“I’m sorry. We cannot accept this piece. Have a good day.” Those words, along with the laughter of people around me, cut into my heart like daggers. I guess that’s part of why I am who I am today.
My mother had tried to make me feel better. I don’t really know how what she said, she thought would help.
“Lionne, don’t let them get to you! Get em’ in the side!” She’d say. “And if you care so much, then stop trying!” She’d say. I still remember the feel of tears sliding down my face.
Now, I’ll bet you’re wondering if all the bullying has made me tough. Well, it hasn’t. I much as I wish it has, it hasn’t. That’s just not how it works. As time goes on, I get more and more self-aware. It’s hard to just smile and bear it. So hard, in fact, that I can’t remember what it feels like to smile. Even while screaming the answers to Jeopardy!, I’m not smiling.
Even with Dess, I’m not smiling. In fact, even when I was with my mom, I didn’t smile. But then again, did she ever smile to me? Now that I think about it, did she ever even say that she cared about me? While some mothers constantly remind their children of their love, did mine even once say she was proud of me? The truth is, I can’t remember any of that love and affection.
One by one, everyone I care about won’t care about me back, I guess... These thoughts spill from my head like the tears that had been spilling from my eyes moments ago. I slump to the ground, hands holding my head. My chest heaves. My breathing is shallow. I can tell that there are no tears left to shed, by the way, my eyes are dry. From the door, I hear Dess’ petite mew.
My hand lifts on its own accord, opening the door for Dess. He jumps onto me, kneading his paws into my chest. I look down and give a sweet look. Dess opens his mouth and yawns, small, pink tongue lolling. He looks at me innocently, eyes wide as he starts to like up my last tears. I make a small, grunt-like noise, petting his head softly.
“Lionne? Are you home?” Aunt Grace. I clear my throat.
“Yes, ma’am.” I croak. Aunt Grace lets nothing but ‘Yes ma’am’ and ‘No ma’am’ slide. She walks in and sits by my side, placing a hand on my shoulder. I lean against her side, hair getting caught in her sweater. I ignore it for the moment. Aunt Grace pats my head softly.
Author Notes: Enjoy!