by Miriam Arce
When I tell you the story about how I lost my old pair of leather gloves, I hope you understand that it is not about the gloves.
When I tell you how angry I got, how I looked for them everywhere, and how I spent an entire night crying, please understand that it is not about the gloves.
It’s not about the fact that I spent years taking care of them, spending every hour, every minute, every second, thinking about them. It’s not about the smile on my mother’s face the day she gave them to me because she knew I was responsible enough to take care of them. It’s not even about how angry she will be when she finds out I lost them.
It’s not about the winter or how cold my hands are.
It’s not about how tired I was the day I lost them. It’s not about how I was too busy helping you carry some boxes that I hardly thought about the gloves. It is not about how you were yelling at me to hurry, to get into the car, and hurry, just hurry. It’s not about the fact that I knew they could fall. They were barely hanging from my pocket; I knew they could fall, but it is not about that.
It’s not about the gloves.
It is about how I knew they had fallen, but I didn’t tell you to stop the car because I was too afraid. It’s about how I knew they were gone, but I sat paralyzed in my seat. It’s about how I stayed in silence the whole trip, looking outside the window, wishing we could go back. It’s about how much I regret saying nothing.
It’s about the urge I felt to step outside the car and run in the middle of the snowy night until I found my gloves. It’s about how that thought never faded away but only got stronger the farther we went. It’s about how I couldn’t listen to your voice telling me everything was going to be okay but only to the voice in my head telling me the gloves were gone. It’s about how that voice changes every day, but it never goes away.
It’s not about buying another pair tomorrow or borrowing my sister’s gloves. It’s about dreams and how I cannot control mine. It’s about nightmares and how often they control me. It’s about the reason I cannot look you in the eyes when you talk to me—the same reason why I keep secrets from you. It’s about how I stutter when I meet a stranger. It’s about how I find comfort in loneliness.
It’s about how I cannot sleep at night. It’s the tears I take to bed and the screams that I wake up with—the ghosts that walk beside me.
It’s about how unable I am to ask you for help. It’s about moments that never happened but felt so real. It’s about the walls I build around me. It’s about how I see them getting closer, but I don’t stop them. It’s about all the memories I could never forget and all the smiles you’ve forced me to fake.
So I hope that when you hear the story of my leather gloves, when you see me desperately trying to find them—behind the couch, in the car, underneath my bed—when you hug me but I don’t hug you back, when you see me desperately crying, I hope you understand.
It was never about the gloves.
Miriam Arce is an international student from Mexico who is currently in the BYU media arts program, seeking a career in screenwriting. She is also pursuing a minor in creative writing, looking to expand her storytelling work through short stories.