by Sophie Hammond
Trust me, he says. Like it’s that easy.
The funny thing is, for him trust isn’t easy at all. He always has to be the one in charge, the one keeping the blindfold wrapped around my eyes, the one arranging my hair so that it falls in rough choking silk across my mouth and nose. If I ever offered to do it the other way around—to blindfold him, to hold him steady for the unforgiving gaze of the camera—he’d panic. He wouldn’t protest, but his eyes would go wide and desperate and his knuckles would clench white around the steady base of the tripod.
So I don’t offer. Instead I stare blindly, through layers of hair and crêpe, as he soothes me like I need it. His slow, patronizing voice is perhaps the very opposite of soothing. It sets off itches beneath my skin, shuddering waves of goose pimples, and my stomach clenches. Far more soothing is the anger, dark and hot, which pulses through me like a second heartbeat. This he cannot control, no matter how much he wants to.
Sophie Hammond is sixteen years old and a senior in high school. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Moledro Magazine and the 2016 Navigating the Maze teen poetry anthology. She is an alumna of the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio and has read on a teen writers’ panel at the Bay Area Book Festival. You can find her on Twitter @SophieCHammond.