Look at her. Who does she think she is? They said in glee.
There is something about comfort in numbers, it allows one to become all, and thus powerful. Together they sang around her, mocking her for the words that came out of her mouth, the way she thought.
Pride comes before a fall, they chanted, we are here to watch your fall.
She was not paying attention to them. She tried real hard to listen to what they were saying – these were her friends after all, surely they loved and cared for her. Something else was taking up her time, and her attention – it was louder than their words.
Look at me! Look up at me! The Voice commanded.
Look at her – thinks she’s something special, this girl needs to be put in her place, friends demanded.
Individually they were weak, meek, broken. Together they were strong, invincible, undefeated. They wanted to remain this way – she was asking them for the way out.
At first they supported her, then ignored her, then laughed at her, then fought her. Ghandi said something about that. Then, she was inspired, thought she wanted to know what that felt like – it would let her know that she was making a difference. That is, until the jeering and malicious cheer-leading. Until she turned to faces she knew and loved, looking for compassion. Don’t you see its not I who is doing all this? Don’t you see I am confused about this new path my feet not leading?
The faces that stared back belonged to dogs, ducks, wooden puppets.
You think you’re so much better than everyone else. You think you know everything.
She was confused. When had she ever said that? She was alone. Where were her friends? She was cemented. In that one voice… the only voice that commanded her to look up. And so she did.
They gathered round. They mocked and poked. Their soot-filled hearts, and glassed-over eyes panted for blood. She is finished, they thought. Serves her right. Yet it was not them she was seeing. Her eyes were cast above. She was listening to the Voice, the one that told her to be still, to stand by.
Soon she was smiling inside.
That beating took a while. It was necessary to complete its job. She stood up after it was finished, and crossed the finish line – she was out of the pile.
Artwork: “Strength Is The Beauty Of A Nurturing Woman” by Andrew Kwame Awere