Saturday, July 11, 2009

Split Milk.

A loud piercing scream echoed throughout the food court and although the scream came from my mouth, it sounded surreal. It sounded like it carried every pain imaginable; as if in that moment I experienced all the terrible things that happened to a person in a single lifetime. Every head turned in my direction to witness a child, all alone, covered in chocolate milk. Sure I was exaggerating, but I got their attention didn't I? That scream would dg down in the books as one of the many tactics I would employ to draw attention to myself, although as I got older screaming at the top of my lungs wouldn't come off so well and would have the opposite effect; people turning their backs to avoid the crazy lady. But since I was only 12, it worked like a charm.

The "child star" or whomever he was ,wasn't the center of attention anymore, I was, and as people rushed over to see if the poor helpless child was okay,I saw him narrow his eyes and glare at me. I felt all the more satisfied when even his mother left his side to come to mine. As more people gathered around me, the gears of my mind mischievously turned and a story unfolded. I wanted to draw sympathy as it seemed the only way to keep the attention on myself, so I became Shelley a product of divorce being shuffled from one parent to another, on my way to Texas to see my father where I would spend two weeks before flying to London where my mother worked for half the year. I got more excited and animated as my tall tale grew to extraordinary heights. The people around me were fixated on my story and I saw their eyes widened in shock and then soften in sympathy as they helped to dab up the milk that soaked into my jeans I knew I was teetering on the brink of something magical.

I was riding on a high like I never knew before. It was the first time in my life that I felt alive. During my childhood, I looked towards the adults in my life thinking I couldn't wait to get older and finally start living, but in my condition, I wasn't sure if I would ever make it that far. If childhood was simply a waiting period where nothing of significance happens except bideing your time until you were finally old enough to do all the fun and exciting things that grown ups got to do, what happens to those people, those children who never get to be adults? When do they start living? I thought I would never get my chance, but I figured out a way, here I was just 12 years old going on the rest of my life.


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