Small Talk

Small Talk

by Maddy Schumacher


“I’m happy” and

“I’m a good person” 

I whisper to myself as I look at my tear stained reflection in the bathroom mirror.


“Everyone hates me” and

“I’m not good enough” 

read the scars on the inside of my delicate wrists,


but “I’m going places” and 

“I can change the world” 

I think to myself as I glance down at my ever frustrating chemistry homework.


“You’ll find him” and

“You have plenty of time” 

they say as the lonely days continue to pass by…


“What college are you going to?” and

“what do you wanna do with the rest of your life?”

they ask as if I’m not already overwhelmed enough.


“This is the best part of your life” and

“make the most of it”

sighs my tired mother trying to cheer me up.


“I miss you” and

‘what are you doing later?” 

read the texts of old heartbreaks… who only want sex….


“You can do better” and 

“stop being desperate”

says my best friend in her perfect relationship after I make one mistake with a boy.


“Don’t fall into their traps” and

“do your best to do the right thing” 

mutters the adult who seems to be lying through his teeth about his questionable past.


“You’re almost twenty” and

“they grow up so fast” 

exclaim my distant relatives who couldn't care less about my childhood. 


Questions of “what am I doing with my life?” and

“am I a waste?” 

ponder in the back of my head as I lay restless.


All of a sudden “live with no regrets” and 

“make sure to follow your deepest dreams”

whispers my grandpa, as he slowly takes his last breath and releases my hand,


then what seems like a blink of an eye “good morning beautiful” and

“come here”

mumbles my love as I roll over to receive a kiss with a hint morning breathe…


And “Mommy look what I can do!” soon turns into

“Mom, please don’t kill me…” 

as my newly licensed daughter breaks the news of her first car crash.


“Please remember what I told you” and

“tell the kids I love them” 

he replies as a tear rolls down the blue eyes I once fell in love with 30 years ago


“I need you” and 

“please don't leave me here alone” 

I gently murmur into the ear of the man that once held me.


“I miss him like hell” and

“I can’t get through this”

I think to myself as the rest of the family and I kneel silently at the alter. 


“I love you” and

“follow your dreams baby”

I mouth to my graying daughter, while she kisses my hand as I once did to my grandfather many years ago.