A knife flies by my head and lands into the board behind me. Thud. I flinch. He tells me not to do that but I can’t help it. I’ve told him before and I’ll tell him again, I can’t not get scared when a sharp object is thrown at my head. Nevertheless this is what I asked for.
He rears up and the knife leaves his hand. As it travels through the air I feel that all too familiar sense of dread as it sails toward me. End over end it travels, reminding me of why I’m here, how I got to this specific place. They say your life flashes before your eyes right before you die and every time a knife is thrown, I understand where the expression comes from although it isn’t every moment from my life that I see.
I’m not reminded of the time I was kicked out of my house, cursing at my father for cheating on my mom, the tears in my eyes stinging the cuts on my face, given to me by my father’s girlfriend, as I race farther and farther from the house. I am not reminded how I felt when I found out I was pregnant with twins, nor am I reminded of the pain of losing both of them in a miscarriage. I’m not reminded about the time I was in the rain, living under a cardboard box. I’m not reminded of how I pickpocketed for a living in order to buy food for myself. It’s not meeting this mysterious man, who decided to give me a chance and let me be his assistant for minimum wage, no it wasn’t that either.
The one thing that does come to mind is the day I fell in love. The summer after my junior year in high school, sitting in a meadow, watching the wind breeze through the grass. It all seemed so simple back then. If I had only known what the world was going to throw at me, at least I could have been prepared. He was lying down next to me, making me promises I believed at the time. He would tell me stories of how we’d take the world by storm, with my beauty and his music. There wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle. The sun shining down on us and the world at our fingertips.
I close my eyes and am brought back to the sensations of that beautiful day, the most peaceful day, as the knife comes ever closer until eventually. Thud.
And I flinch.