She sat at her desk, typing away on her two year old laptop which
wasn’t really working properly anymore. An old nightgown once worn by
her step mom was all that adorned her, and her feet were cold. In
between, she would blow herself warm with the hairdryer. Funny thing.
They hadn’t turned on the ovens yet. It was the middle of June and icy
She wasn’t the most beautiful girl.
Behind her, a
mattress lay on the floor, covered by an old blanket wrapped in little
white hearts. On her blue pillow, a colourful cat from a magnificent
Swedish children’s cartoon bounced with joy. She slept each night,
hugging a stuffed bunny, a stuffed fox or
simply both. A few more animals watched over her at all times. There
were images etched onto their black, beady eyes, but they had sworn her
loyal silence. So they kept their promises.
her hair stood on end or it frizzled. Some of it was threatening to
turn grey, and ever since early high school she had been dying it with
henna to add a hue of red. Once in a time, she had been born with a few
black wisps, and then she had grown light brownish curls with a washed
out summer evening red. Later on it grew longer. At some point she had
been asked to cut it short, but she refused and refused. Only her mother never asked. And she brushed that
hair for the little girl every morning.
While she sat
at her desk now, she
didn’t remember how the other children had called her ugly, smelly,
strange. She didn’t remember the
words of her step father every evening at dinner, where he hurled the
frustrations of his own broken life at skin not of his kin. Many years later,
she would come to realize that all that remained of this was a hollow,
acidic taste. But she could not bring herself to be bitter.
She didn’t feel about it anymore.
one takes all the qualities available, and all the facts and snippets
that rule the world so fiercely and decide who gets to take a round in
the light and shine even a little for the smallest of times, she wasn’t
counted. She wasn’t counted in photos, videos, snapshots of
interaction, communication, meetings taking place anywhere. Nobody remembered how she came and went. She stopped
going to school dances because nobody would dance with her.
There were things she stopped crying about and never found the warmth to feel for again.
some point, she only cried for those who really loved her. It was effortful, and it gave her so much.
wasn’t the most beautiful girl. Her smile was
often anxious and lingering silently in a corner of her mouth, and
shadowing her somewhat crooked face. The eyes too big, too sad. She hid an entire world behind
wild, flowing hair. Often she could only cough or make hasty sounds if
she was to talk. The thoughts she felt didn’t pierce. She knew the
shell was restricting the entry, but in her misgiving, she had no way
Because of her cold hands, as well as her feet,
people would be wary of coming close. She understood this, and she
understood a thousand other things. Breaking from habit, she let the
surface slide for what came next, and then she put on disturbing masks, all the same, to
confuse, belittle and betray the common. They thought her to be
serious, and she thought she had to be what they expected, but
it never passed for more than an empty
joke. This she knew so very well.
She cast off the raven feathers, but kept the silvery moon.
then she stepped into her pink dress,
cut just above the knees, with half long arms, white buttons and white
threads, and a big white belt. Caught somewhere between the 70’s and
the 80’s, she wondered how her step mother had looked in this, and knew
truly how little that woman had been considered beautiful by nature,
and how much she had really been.