Once upon a time, there was a little girl raised on the fifteenth hole of The Foothills Golf Course, in a cozy tan house with Sharpie-stained countertops. Her summers were wearing snorkeling goggles as a mermaid princess, forcing the pool noodles to judge cannonball competitions. Her childhood had all the colors of the rainbow and miles of grassy hills to roll down, but like every innocent storybook, it ultimately came to an end.
As the little girl grew, her days of flying off swings were numbered; an inevitable force started sneaking under her covers at night, telling her things- things she did not want to hear- whispering about the world as she became aware of her surroundings. As the darkness crept through the cracks in her perfect village, she found new places to hide, but these distractions were only temporary: the villain would tear down her walls, determined to show her the truth.
Time went on, and slowly the darkness closed in. One day, the little girl found courage; she grabbed her cardboard sword and oversized helmet, lunging at the monster that had haunted her mind for years. But as she took a closer look, leaning towards its face with her weapon against its throat, she heard a whisper, the same whisper she ignored for such a long time; “Help.”
The United States has struggled with similar issues for centuries, with horrors of hate crimes and poverty following the American Dream like an embarrassing sibling. As a white, upper middle class woman, I have never been one to understand how America treats its marginalized communities; but like many of my fellow benefactors of the majority, I have ignored the issue for my whole life. Despite overhearing whispers of constant violence Syria, or observing the homeless population perched on highways, I avoided confronting my privilege and took solace in not being the top 1%. By turning a blind eye, my community morphs our privilege into a monster built from “don’t ask, don’t tell”. The recognition of such a concept does not accuse individuals of being the problem causing inequality, but rather allows the blinders put on by society to be removed. This reveals the bitter truth about our current state; but allows those of us fortunate enough to have an inherent boost to lift our fellow countrymen up, elevating their voices without overpowering with ours.
After walking the monster home and returning to her own cottage, the not-so-little girl found her parents and told them about her encounter. Her mother clutched the girl’s arm, screaming “Are you hurt?” But looking into her mom’s eyes, she recognized the fear she had seen less than an hour earlier. Grabbing her parents hands, she displayed her newfound wisdom, explaining this darkness she has been running from simply wanted her companionship. Beaming, she thought to herself, “it really wasn’t that scary after all.”
BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on March 28, 2020:
You are such a wonderful writer.
This story is so sad but overpowering with wisdom.