Losing Mona Lisa
The weeks after were almost like she had died; she hadn’t, not really, and the events leading up to it didn’t really seem like she was dying at all. If anything, my sister seemed to be more alive than ever before. Mona moved out a few weeks ago, and I have not seen her or heard much at all from her since it happened. I found myself clinging to her belongings that she left behind, growing upset if they were disturbed by anyone but me. I wore her long sweaters often and lit the candles she gave to me. Mangled wicks and uneven wax, they still reminded me of her and her personality traits.
I started seeing them in the world, her bits of passion, her flames. When her friends mistook me for her, they seemed numb- first so excited, and then not. After her disappearance, I became a sudden disappointment to anyone mutual in our former lives. Mutual friends became sore spots, Mona being one of the main points we even had in common. A small part of me wishes she hadn’t moved back to Rhode Island, but the bigger voice inside me that kept me sane during this time told me that she was always going to leave you, but she’ll always be there anyways. I knew it was true as I fumbled out an awkwardly folded note from the container of Positive Notes for Bad Days she made for me. “At least you’re not Ronn.”
Ronn was our brother aged between Mona and me. At the time she wrote this note, Ronn was being rather rude to our parents and gaining weight, so the note was relevant then. Since she left, I’ve actually become more acquainted with him, so I paid little mind to this note, though it did make me smile. I pulled another note. "The answer to life is to live it." I sighed. While she was living her life to the fullest and overflowing at that, I was at a standstill until further notice. No more notes, I decided. Music. Music will take your mind off of this.
Thus, my CD's slid into place, I began blasting early 2000's alternative rock music and fumbling at my guitar, humming along at a small volume until my large, empty room was filled with the sounds of Pearl Jam and Modest Mouse and a frustrated teenager until the aforementioned frustration melted away, along with the teenager, herself. The next thing I knew, my guitar was on the ground by the futon, and I was very late for my English final. Shit!
I hurriedly gathered my supplies and bolted out the door. "Bradly! Wait!" I stopped my neighbor dead in his tracks while running up the driveway, smiling weakly as I knew driving me to school with him was a bit of a burden when unexpected. "Please?" I pouted. He nodded toward the minivan door as a smirk crept across his face.
"You're lucky I'm in a good mood, Miss Macy," he said, walking around to the driver's side.
"I owe you one," I laughed. "Or a few. What's got you in a good mood?"
"You owe me more than a few! Now what are we going to do about that," he said, sarcastically moving his eyebrows in a suggestive manner. I rolled my eyes. "Actually, my cousin is coming to stay with us to go to Pitt. Cheaper to commute because he's from out of state."
"Ah, that's great." His cousin, Arthur, was from Washington. They were both introverted, but they tended to enjoy each others' company over a strangers, so I was pretty happy for Brad as well. "Are you excited?"
"You kidding?! You never play video games with me; I'll finally have a player two."
"Not true! We play Wii in my basement sometimes..." He laughed, as he meant video games where you shoot heads off of zombies or just random citizens for no reason. "Ronn is your P2 sometimes!"
"He only comes over for the food." This was sadly true as we had limited snacks and Brad was an only child with two working parents and a pantry full of goods for my brother to consume, using gaming as an excuse to stuff his face. He's better with indie games, less combat and graphics, more RNG and shameless 2-dimensional art. He dealt with Mona's absence by absorbing himself into live streams of games and trying to be one of the best in the world at speed-running through Super Meat Boy.
The ride to the school passes in a blip, as do my finals and my final goodbyes. I do not cry or care much at all, something alien to my emotions going on. My senses have been dehumanized. Days pass in moments. Days without thoughts of Mona were unimportant and erased from my mind. By midsummer, I had memorized every Positive Note for Bad Days, an entire Modest Mouse album, and two full Pearl Jam albums. Life was my bedroom, half empty, missing Mona's sheets and smells and clothes on the floor and makeup on the tables and notes scrawled across every pale surface, every journal and folder and binder filled with her thoughts and her work.
That's when I saw it- Edgar Allan Poe Complete Tales and Poems, hiding under the futon. I opened the cover.
This should keep you busy. Getting an EAP inspired tattoo as soon as I can. Maybe you could draw it for me?
Love and good vibes, Mona Lisa Novak."
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