging out with that coke dealer, and when you dropped out of school.  I remember later, in college, when my friends called excitedly to tell me they saw you, and you were pregnant.  I remember when they called to say you were pregnant again.  I remember when your baby sister died in the fourth grade.

I don’t hate you anymore, Caroline. 

Leah

§ One Response to A letter to my enemy

  • JD says:

    so, now you have an army of readers behind *you* ready to point the finger at pregnant caroline and snicker. how big of you.

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