57. Nina

Chapter 56

Nina

It is August, 2006, and I have lost control of my body. It is five-thirty am. The sun is coming up, and I haven’t slept. I can’t stop shaking. I have no legs, no stomach, only lungs and heart and skin, seizing and yelling. Hyperventilating now. Kicking, grasping. Feel like a child. I don’t vomit until December, 2010, and the shaking comes again. I can still feel it in me, like a splinter, or a loose tooth in my hand.

It is 1995. I start screaming in a movie theater. I can’t go back until 1999, and I hide my face in my jacket. I am chasing seagulls on the beach with a plastic shark.

It is 1820, on the last Christmas I will spend with my brother, and I hide in the attic until my family leaves. I wait at the top of the stairs and can’t force myself down them. Occasionally I hear the aunts on the ground floor asking where I am. I start shaking and run to wash my hands for 29 seconds. I never even said goodbye to him.

It is 1935. I am driving my first car.

It is 2003. I am telling Gret Parsons about the music man, and about what her father did to him.

It is 1820, I am twelve, and I am kneeing my friend in the stomach and calling him names. My hands are grabbing at his hair as he shoves me away. I don’t know why we’re fighting. It is 1826, and he immolates himself, leaving his body to be found on the beach. I only go to his funeral because Sam makes me.

Inside my suitcase is a raincoat and a broken radio, unplugged and crackling with the days of ’39. The sun is up.

Help me, Sam.

June 5th, 2012

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Chapter 58

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