I remember, back in fifth grade, sitting near the boys at lunch. I guess it was because I didn’t really have anywhere else to sit. One of them decided to talk about me. Because you know, a girl can’t just eat her lunch in peace. “I think Abigail would be better off dead,” said the leader of the boys. His friends laughed and agreed–all but one. One of them was hesitant. I looked at him with large, pleading eyes. For just a moment, I thought he’d debate them. I thought he’d stick up for me and say, “Actually, she has worth as a human being.” The boy was faltering. He was cracking. I was hoping that the crack of doubt in him would widen just enough for me to squeeze through and convince him that I mattered. But the crack closed up. He sealed it. “Well, I don’t want to be mean,” he said. “But yeah, it’d probably be better for everyone.” After that, I never saw a crack in him. When I thought I did, it turned out only to be false. When I thought he was enjoying my company, it turned out he was only using me as entertainment to laugh at how stupid I was.
This specific memory has been quite troubling for me, especially considering my current situation. Instead of just letting that memory be, however, I’m doing something about it. I’m going to change my story. I’m going to alter what happened, in my mind, so I can empower myself. Let’s pretend this is what really happened, beginning just after the boy agreed with his friends:
“Actually, I’m a human being who has just as much worth as you do. Nothing you say can define who I am, because you’re not in control of my life. Your statements are simply untrue, and I reject them. Oh, and would you like me to throw your trash away?”
Bad writing isn’t published. So why should I publish hurtful, weak, and untrue statements in the book of my life? I’m not publishing that statement anymore. I can trash it, along with the other stacks of lies that have been submitted to me. I mean, did they really think I’d publish those statements? Really? The fact that I’m alive is a huge slap in the face to them.
“I think Abigail would be better off dead.” If by dead, you mean alive, then yes. Most certainly.