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Child

by Lolita Libra 12 months ago in love
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A short story by Leslie Staton

19

You were so curious when you were young. Always wondering the true meaning behind the things happening around you as the world encourages you to pass through, admire, not say too much, and keep your head down. It was the 80’s. Spare the rod to spoil the child was probably encouraged on the cover of Parents Magazine. You were taught to be chaste and good as a girl. You were taught sin invited punishment. You were taught being a “good” woman was the most important virtue. But when you watched Pretty Woman, you thought she seemed amazing… and when your grandmother showed you Gone with the Wind, you loved Scarlett O’Hara. You hoped you could be a strong woman like her one day. For you did not even know it then, but an idea is already forming in your little mind that the subservience of the women around you is not natural. You didn’t ever want to be a Melanie like your mother.

Fast forward to 17, beautiful and you do not know it. Still testing the waters you entered as a wondrous child. A man appears in the story. A tall, handsome man. The man looks at you like no other grown man has. He says things to you that no other man has. He seems so much wiser and more handsome than any of the other boys you have been around, he is all man. He smells like a man. You get close enough to feel what it must feel like to be touched by a real man, not a boy. This escalates into a full blown affair, you cannot wait to see him. You cannot wait until the next touch, the next word from him. You drink him in like an obsession. You would do anything for this man, and you do. You forget any sort of feminine power you may have possessed, and you serve him like a good little Melanie. When he tells you he cannot see you anymore, because you are still a girl you cry and rip out your hair. Dropping to your knees begging God to bring him back. You wonder how a God could ever let you love someone so much, so much that you feel you would die if they really left you. Then your prayers are answered, you are finally old enough to be worthy of being with the man. You expect the world, and you do find the world. But not the world you expected.

You start to realize other people look at you like you are a kid, but you do not realize that you are. You think they are close minded and judgmental when they stare at you walking down the street with him. You think that you have found some great love and the rest of the world is jealous and they do not understand. It takes you a few years to start to see how wrong you were. How those stares may have been right. You can finally see the man for what he is and you suspect he is probably talking to other girls your age. It drives you mad long before you leave him, and you have done things to yourself that you can never take back.

It will be years before you find your way back to Scarlett, and see all of it for what it truly was. It will be years before you make peace with it. You finally stop feeling guilty and blaming yourself for it. You realize it is not your fault that you have been hardened. Someone so young should not have to process these things. You will never know the level of manipulation that the man was capable of, but you know that if you were wise like you are now, it would not have happened that way. But how could you know then? You were only a child.

love

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Lolita Libra

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