I remember her.
Looking at the pictures from my childhood, around nine years ago. She was all alone, sitting in the yard, holding her small, pink backpack, as if it was her armor against all these new faces. The first day, of course, did not seem easy for her. While the kids were running all around, laughing, playing, talking, she was sitting there. Simply wandering around. By herself. I remember seeing trickles of tears running down her cheeks.
This world seemed to be a scary place for her. Left all by herself in this new place called “school.” She slowly learned how to survive though.
She realized that they taught her all the different academic skills and knowledge, but they never really taught her what life meant. They never really taught her about what friendship meant, how to deal with problems, and how to handle the sorrow of life. They never taught her how to live with people or how to expect the disappointment in the end, before the unnecessary happiness entered her heart. They instead, taught her the ironic part of society: they told her you can be anything you want, as long as it is acceptable.
Step by step, year after year, she eventually encountered the answers to her questions. She learned how to live without people through wistful experience. While growing up, life constantly reminded her that people never really stayed in her life no matter how many times they promised. And as she grew up it became easier to lose friends and harder to see an enduring relationship.
Through each person whom she thought would stay but suddenly slipped away from her life. Through those who let her down and battered the harsh truth that the happiness which they gave her never wears. Through this, her vulnerable self started to lose hope. Her soul started to have less of herself and more of her fear.
Even after putting her into hell, life did not stop. It not only showed her how people leave, but also how people kill, hurt, and destroy, in the name of peace and freedom. For stupid reasons, there was blood in the streets, all because of human greed. The world did not seem to make sense to her; no one wants to get hurt, but everyone thrives by hurting others.
When she finally learned that the only people who stuck around throughout this long journey were her family, life decided to separate them. War took her brother away, took her home away, and sent her in a completely different destination. Yet, she realized that distances did not matter in a family.
Slowly she started to fade away to her own world. She did not let anyone get too close, she did not say much. She learned to keep the smile on her face despite all the wounds inside. She listened, observed, but maintained her silence. What was the point anyway? She buried it all and locked it deep inside. Nothing was in her mind, besides a void and the everyday races. She became boring!
I always told her that in the end things will get better. But that is what we all say, she thought.
As time passed she started to fade away.
As time passed I started to fade away.
Tala Bagh is the staff reporter of The Woodstocker
Edited by Victoria Lee