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Her eyes suggest a faraway land, mentally visited and hidden to others. The dark circles around them suggest another sort of world, also hidden from the view of others, but very real to her. She chews as if every jaw motion is painful, and squirms, uncomfortable in the spotlight stares of those around her. Her hands must always be busy, just as her eyes dart from person to person, surveying who will inflict the next attack.

I watch her, observe how subtle and unnoticeable these behaviours are. Most people will walk right past her, ignoring the corner of the table where she sits. But those who choose to scrutinize her will see there is more than meets the eye a crawling contempt and pain under her skin, and organs which pump and breathe desperately as if to draw in something new and refreshing. But every breath, every heartbeat, every swallow, is in vain. The pain she feels is still there, lurking behind false dreams, waiting to reach out its gnarled hands and snatch away any hope of a bright future, as she remembers a dark night so long ago.

I do not know this about her. I only observe that she feels pain. I do not know that she is beaten by her boyfriend every day, or that she has attempted suicide five times in the past ten years. I cannot see the scars etched into her wrist, hidden by long sleeves. I do not know that she questions every day why she did not succeed at taking her own life. I do not know that she was raped and beaten and left for dead in the street and I do not know about her mother whose addictions cause her to turn a blind eye away from her struggling daughter, and taught her the only way of life she knows now. All I see are the affects of the culmination of these things.

She slowly finishes her meal the simple act of eating seems fruitless, like she does it out of desperation, not necessity. She gathers her things, she cleans her place meticulously with a napkin, as if to rid the area of whatever filth her being may leave behind. And I watch her go, baggy pants hanging barely on thin hips, tight shirt which shows every rib and what little cleavage she has. And I feel sad, knowing that there are more people in the world than her who feel the same pain, and I realize with despair that I can do nothing.


The following comments are for "Helpless"
by Kambriel

I like the way you've admitted to what you don't about this poor soul, and by inference suggest she is symbolic of a growing number of similar tragic young people. A very effective piece.

( Posted by: HarryB [Member] On: February 8, 2007 )

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