Beyond the Blank Page

My Journey to Telling the Untold

My Definition of You

This is the first short story that I wrote for Camp NaNoWriMo:

 

 

I look into your face, so full of sorrow and pain, and I wonder what happened to you to make you so jaded. Where did you come from? Who hurt you enough to have such an impact on the person that you became? And then I wonder the most important question of all – is there any way for you to get back to the person that you were meant to be?

You smile, and to the world, it may appear real. I know you better than that, though. The creases of your eyes and the lack of those tiny dimples that appear when you’re truly happy, give you away. The way that your green eyes don’t sparkle, but instead appear as a faded brown hidden in darkness, show your true feelings.

I wonder to myself who this girl really is, as a tear begins to build in my eye. I want to know what makes her tick, yet at the same time I want to forget her completely. I can’t seem to stop staring, though, and so I continue to analyze her.

I see the scars on her arms – faded and a light pink, almost the same color as the rest of her skin, but noticeable to anyone looking for it. I wish that I didn’t have an eye for such things, but I do, and my heart breaks for her. Her arms are wrapped around her stomach, an awkward attempt at hiding the weight that she truly believes she carries too much of. She is of an average size, but her body language suggests that she spent years hearing about how overweight she was. I want to tell her that she is beautiful just the way she is, but the words simply will not come.

Her hair hangs around her face; a failed attempt to hide the face that she has grown up believing was plain and ugly. Her lack of confidence surrounds her as if it were a physical entity. As I look deeper, I can see the signs of emotional abuse written clearly all over her. She has been abandoned and told that she was not worthy. She has been exposed to words that no girl should ever hear about herself. She has been unloved and has come to the conclusion that she is therefore unlovable.

I look deep into her eyes and tears begin to stream down my face. I tell her that she is beautiful and that she always has been. I point at her body and tell her not to be ashamed. I give her a sad smile and apologize for all of the years that she was told that she was something that she is not and never was. I tell her how sorry I am that I ever believed such horrible things about her. When the sobs begin to choke me so much that I can barely speak, I stand up and give her a genuine smile.

“You are worthy and you are loveable,” I say, “and no one will ever be able to take that away from you again.”

With that, I set down the old photograph that I had been staring at and I turn to walk away. I glance back once, but I don’t go back. I catch my reflection in the mirror, the same familiar face I had been staring at, and I smile, knowing the answer to the most important question.

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