Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time...

"Bailey poses exquisitely, a single damp tear trailing down her porcelain face, yet an elegant smile painted upon thin rosy lips."

"The raucous caw of the ashy bird resounded carelessly through the vacant beige sky, the calloused sound reverberating above the scarred flesh of numerous fallen soldiers."

"Smile," the voice coos, "they won't know the difference."


Author's note

Dear Readers,

When I was younger I used to play pretend like any other child would. I would play Warriors or I would play make believe; just about anything that could release the ideas the flowed through me. But I’ve changed because of them.

Kids at school had once questioned me why I acted like an animal. And I was confused. I’d never told anybody about that since elementary school, so where did it come from? I don’t quite know myself. All I knew was that something had spread, and that whatever it was, it needed to stop.

And there have been many things that have influenced me to keep writing. Some of my teachers, my parents, and even a couple of my friends. But this event has by far impacted me the most. Ever since that day I stopped playing make believe. And instead, I started writing. Things could come alive on my paper however I wanted them to, and nobody would have to know. It’s all mine.

So call me selfish. But the reason I share that story with you is because I hope you’ll feel something. Not for me, no. But for yourself. We were all children once, and we all played inside our heads to some extent. Some just daydream now, and some of us read, and some like me; write.

Don’t stop dreaming. Cause we all lived in a fairytale. And some of us, we yearn to stay there. So this is dedicated to those of you who are broken. Who are bruised. Who wish they could still play make believe. I just want to let you know, I wish you all a happily ever after. So don’t stop believing.

Note: Please understand that my opinions will be seen in and throughout this story, though somewhat ‘secretly’. It’s your choice how to interpret my writing and what it means to you.



7. It Doesn't Define You

“We aren’t who they say we are.”

Those are the seven most important words that Andrea has ever heard; and the seven words that she reiterates and abides by every single day.

Once, she’ll whisper it to herself early in the flush of the morning when small indigo fowl come and leisure upon the mahogany windowsill and twitter a pleasant tune. She’ll gaze on wistfully out the cracked and filthy frame into the cerulean sky with a tainted view, watching the shades of apricot and mango blot and paint the once purely blue canvas. And as she turns and takes the final few leaps down the rickety old stairs, she’ll notice her mother taking paltry photographs with her ancient charcoal polaroid; using the images as an epitome to sketch with. Though she would label them mediocre, simple lines and scribbles that have little to no meaning in comparison to the real thing.

The reality.

Once, she’ll repeat the axiom to herself as a self-proclaimed motto at school when the supposedly cordial kids tease her for her reticence. They just can’t seem to appreciate that she has nothing deemed worthy to speak, so they determine that her hushed articulations and quiescent attitude result in a blanket of weakness. They’ll snicker and grin and laugh, push and pull and shove; and the loathsome faculty observe, believing the trivial matter as being a part of such adolescence.

The naivety.

Once, she’ll pray it late at night, when the twinkling stars scintillate lambently over the small play pool in her backyard. She can just see a pair of raccoons lapping up the liquid with their pinkish tongues and notice the lone shaggy wolf spider clambering and creeping stealthily up her rotting walls. It’s numerous eyes glisten darkly in full devil’s luster. She ponders why one hates them less than she, a ‘disability’ such as hers to be frowned upon. Maybe it’s because she watches the world through a contaminated point of view compared to the fools who watch on in purity.

The lies.

Once more in her dreams, when she rewinds her day like a broken record, the twitching and glitching just coherent enough to understand. She cries as she is teased and bullied, she even screams in anger and frustration. These are supposed to be dreams, the resting hours for her mind to lay and rest. But knowing they presume her to feel nothing, to be void of emotion, is agonizing. They just don’t realize it. She empathizes with the poor souls who dare shove their faults onto her. It’s only for now. She’ll bear the burden for them, let them know she’ll hold them up like a mighty Egyptian pharaoh on their thrones. But what’s the difference when a girl like her can’t even speak.

The mockery.

It’s unfair. Because those who don’t deserve to play are given the loudest parts.

The melancholy.

“She’s autistic.”

“She’s this way because of her disability.”

“Those with autism can’t feel emotions or pain.”

Such a cruel world we all live in. But that seven-word phrase stands strong.

“We aren’t who they say we are.”

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