The Girl of No Import
There once was a young woman who didn’t matter. At all. To anyone.
Being the middle child, she had no significance in the family. Her older brother was the only boy – the sole-surviving-son. Her younger sister was the baby – the adored one. Which left no place of importance for the young woman. Her father would completely ignore her for days at a time, no matter what she said to him. She ached for him to look at her, to see her, to be proud of her. He was always unavailable to go to her dance recitals and choir/band concerts. Even though he was in the room beside where she was participating in her sport, he couldn’t be bothered to watch her. She just didn’t matter.
School was no better. When she raised her hand to answer a question, the teacher never made it around to her. She tried raising it higher and even waving it around in hopes that she might be noticed, but none of her teachers ever called on her. She began writing in hopes that her words might be heard that way.
Gym class was even worse! She hated days when teams had to be chosen. Each time, she would try to look strong and fast and brave. Each time, she was the last to be chosen. Not because she wasn’t as able as her peers and not because she was disliked. It was as if they hadn’t even seen her standing there until all of the other kids were chosen.
When she obtained her driver’s license, she quickly understood that her invisibility continued even when she was behind the wheel. Other drivers would cut her off, pull out in front of her, and in general, act as if they couldn’t even see her. Knowing this, she was more careful in how she drove. None of this bothered her – it was expected and they were strangers. They couldn’t hurt her.
And then she got married and moved in with her new husband. Finally! She would be important to someone! She shucked off her old persona, ready to start anew.
And then reality set in. She was no more important to her husband than she had been to anyone else. If she dared bother him with her thoughts or feelings, he would actually punish her. She quickly learned to keep all of her words to herself. At that point, she gave up on her writing. Nobody wanted to hear what she had to say, and her husband told her she was no good at it. Why bother?
After years at the hand of her abusive husband, she finally grew a backbone and escaped from him cruelty. She got a job and developed some self-esteem. She even started writing again, finding great joy in the creative process, healing herself with her keyboard.
After raising her children by herself for years, they abandoned her without a word of gratitude, never looking back. They, too, acted as if she didn’t exist, even though she had done everything she could for them. She had become so accustomed to not mattering, that she half expected it all along.
Alone in her house, she dreamed of becoming a best-selling author. Of becoming rich and famous. She dreamed of creating a whole new life where people not only acknowledged her, but admired her and sought her out. She worked hard to write book after book, trying to make each as good as she possibly could.
Unfortunately, none of her books were ever picked up by a publishing house. She remained an unknown her whole life. But really – what did she expect? If the men who were supposed to love her didn’t want to hear what she had to say, what made her think anyone else would? She walked away from her dream, doomed to spend her life staring at a computer screen at a computer, making someone else rich.
When she died, the world was no different. When great leaders die, the world is a little darker. When horrible tyrants die, the world is a little brighter. When loved ones die, people mourn. When this woman of no import died, nobody even noticed.
She was born, she lived, she died – all without ever being noticed.
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