Third Eye

Lizzie Fasana

Clenching a pencil in his hands, my father begins to explain the size of my brain tumor. His fingers tremble as they trace the pencil’s lead, its bitten edges. His glazed eyes are transfixed on its exposed wood and its chipped, yellow paint.

“See this, Lizzie,” he says, pointing towards its rubber end, “it’s about the size of a pencil eraser. Just a tiny dot in the center of your mind.” He hesitates. “You’ll be fine.”

Unfamiliar wrinkles distort my father’s features. Furrowing his brow, he lets out a nervous chuckle. All hopeful memories of bedside prayers and doctor visits are smothered by the uncertainty in his voice.

Collapsing into himself, tears begin to fall. One by one, they trickle down his sunken cheeks and patter against the dining room table, like rain. My mind races for a way to combat the sound, but all words escape me. I feel myself grow mute and detached, as the sound of rain, outside and in, resonates through the foyer, echoes along the walls, and shakes the listless bones inside my body.

No words from an eight year old can ease my father’s mind. So, I hold my breath, allowing the stillness to eat him, polluting every inch of his being. I listen to the unbearable white-noise as it vibrates through our house, coating the table and chairs like dew and turning our flaxen walls gray.

“I’ll be fine,” I finally say. “I’ll be fine.”

Lizzie (Elizabeth) Fasana is a second semester student from Northern Virginia. She currently studies at Berklee College of Music and writes for the Berklee Today magazine. Along with a love for literature and philosophy, she enjoys composing and playing jazz as well. Much thanks to her professor, Jen Andrews, for being a continued inspiration and mentor. The brain tumor has stayed benign and resides in her pineal gland for future stories.
Featured Artwork: “Clover Flower Macro”. Wikimedia, 9 May 2017,