it was her last day. they were moving and school was over. It was a beautiful crisp sunny day.
she had known them for 6 years, day in day out, minus holidays. she had envied their sense of belonging, their roots seeped in a long history of culture and camaraderie.
she had tried to bridge the gap to become one of them. had told elaborate tales to capture their interest and friendship, to no avail. she knew it was her fault, her mother had told her so and now there was evidence…everywhere.
she was unwanted
her family did not like her, there were only recriminations to be seen not heard, admonishments to listen to her mother. the sugar cane switch frequently pointed out, at her grandmother’s house. her aunt had scrubbed her skin almost raw, as if trying to remove the stain of darkness. more evidence.
frowns greeted her everywhere.
there were no smiles.
she wanted to belong somewhere.
and now it was over, her family had moved an hour away by train and bus. she would never see them again, and although they had never truly included her, she was still theirs and they were hers. she had her first crushes on the italian, polish and german handsome boys in her class. the girls, the only ones she had to measure her beauty next too, the only ones to model what ‘being a girl’ was about, and even if she felt lacking they had been her ‘siblings’ for six years…
and as they all walked to the corner they had always walked too after school, calling out goodbyes, and ‘I’ll call you later’…
she looked up at them
her heart in her throat, an ocean of tears in her eyes, she realized this was goodbye. they were staying in their tight knit community and she was off to new adventures. the small group walking with her had seen her start to decimate the ties that bound her. she was becoming something bold and somewhat terrifying.
she had run away, now dressed differently, constantly showing up at school with tight jeans and candie’s instead of their required uniform.
who was this girl.
nevertheless, paul walked over and hugged her. it’s okay, he murmured, we’ll see each other again.
dark rivulets of tears rolled down her face, she knew better.
she knew they would never see each other again and she was right. she hadn’t thought of them in a long time.
but she still loved them. and always would.
“nigger’ ‘spic’ ‘witch’ … trailed after her as she walked away alone. attached to her persona. she had accepted the monikers, she had deserved them.
her steps slow and heavy she boarded the ‘m’ train and like everything before and after, she shoved the painful emotions deep inside, never to speak of them again.
until this moment.
she was free.
so yes, i do understand what it feels like to be an ‘outsider’, different. I AM MAGNIFICENT, you ARE MAGNIFICENT. we are not our ‘stories’, we are that which made us, we are a divine spark, we got this, we RISE together. let’s talk, tell me what’s trapped inside of you. i can’t fix it for you, but i can hold your hand while you explore the resplendent being you truly are sans the stories and the labels.