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Cold Water

By: Madeleine M.

I hope that Cold Water will remind people that there is a chance for them, as it did for me to write it.

1st · High School Writing (2020)

Cold water is hurting teeth.
The feeling of something finally entering my empty stomach.
The rush of washing away the depression that had settled into my skin,
But only after turning on the shower.

Cold water is waking up.
The splash of disappointing the man who was supposed to be my father.
Stumbling into the not-quite snow at midnight, after her mother said I had to leave,
But wouldn’t give me my shoes.

Cold water is tears turned icy.
Nights when I would run outside after long “discussions” with my mother.
Mornings when I would wake up to screams because I missed my alarm,
And couldn’t afford to miss the bus again.

Cold water is unrequited love.
Day after year of moments misremembered.
Left shaking after making my little brother go in from the rain with me,
Even though the puddles we left would only lead to more screaming than when we went outside in the first place.

Cold water is learning to dance.
Spinning in the sprinklers of my new front lawn.
Laughing at the bruises I got from slipping during one of the few good moments with my mother,
Dancing in our pajamas in the rain after dark,

Cold water is beginning to heal.
Taking my pills every morning and night.
Rinsing the dirt from the emotional wounds that had been festering for years,
And finally seeing the beauty in the future.

Cold water is knowing that nothing lasts forever.
Knowing that this moment will end.
The hell that is everywhere around me, and the torment that is inside of me, will one day be gone,
And I will be alive for the first time.