It was a journey of self-discovery. The mistakes and bad memories were accelerating the bricking up of all joy, happy times and any iota of positivity she had. Mirrors shouted all her faults and never mentioned her pretty smile, nor her sharp mind, or her gorgeous blue eyes that had lost their sparkle.
She didn’t need any help in feeling worse, but her mother was more than willing to offer free criticism. Compared to her sister, there was no reason that she should have been born. Though surrounded by people she felt alone and would rather have been.
Arms folded under her head a tear sneaked out and rolled onto her desk. She shot upright and scrubbed her eyes – she could not show them weakness. She could not give them more reason to laugh. Her feelings were ridiculous and didn’t matter – “Stop that crying, you’re being silly,” her mother had always told her. These were the things she could remember.
The last time she laughed or had fun, or her favourite things to do, or her best achievements were all blanks. Had she ever? Did she know? Had she ever achieved anything? Failings? Now that was a list that she could recite.
It took chance words – or were they – to change her life.
“You are so clever. We should all do it your way,” said a fellow student of her work.
After much blushing and swallowing to not rebut the compliment she noticed the nodding heads of the others in her senior class. This got her to thinking. Then another serendipitous occurrence, a book the librarian recommended for her pushed the boulder of thought over the cliff and with rapid speed – although not down-hill – she explored her mind.
She cried. Not out of pity, but rather to experience her feelings and understand them.
“That was stupid. You could have hurt your sister,” her mother shouted as her sibling pulled a face behind her.
“No mom,” she challenged for the first time in her life. “It wasn’t stupid. I pushed her away from standing on that bee.” She never added who’s benefit it was for.
by Debbie Gravett © 2021.01.06
FFFC: Flash Fiction Challenge #98
Image by Google Photo Frame