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A Short Story About Dark Times

By LalainaPublished 4 months ago Updated 4 months ago 3 min read

Background Information: I wrote this story in 2018, during my first semester of graduate school. Today was a difficult day, so this was a nice reminder that things have been much worse before. And yet, here I am.

The overwhelming depression made Rosario want to break apart her body and rebuild it into something unrecognizable. A new mind. A new face. A new soul. Something beautiful and free. Happy.

Rosario Espinoza. She was named after rosaries and thorns, but Rosario was nothing spiky. The only tendrils of pain were inside her heart. She had always wanted to be Sleeping Beauty. After a century of sleep, she could start fresh. No one would hurt her. No one would remember her mistakes. She would be reborn, free, calm. She would have a handsome prince and everyone who hated her would probably be dead.

But Rosario Espinoza didn't have the benefits of a fairytale. She was born short, fat, and with unruly hair. Her curls never listened to her. Frizz dominated any style. Her eyes were brown. Pretty, but common. Maybe she would have been considered beautiful in a different time, but it wasn't a different time. It was today and today, Rosario had to face her parents.

They would be home in an hour and she would be expected to tell them how her interview for Brown went. Instead, she would have to explain how a panic attack had forced her to stay in the restroom until the interviewer left. She wasn't sure why. To be fair, she never was. Maybe she just didn't like how she looked in the mirror that morning. Maybe she realized she was in over her head.

She was the only one on the beach that time of day, which meant there was no one to witness her pacing up and down the shore, talking to judgmental air.

"Mom, dad, I missed my interview."

Gasps. Dad would purse his lips and assume she got lost. Mom would immediately think she was in a wreck. They would both wonder why she didn't call the interviewer to reschedule.

"I know you really want me to go to college, but maybe it just isn't for me."

That would earn her a lecture on the importance of a good education, including a line or two about throwing her life away. Her dad's tone would immediately switch to disappointment.

"I really just want to stay here and run the flower shop."

Yeah, even she didn't believe that one. She spent most Saturdays sneezing over gardenias and pricking herself with flowers. Another reason she could not be Sleeping Beauty.

Maybe she should try honesty.

“I had a panic attack and I couldn’t go through with it. I’m sorry.”

Her dad would sigh and shake his head. This again? Really? Stop getting so in your head.

"Well the idea of going to an Ivy League school makes me want to vomit and I nearly passed out because I couldn't breathe, but please, tell me how it is all in my head."

You can’t just use this as an excuse. You need to get over it.

“It isn’t an excuse. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t move.”

He’d just stare at her then, tell her to get it together and reschedule. Stop crying. She couldn’t breathe. Her nails bit into her palms. She tried to focus on the horizon, to keep the attack from happening. It wasn’t working. She sat down for a moment, head between her knees.

“I can’t do this," she murmured. But she would. She always did.

Short Storyfamily

About the Creator


She/Her. Writing Center Coordinator & Professor. Novelist. 29. Proud Latina.

I'm obsessed with my cat and fantasy fiction.

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