forgotten girls

i’m 55 years old, and a writer, and my teenage years have been over for a long time. it’s hard to remember.

i sit in front of my computer and stare through my inadequate words, and watch Val sink into the mud of a shotgun wedding, and Brenda step into a locked stairwell in a psychiatric hospital, her face flat and bloated. and, as i write, the remembering morphs into distinct, separate images.

Val wears a toga fashioned out of a bed sheet at the Malakwa Motel, circa 1980.

Brenda clutches a red ruffled umbrella in the downtown Vancouver rain, circa 1984.

the remembering is unpleasant, it replays over and over. and it occurs to me that i abandoned these girls for no reason except living my own life, in my own way. away from that small town. and they escaped, in different ways. marriage. drugs and alcohol, and a sharp kitchen knife.

forgotten girls.