Yelling at trees is a serial story that is written from the perspective of a fictitious amateur female blogger, Kelsey Whitney, and is published through Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads, and this blog.

Yelling at trees (episode 2)

First of all, I’d like to start off by saying that when I’d called my sister a psychologist in my previous post, what I’d meant to write was “psychologist”—to show that she wasn’t ever one, but has only gone about parading herself as one.

And secondly, I think I’d kind of have to offer an apology to my great-aunt Maggie, who went around telling all her neighbors that her great-niece had “finally got her doctorate,” as if Sue, my sister, had ever tried at it. And so, sorry to Aunt Maggie, and sorry to Sue, ’cause I didn’t have to be as sarcastic as I was. So, sorry Sue. You and Rodger have been so helpful to me during this “transition,” as you call it; so much so, that I don’t have any reason for letting out my bitterness on you, or my anger, and grief, so that you can be the “cleaning woman for my emotions.”

Today has been hard for me. Everything seemed to remind me of Ben, and I’ve just spent four hours going through old photos: picking through old printed albums, and swiping back and forth through my cell phone galleries, zooming in on his face to see all the details, to keep him in my mind, if I can’t keep him anywhere else, and kicking myself for ever deleting a single photo.

A few months ago, not thinking anything of it, I’d gone through my phone, trying to save space, deleting any photo of myself, or of us, in which my hair wasn’t quite perfect, or if my smile seemed not full enough—but now, I’m longing for those photos I’d “lost.”

It’s funny, you can get rid of something as garbage, one day, and then a few days later, those things you’d “lost” can become your most treasured possessions, that you can never get back. I ran through the battery on my phone looking at all those photos today, and I’d left my charger at work: so Sue had to drive up to invite me over for dinner, instead of calling.

“Have you ate yet?” she asked me.

“Since when,” I answered.

“Since today, I hope,” she yelled from the other room, as she was packing up my things, so I could “stay for a couple days.”

No, I hadn’t, and I told her that.

“Well, what have you been doing?”

“Looking at photos… till my phone turned itself off.”

That’s why you weren’t answering,” she said, coming out of the room with my suitcase, over-packed. “It makes sense now… I thought you were mad at me.”

I tried to smile at her, but that part of myself doesn’t seem to have come back to me yet. “I’ll be mad at you when you need it,” I said, “but no, I ain’t mad.”

And now I’m over at her house, tucked into the guest bed, on my laptop, talking to you, my group of internet strangers.

Added: Sue just came to the door in her pjs, ones with catfish printed on ’em, saying that mom and dad want me to start getting together a list of Ben’s relatives that we want for the funeral. “They’ll take care of our side, and all the details. You don’t have to worry about a thing—you just show up.” she said. Which is nice of them all to be doing so much for me, for Ben really, and at that moment was the closest, so far, that I’ve come to giving a smile. I could feel it on the corners of my mouth; and though I didn’t smile, it’s good to know that I might be able to someday. And that maybe after all of this that’s happened, there might be some sort of normalcy that might return, like the slow drips of summer rain, to make sure that everything doesn’t dry up and whither away forever.

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