Dying in Seattle by Rae Rose

Icy tears fall from the heavens; they melt and mingle with my own.   The early morning seems devoid of life, so desolate and alone.  Here I lay staring into a star filled sky.

Tonight is a night magically alight with stars and snow.  This winter morning is strangely surreal, wonderfully beautiful.  From where I lay a cloud of misted breath rises to mingle with icy white snow.

In our evergreen city we are usually perpetually, soggy, damp, and gray.  We seem forever drenched in this damp, drizzly rain.  It is rare for a truly hot stretch of summer days. Or the true snow that blankets the grayness in the purest pristine white.

Of all the sights to be my last, this blanket of white is by far the most beautiful.  It is so cold, I can imagine laying here forever frozen in time.  Perhaps everything in Seattle will freeze. And perhaps in that frozen moment we would be forever connected.  We could break free from Seattle’s constant distant state of disconnect.

What if the world was to continue after the rain washed away this frozen world?  Would there be any to notice my passing?  Would there be anyone in this cold drizzly grayness to mourn my loss?  Will they come to remember me in death, as they forgot me in life?  Maybe I could become the girl who washed away with the winter snow.

I am a foster child in Washington’s receiving care. I doubt if anybody ever noticed when I was physically there.  The Washington Foster homes seemed always filled with violence and lacking with care.  It was safer to sleep here in the park at night, alone under a snow filled sky.

How many times had I come to this park to hide?  I was always looking to find safety from those who preyed on us the unprotected and unwanted.  Hood rats, drug dealers, and druggies, all of us kids unwanted, the same as me.  Gangs ran rampant flying their color, considering us forced to live here, their territory. We became easy prey, victims to their violent rage.

In retrospect, it seems a nightmare, to cruel to be true. Gangsters all dressed in black with bandanas or masks. They crawled through our windows armed with guns and knives.

The sickening sound of metal against metal as our only exit was locked.  The family the State placed us with and the police that never came. To me they were both as guilty as the gang members who broke through our locked window.

At what point did we stop calling the police, because they never came?  At what point did we stop trying to escape?  I no longer remember.

I was a bit luckier than the rest. Lucky because one of the gang members took an interest in me.   Perhaps he also looked to escape.  For whatever reason it was that he protected me, I am forever grateful.

We would walk together past the hermits’ house across the street from the nightmare home. We walked past the home owners pretending not to hear or see, their shades drawn tight.  We never spoke a word. Hand in hand, we walked silently under the star filled night sky.

Together it seemed we crossed a magical line where we left the harsh inner city life behind.  Entering Kimball’s playground, we climbed to the tallest slide.  There we sat side by side, leaving the violence and pain behind.

We were a world away, but still too close to feel safe.  We sat there until early morning drinking the Old English beer wrapped in paper bags.  We sat and talked of dreams kids like us were never supposed to have.

We spoke of our pain, the memories that haunted us.  You told me of the father who beat you.  The regret from failed attempts to protect your mother and baby brother.   You showed me the physical scars, as you laughed away the emotional wounds still too raw to heal.

I told you of my mother who abandoned me, and the father who tried to kill me.  The wounds of us unwanted children never meant to be.  The words never meant to be spoken brought to light.

I don’t know when this feeling of love began to blossom.  I just knew next to you, I for once did not feel so alone.  Warmth born of your kindness began to bloom inside my frozen heart.  Dreams of a future no longer seemed so far out of my reach.

Walking on air, I became oblivious to the world that enshrouded us.  I forgot a fundamental truth. Kids like us were never meant to live happily ever after.

Under a gray sky, I became disillusioned by the warmth of another person.  The sunshine that had permeated my damp drizzly existence was never mine to begin with.

The case manager in charge of my C.P.S case moved me to a small suburb in Kent.  Before I realized it I was in a new receiving home under a new set of rules; victim to a new gang’s colors.

By the time I begged and stole enough money to get back to Seattle, you were already gone…

An opposing gang laid a trap.  They jumped your brother as he headed home from Franklin H.S.  They called you as they beat him; all you could hear were your brother’s cries.  You ran to protect him, running straight into their trap.

Your baby brother tried to scream, to beg you to run.  The rival gang member was standing behind your brother, a shotgun aimed at your heart.  His cries came unheard, too late.  Two shots to your chest at point blank range.

Your blood washed away by the Seattle rain.  Your brothers’ screams lost in the chaos that ensued.  Another life lost, not even worthy of a paragraph in the Seattle morning news.

Your memory began to fade leaving only the most bitter and starkest of colds inside my heart.  When the first snow began to flutter in the sky, it seemed to calm me.  The snow seemed to call to me, entrancing me to die.

I cut each vein in my wrist wishing to bleed out every last feeling.  Is there a god?  If a god exist, will this god hear my first and last plea?  “Please let this cold numb the pain, and freeze this never ending flow of tears.”

I cannot help, but be struck by our own helplessness.  Even though we were born without love or protection; somehow we had found love in each the other.  Two lonely souls, lost in this gray existence, we had been drawn one to the other.

Unfortunately, we were born into these wars not our own, not of our making, forced to fight.  We had unwittingly become both victim and weapon.  You and I, pawns manipulated and used to create chaos and pain.

Our purpose became nothing more than fuel to feed the fire.  In the end malice and manipulation gave way to an endless flow of blood, tears, and broken dreams.

As my breath freezes against this moonless night, it seems the icy snow is reaching down to embrace me.  The stars call to me.  I find myself helpless to do nothing, but reach back.  Maybe someday we will become the stars to blaze bright in the night sky.  I take my final breath, now I find peace in death.

rebecca My name is Rae Rose and I live in the Pacific Northwest. I have always, always loved stories. I love writing, reading, listening and imaging the words coming to life. My youth was not the happiest and it is not an exaggeration when I say stories saved me more than once.

Every story I tell carries a seed of truth. Mine and of those who were not able to survive. Every story is special and personal to my heart. It is my hope that you enjoy the stories and find comfort, love, and laughter in my words.

*Rae Rose (Paiute, Mayan, Japanese) is a writer based in the Northwest. Follow her @Rae_Rose7

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