Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!
So… ummm…. I found out what’s going on with Crystal.
It’s never what it seems, is it, with people?
Crystal has spent the past few days basically practicing her fingers raw – literally. She’s got bandages on them and she’s still playing through it. I went over to her house last night – her parents are worried about her and she’s not talking to them about it. They thought maybe she’d talk to me about it.
It’s sad that they’re right about those things.
She was practicing when I went into her room, and she didn’t even notice I was there. Her room was a little more messy than usual and she… was a little unkempt. Aww.
“Crystal?”, I said, softly. She didn’t even notice. “Crystal?”, I said louder. “CRYSTAL!” And she jumped so hard she fell off her bed. The guitar made an awful noise as she barely saved it from a clangy fate.
“Lily? What are you doing here?”, she asked as she picked herself up and got back on her bed.
I looked at her fingers. They looked painful. “Those look like they hurt.”
She shrugged and went back to practicing.
‘Crystal, you can take a break and talk to me.” I sat down next to her.
“Why are you worried about me? You’re a pianist. You know how to play. You know how much practice you need.” strum
I reached over and turned off her amp.
She wasn’t happy with that. “Leave that alone,” she said somewhat angrily.
“Are you going to let me answer your question?”
She sighed. “Fine.”
“We’re worried about you because this isn’t healthy. We all support you wanting to learn to play, but you’re being really obsessive about it. You’re…” I peered at her. “Have you been taking care of yourself?”
“You’re not my mother.”
“No, but I’m your sister. Or have you forgotten that being a sister means something to me?”
She looked down and was quiet for a bit. “You don’t know what it’s like,” she said quietly.
“What what’s like?”, I asked. I had a sneaking feeling about how this was going to go.
“What it’s like”, she said. “What it feels like to be homeless. What it feels like to… be…” She trailed off. “What it feels like to be in love with someone who is only using you. What it…” She sniffled. “What if that happens again? I don’t have anything,” she said sadly. “I didn’t have anything then, and I don’t have anything now. You remember that anime you showed me? With the pink haired girl? Who was really good at guitar?”
“Yeah, her. The guitar was all she had, and she knew it. Remember that scene at the after party? Where those guys were talking about his cheating wife and she had a meltdown thinking about how her life would be if she didn’t have guitar?”
She was quiet, but I could see her chest heaving.
“I don’t even have that,” she said. “All I’ve… all I’ve got is my body, and even that’s… even that’s…” She choked out a sob. “Ruined…”
I reached out and held her to me, and let her bawl, and she was bawling so hard. I hate seeing my sisters that way. But I understood, I think. Well, no, I didn’t. But… maybe I did. A little.
“So you want… to be special.”
She shook her head. “I want to be… safe,” she said. “I’m not safe. I haven’t been safe since… since…” She started bawling again. You know how someone tries to hold it in and it just comes out anyway and their face screws up and they just start sobbing?
She was trying to learn how to do something useful so she’d have something to fall back on if the crap hit the fan again.
What could I say? There wasn’t anything I could say. Nothing at all. Because… she wasn’t wrong. I mean, she was, but she wasn’t. She had every right to feel that way. I mean… everyone let her down, right?
Finally the sobs turned into hiccups, then sniffles, then she just kind of sighed and fell asleep. Right against my chest.
I moved her under the covers, kissed her forehead, then turned out the lights.
Then I went downstairs to talk to her parents.
I didn’t say much. What could I say? All I said was “She doesn’t feel secure. She’s trying to learn a skill so if things go bad again she has something to fall back on.” I paused. Should I say it? “She feels like all she has to offer is her body, and even that’s ruined.” I paused. “She thinks if she learns the guitar if she ends up homeless again at least she knows how to do something that will make money.” I paused again, and shrugged. “She just spent fifteen minutes crying while I held her.”
Her parents kind of recoiled, like they were struck. Her mother started sobbing. “Why couldn’t she tell us?”
I shrugged. What could I say to that? That she probably blamed them for a lot of the stuff that’s happened to her? That she probably feels like the rug could be pulled out from her at any time? That she feels like she has no value to anyone unless she has something to offer them?
I settled for a shrug. There’s only so much you can twist the knife. “You’ll have to ask her,” I said, with probably a little more bite to my voice than I’d intended. “But it doesn’t seem too hard to figure it out. She’s asleep upstairs.”
Her parents are nice enough people. I don’t hate them. I know they were trying their best.
But I just put a girl who’d spent fifteen minutes crying her eyes out to bed. I wasn’t feeling very charitable.
I let myself out. I didn’t even say goodbye. Her mother started sobbing again, and I just… left.
And that’s why I didn’t post last night.
I came home and I did the same to Sabby. Cried my eyes out against her chest, I mean.
The world is so unfair sometimes. And it seems like Crystal gets a double share sometimes.
I’m not depressed, not really. I’m just sad. Crystal hurts so much, and there’s so little I can do, except let her cry on my chest, listen when she needs me to, and hope her parents can pull their heads out of… ummm…
okay. I should shut up.
I did talk to Crystal today. She thanked me for listening. I told her it’s okay to practice and it’s even okay to practice hard, but that we love her for exactly who she is and she needs to take care of herself as well. Apparently her parents had a very long talk with her this morning before school. And… during school, because they signed her out and took her on a family day. Lucky Dave’s his boss, he knows what’s going on and is all about family. And he knows Crystal too. Dave’s not very big on emotional stuff but he can be a softy if needed.
Some wounds run really deep. And I don’t blame her for holding grudges. Even though I hope she can get past it someday.
I also sent her parents a quick apology. I don’t regret anything I said. But… I wasn’t in a good place for that kind of conversation. It’s to their credit that they understood. They thanked me for what I did, anyway. It wasn’t much. But it was something. They do care about her. They do love her. They also… hurt her. Very, very deeply.
Sometimes, I guess, healing has to take place at its own pace.