Sometimes I like to pretend that I know you. That you call me up just because. That you are proud, as I am, of the things I've accomplished.
I like to pretend that when I was small, and so often sick, you would test my forehead with a kiss, that you would read me stories and make a pot of soup from scratch, just for me, your presence and your undivided attention coaxing me back to some semblance of health. It's all I ever needed, to get well: the smell of soup, and knowing someone cared. It's still what I need. It's still what I never receive, except for the one time, and then not from you.
I like to pretend our house was always clean and dry and full of light. That it smelled nice, that you smelled nice. That you smiled more often than frowned. That you loved me. That you loved anything at all.
My mind is strong. Even I can say that, and with confidence. I didn't just erase the bad things, as they happened; I made up new and better things to take their place. Not much better, but a little better. Rational, nearly palatable. Just this side of horrifying. Bearable, you know? Bearable, I thought. But I don't think that, anymore. I think I know exactly how Peeta feels when he says, "Real, or not real?" Dreading the answer, either way, for neither memory is a welcome one.
I wish you were real, and not a story I made up to keep my heart from breaking. I wish I knew I'd have a chance to make my stories true for someone else.