Our Time by Anon

Illustration by Cristin Cornal

Illustration by Cristin Cornal

I am. I wait for every eager family member to retire to their homes. My mother labors until my first breath. Their expectations will exceed my efficacy. They name me bitter, and it will suit me.

 

I am forty-one. I will become the first statistic of the new year. While I have spent my days bringing beauty to the world, my demise will be an ugly one. Could my life really be the price for a pronoun?

 

I am sixty-nine. The loss was devastating. Until this point I have excused every compromise of morality as a sacrifice for the greater good. Now I wrestle with my thoughts and question my motives. The only move that remains is to retreat. 

 

I am sixteen. I hold a half empty glass of water in my hand and a full bottle of pain pills rests on the counter. I swallow them, one by one, savoring this moment of control. I laugh and make a bet, I will kill this bottle before it kills me.

 

I am thirty-two. I am outraged because I am paying attention. Today the system will fail me as it has failed so many innocent before me. His mother may feign shock, but his past reveals she has suffered the same violence that is my end.

 

I am twenty-eight. I will not know justice, I am here to change history. His error, his arrogance, will cost me my life. He will suffer no repercussions and his behavior will be reinforced. I was not the first, I will not be the last, but they will say my name.

 

We are. Relentless, rising, and resolved. 

 

 

Dear predator, your time is short, ours is not.

Monica Valenzuela