A Light Difference

Diversity is a difference that should be celebrated!
(short story)

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1. Diversity

In the dark depths of the universe, a bright yellow spark danced around in a sad daze. Surrounding him were white stars, lighting the sky alight with a laser flame.

But he was small and helpless, a little yellow creature, a being named Listle.

He was so different to the others in the atmosphere. He was small, and he prayed for his religion, and he wore the ‘wrong’ electrons. He had the wrong everything it seemed. Listle didn’t light up the sky with an eternal light, or have designer electrons, and a tall slender lightsaber.

Different, different, different.

He was sat in Chloraton, his hatchet, praying with his head bowed. Listle had strong religious views, and he was pushed from the others because of that difference. He was teased and laughed at, poked and prodded, until he had no yellow glow left at all.

But 2 days later, an explosion in the universe, shook the habitats and threw all of the stars and Listle down to earth, suspended in the clouds, tangled up in the gateways that separated land from sky. And what he saw down on Earth was something he knew only too well…

London- 2012

Hawkers School, Westminster

Hasita Basnaan walked through the school corridor, with her head hung low; avoiding everyone’s eyes as they mockingly took in the beautiful coral headdress her mother had tied onto her black hair this morning. She self-consciously ran her finger over her Tikka, a little azure jewel hanging between her eyebrows from her hair. At her old primary school, she was one of many Muslims and they were all the same. But at Hawkers School in London, being in Year 8 was difficult.

Hasita didn’t understand why they were discriminating her so badly. They took one look at the hue of her skin, and the way that she dressed and they mocked and screeched, singled her out before they even knew her. But they didn’t personally make comments, just sighed and shrugged as though…

As though…they had to tolerate her being there.

At break, she slipped into the loo, unnoticed, like a shadow drifting around school seamlessly behind people, overlooking people’s joy- while she had none. She prayed in the hatchet of the loo, looking up to the sky…

Listle.

He hadn’t been able to resist. He’d wretched at the gates separating land from sky, watching her differences being mocked and laughed at. He knew too well what that felt like. The minion had lost his yellow glow; he was just a dull light grey, another shadow in the world. Listle had become old and frail, and the yellow glow had been his Difference glowing inside. But now, the stars had mocked him so much, he was nothing but a shade of grey in another grey concrete toilet.

He had had to come down.

Listle had visited Hasita before, but only through her mind.

“We’re going to show them what we’re made of. I need my glow, you need to keep yours. You can’t just let people TOLERATE you being different any longer. You need to CELEBRATE IT.” Listle was wise after years in the sky, and now his voice cracked with a burning passion, a little red glow where his heart was.

“Are you in?” He pushed.

Hasita smiled shyly.

“I’m in. But believe me; nobody is going to celebrate me. I’m just different, diverse, in a different dimension like you used to be. But, let’s try.”

She smiled a sad smile, as though she knew what was coming, as though she thought she was going to be pushed to the side again. But Listle flew over the cubicle, the red glow in his heart still pumping with a mixture of anger and passion to do his duty.

Listle flew into the hall where everyone was sat in the centre of assembly. Teacher’s heads spun round in a daze as he settled on the podium, growing to the size of a chimpanzee, beckoning Hasita into the hall.

Hasita gripped the microphone with two hands, slowly looking at Listle in the corner for comfort. Now he was so strong and so much bigger, so much greater, she had courage.

“I know it’s not every day you see me up here. But, I need to say something important.”

Listle’s red glow of passion grew bigger, and a green spot appeared next to it, the Pride.

“So,” Hasita continued, “I just wanted to say- you don’t have to tolerate me being different. Just because you see me as the black sheep in a flock of white ones, or a white sheep in a flock of black…it doesn’t matter. If we were all the same, nobody would know who we were. Nobody would have different eyes, or different hair. We’d all be boring, like robots.”

She stopped to breathe.

“And robots, aren’t good, that’s what I’m trying to say. If we’re all different, nobody would be singled out. I’m no different on the inside to you, I eat, I drink, I breathe and I sleep. I just have different views about things, and worship different people. And perhaps I don’t wear the right Gucci jeans or have the right Louis Vuitton bag.  And maybe Listle doesn’t have the correct electrons or the correct lightsaber like the other stars up in the sky.”

Biting her lip, she carried on, like a boulder on the run.

“So, why does it matter to you, if I wear a headdress and a Tikka on my head? Or have a darker skin tone, and a different accent and a different religious view from yours? Difference makes the world go round; being the same certainly doesn’t. And, if we can celebrate it, then that’s amazing.”

Slowly, but surely, applause began to echo around the hall and a heavenly song began to be heard from miles around. Millions of multi-coloured wings flapped from the skies, clapping with joy. And when Hasita looked over to Listle, she saw his bright yellow glow, his Difference restored. And everybody celebrated.

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