More creative writing by me. Written in 2003. Somewhat autobiographical.
About a Girl
by S. Bednarz, 2003
In many ways I have forgotten her. Don’t really remember what she looked like, how she dressed, if she sang, even what her voice sounded like. I suppose this is partly on purpose, partly due to age, partly due to natural progression of time and how it affects your memory. I am not really certain. I do know there are times when she is right here with me. Clear as day. Almost as if I could smell her. Sometimes she is happy. Other times not. Sometimes she scares me. Other times I am proud of her. And still other times she amuses me.
Funny how that is. Some people remember their past and they remember themselves as part of the big picture. They remember other people. Other places. Places they went and saw. Things they touched. Not me. Not her. We just remember us. No one around us. No one playing with us. No one loving us. Isn’t that odd? Perhaps it speaks more to her self esteem and psyche than it does the memory.
I can see her even now standing in the school yard of her elementary school. Observing. There is a large group of children huddled in a circle. I think they are decided on playing dodge ball. Its a grey day. Feels as though it will start raining any minute. She is cold. Her clothes, though clean, are slightly mismatched and don’t fit well. She wants to hide. Unlike the rest of the children she is not part of the group, not in the circle. She is not exactly outside the circle but it is obvious she is not part of it. It is not clear if this is her doing or that of her peers. She appears suspicious, worried, waiting for something ominous.
I can feel her now. I can almost taste that feeling of fear. Of expecting to be forgotten from the game. To be left out. To be either too fat, or too slow, or too afraid or too quiet to play. She still feels like that today. The games she plays have changed but the feelings have not.
I remember a doctor once told her that he worried she might have a split personality. That there might be two personalities (or more!) inside her. She laughed. Loud. What an idiot he was. Where did he get his medical degree? If he only knew.
Sure there were two personalities. More in fact. Had to be. How else could she survive? Be happy when Dad is home. He likes people smiling. Show your true feelings when you are alone. No one wants to see or hear them. Be smart when the teachers are around. They are proud of you. Be fat and ugly and fade to the background when your sister is around. She is the one who is to shine the brightest. Be strong and confident when you are surrounded by those weaker or needier. You are their protector. Yes, there are lots of personalities. Pick the mood, time and place. We can show you. Imagine a man selling popcorn in a baseball stadium. Only instead of yelling "POPCORN! Get your popcorn here!", he is screaming "PERSONALITIES! Pick your personality here.!"
Some would think this a mental defect. Something to be worried about. Something that needed treatment. Others would realize it was a natural adaptation to the surroundings she grew up in. A marvel of her mind. A miracle. Survival of the fittest. Charles Darwin would be proud.
Maybe she should have been an actor. Her creative background. Her writing style. Her passion and fire. Could have been an actor. But was too afraid. Don’t like people looking at her.
Really. There are probably only two personalities. Since she is a Gemini (the Twins) that is okay. There are supposed to be.
I wonder at what point in her life it was decided she should become an unwed mother. I wonder if as she ran around that dusty playground, or sat alone on a ledge, a greater force plotted the rest of her life. I wonder if that power decided that to survive the playground she needed to endure the worst pain of her life by giving birth at the age of eighteen and then placing her child for adoption.
More importantly, I wonder if there are other girls like her right now. Standing alone, outside the group, in a school yard. Waiting. Waiting to end up pregnant and alone.