~ an unfinished story ~
[Disclaimer: this story may sound scarily depressing, but it's actually just a way for me to vent. Also, I've never been able to not apologize for my work, even though I know you're not supposed to. Oops! Hehe.]
It was a piece of paper. A piece of paper. And yet it held such power, such weight, such a determining factor in Lily’s life. She wilted under its verdict. Rejection. Her sunny smile dropped. Her day was flipped idly like a coin, tossed carelessly in the air only to land on the wrong side. Tails. It was always tails. For once, could she not get ahead? Could she never come out on top? These thoughts swam around in her swampy confusion. The world around her buzzed, became blurred, the only clear thing this single piece of paper. It stood out bright against the fuzzy. It grabbed onto Lily’s vision and held it there, superglued it there so she could notice nothing else. There was nothing else in the world aside from Lily and her rejection. Her deep, dark, glaring rejection. It pierced her inner core, wrenched it from her and twisted, wringing out all her dreams.
Somewhere, a cell phone rang. A door opened. A textbook closed. Lily’s feet turned her away from her terrible sentence and made her walk robotically through the halls. People. People everywhere. People talking, laughing, shouting. Too loud! Everything was too loud! The noise threatened Lily, penetrated deep into her personal bubble. She felt shunned, left out, though of what, she did not know. People looked at her sometimes. Did they know? Was it written on her forehead? Was it plastered all over her clothes?
Rejection. Rejection. Rejection.
The sound of it reverberated inside Lily, forcing her to recognize it, to acknowledge it, to pay it her utmost attention. And because she was so aware of her own rejection, others must be, too. Strangers, her teachers, her friends. They all knew. All of them. They all talked and laughed and joked with each other, flashing her friendly smiles, no, mocking smiles, because they knew. ‘There goes a rejected girl,’ they were probably saying. ‘We are not rejected, only she is. Oh, I do feel so sorry, don’t you feel sorry? Oh quickly, smile at her lest she should feel badly.’
Lily tried not to look at them, gave feeble smiles in return. Sometimes, she didn’t even smile at all. She wanted to run, she wanted to hide, she wanted them all to stop looking, to stop talking.
Somewhere, in the deep recesses of her rational mind, she acknowledged her paranoia, her self-centeredness. They of course did not know. Their conversations were really about math, science, the betterment of the world. Manicures. The West Wing. But Lily felt excluded from all that. She felt somehow…outside. She was in her own world, her own separate dimension that rubbed closely enough to reality to irritate but not closely enough to be a true part of it.
And so the world went on without Lily and Lily glided through without caring much about the world. After all, she was in a class of her own now, a class made up of The Rejected. She was spit out from the mouth of all things good and wonderful, exiled to grope her way through a new maze, a new jungle. She was shown a magnificent thing and then flung aside like the tiny green strawberry in an otherwise plump, ripe, red bunch, never to have it.
Lily wallowed. She wallowed in self-pity. She wallowed in her own sense of loss. She wallowed in her own confusion and fear of what was to come next. But most of all, she wallowed because no matter how hard she tried, no matter how good she was, she was Never. Good. Enough.