You’re a gifted child, the universe told her. She was 1.
I have a feeling I won’t get along with this child, an uncle told her Father. She was 2.
There’s something special about this child, the adults crowded around her. She was 3.
I don’t want you playing with her, her aunt told her cousin as they were playing together. She was 4.
Could be a disorder, the psychiatrists told her parents as they observed her. She was 5.
The kids in school won’t play with me, she told her Mother. She was 6.
Don’t ask for less responsibilities. Instead, seek more strength to carry, said the universe. She was 7.
There are lots of people waiting for you to fall. You can’t let them win, an aunt warned her. She was 8.
I am meant to be alone in this life, she believed. She was 9.
It was at a Best Buy when a stranger reached inside her skirt. She was 10.
If you could carry their burden, maybe they’ll find happiness again, she told herself. She was 11.
Please, don’t take my Mom from us, she prayed on her knees for an hour each night. She was 12.
The voices aren’t real, she assured herself as she trembled beside the light each night. She was 13.
I don’t know who I love more, said her first boyfriend after she found out. She was 14.
My girlfriend doesn’t want me talking to you anymore, said her best friend. She was 15.
All you can do is show more compassion. Understand them even if they can’t understand you yet. You were created to walk through hell with a smile, she practiced in the mirror. You were designed to carry much more than this. The universe gave you the capacity to see, understand, absorb more. Your only job in this life is to color its picture with your own colors. She was 16.
Why not? she began to ask. She was 17.
Just love more, she told herself. The more it hurts, the more you must love, because only love can conquer pain. Love purely, beautifully, vibrantly. She was 18.
You can trust me, her best friend and third boyfriend promised for over a year as he carried a separate life behind her. She was 19.
Would you like to go on vacation together, a professor asked as his lips touched her ear. She was 20.
I will show her that life is beautiful, that light and love always wins. I will prove to her the power of absolute faith, and she will pull through. She was 21.
You’re beautiful. I think I’m in love with you, her boss told her as he ran his hand down her back. She was 22.
She’s a lesbian, it’s all in your head, her fourth boyfriend made her believe for two years. She was 23.
What kind of world shall I build? Who do I invite into it? she finally asked. She was 24.
Before you embark on this next journey, take a deep breath. Relax. Give the child some space to heal, I tell her. We’re 25.