The Dragon Stain // by Lilly S. (April 2017)

Your back is turned to me as you clean the house. Your attempts at wiping that brown stain off the counter are futile yet you still try every day to remove it. However, the brown stain is not what captures my attention. It is you, scrubbing and scrubbing, trying to get rid of it like you are the knight with shinning suds and the stain is the evil dragon kidnapping the Princess Pristine Counter.

You are so busy playing knight you do not see me standing there, watching you. I want to reach out to you. Make a joke like we used to do so many times before, back when things were easier. I see you attacking that stain and tears prick my eyes.

You are so close yet you feel like you are thousands of miles away. It is as though you are an illusion or a hallucination. Something my mind has conjured up to torture me with the sweet memories of the past. Something made up to haunt me until the end of my existence.

What ever happened to us? We used to play all the time when I was only a toddler. We would go everywhere together and even in the bleakest of situations, you would always find out a way to make me laugh. You would bring me to the park whenever you could and you always found time to read me a chapter of a book before bed. Sometimes, I begged to you enough for you to read me two chapters instead of one simply because I did not want to sleep. You also used to take me to the local bakery for doughnuts even though it was a school day and doughnuts were not a breakfast food. I remember that you would always order a dozen, six glazed doughnuts and six chocolate frosted doughnuts with rainbow sprinkles, which were my favorite.

I remember how you were there when others were not.

Then something happened. I can’t really point out what though. Was it something I said? Have you just gotten moodier? I am shaken out of my thoughts from the squeak of the bleach bottle’s trigger as the liquid splattered the counter. I can see the perspiration forming on your forehead as you begin to give in to the dragon’s reign over the counter. I suddenly got an idea that I could make a joke. I would make a joke about the stain and you would laugh. Then, maybe the tension between us would evaporate.

I opened my mouth to speak when you suddenly sighed with pent up frustration over your inability to rescue the Princess-With-The-Rather-Unfortunate-Name. You spun around surprised to see me standing behind you as though I was a ghost.

“What?” you asked.

I just shook my head and walked away. The moment was over. I had my chance. I could have said something but I said nothing. However, I had a reason. You might scrub and scrub at the stain of your problems, and it could fade away easily. But, if I have learned one thing, it is that not all battles are meant to be won so easily.