Creative Writing,  My Writing

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story?

Hi, Hey, Hello!

And with this I conclude my (hopefully) one and only ‘Crazy Ideas’ themed month. I have somehow managed to come out of this just as in love with this soundtrack as I was when this whole idea sparked, so that’s good. And now, without further ado post 30 of 30 (which, yeah includes another revisit).

‘In their eyes I see you’

I never got to know the parents. I threw myself into the deep end at a time when they were already gone. Nix was 6 months into her new role as a mother when I met her, and her sibling brood.

Scott introduced himself to me first, and with him came Lydia, I learned quickly that they almost always came together. Before our abrupt introduction to one another where he pretended to confuse my leg for a tree that was nowhere in sight, I had already noticed the pair. Swinging dangerously high and competing against one another to seemingly see who could fall backwards to their demise quicker. My first thought was what parents would be so irresponsible as to let their kids attempt such a competition but when I found the adult responsible for them I realised that they were being watched like hawks as if it were a routine they were used to dealing with. My second thought was, she was not their mother. Related to them sure, but not their mother.

Her blue eyes glowed in the sunlight that was hitting her table and even though they didn’t match the twin sets of brown eyes rhythmically swinging back and forth outside, they were all clearly part of the same set. The third thing I properly registered was that all 3, 4 when if you included the sister next to her, carried a look in their eyes. One of sadness, loss and hurt. One that screamed grief.

But I’ve come to know over the past few weeks that they all carry the look slightly differently. Scott and Lydia try to push through the sadness, Mia deals with it by playing in to the sullen teenage stereotype and Nix deals with it by pretending that she’s strong.

I know that she isn’t. I’ve learned that much over these past few months as I have gotten to know her and her siblings.

The thing that gets me the most is the fact that Hayden has Nix’s eyes. Or more accurately, they both have their father’s eyes. From the pictures I’ve seen of their parents, his were a shocking blue. And full of life. He looked on at his kids with nothing but love and joy and pure affection and every time I catch a glimpse of him in pictures I feel sad for them all over again because of what they’ve lost. Hayden has elements of that excitement and joy for life in him. But then again, he has been relatively untainted by the events that have deeply affected his siblings. Everything is new and exciting to him, he loves, rightfully, takes such joy in discovering the world around him. And sometimes I catch traces of that  uncontrollable happiness in Nix. When she sees Hayden figure out something new, when Mia comes back from school with a great story to tell, when Lydia can’t wait to show her a new dance move or Scott can’t help but celebrate with her whenever he scores a goal. She allows herself these minuscule bouts of happiness before her eyes turn back to a shade of grey. Her and Hayden are like two sides of the same coin in some ways. Or rather their eyes are somehow. A before and an after, but always a small piece of their dad.

The other three, the pseudos and Mia, are all their mother. Deep, expressive eyes that feel everything so clearly and make it impossible to ignore what they’re thinking. Scott has figured out how to use them to his advantage, knows that if he tilts his head in a certain way he can convince anyone that something is a good idea. Lydia, Nix claims, is most like their Mom. From watching old home videos with her when she is feeling their loss explicitly, I can understand that. They express everything and somehow change colour with her moods. Become almost black when she is angry, they speckle with caramel when she is happy, they take on a greenish undertone when she’s upset. They make brown eyes so much more than just brown. She’s passionate and fiery and I get what Nix means when she says she’s just like their Mom. Mia’s are always guarded. She’s somehow taken on the role of ultimate protector and she holds that all on her face.

It’s through their eyes that you can tell everything about them, and can tell things about their parents. When they actually talk about them their eyes light up in every way, especially once you get Mia or Nix going. Full lives enriched with stories of their parents that they both love and hate to tell. Stories that brighten everything about them and I love hearing. It’s like they bring them, their parents, back to life. It’s beautiful to watch, and rare, but becoming more common the longer I spend with them. And I feel like I am getting to know their parents.

While I can see the resemblance physically in all the pictures, I can truly see their influence on them, mainly in Nix, when they talk about them. It’s what keeps them alive and I’ve never seen that in action before, but it’s sort of beautiful.

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