What I see is not what I look at, but what I saw years ago. What I felt years ago. What I heard years ago. That is what I see now, what I feel now, what I hear now. What is currently before me, I understand more because of my past than I do because of the present. My eyes. Not mine really. But the eyes that were given to me by my mother and father, my teachers, my friends. My eyes saw what they showed me. My ears heard what they told me. And my heart felt every single thing. Everything. Even though I kept smiling and pretending that I was fine with it all. Who I am now is still who I was before, crying in my green shorts after school. Crying in the bath tub until my head hurt. Crying behind my father’s back. Crying in my mother’s lap. Smiling with my classmates at school, my coworkers, and the people I live with. Somehow conveying the message that I am happy. Who I am now is who I was before; lonely and lost, wanting to be beautiful. Wanting to be a good singer. Staring at myself in the mirror and staring at what I am being told is acceptable. Only half believing that what I am being told is not true. The little girl inside me, being laughed at, being teased. Smiling at them, pretending she is fine. She never leaves me. I never leave her. I don’t think any of us can leave. We are attached to each other by something neither of us know. I thought I had laid her to rest when I placed flowers on her tombstone, but it turns out she walked right out of the graveyard with me. I am my own ghost.