Monday, October 02, 2006

Not Quite Perfect - Bellany

Ed's Note: Our tenth (and probably second to last submission of the "first round" of submissions) comes from New York Yankee lover Bellany. And despite of this affiliation with the Yanks we are putting up her story anyway. It's a tale of greed, lust, power and ....ok I'm lying, just read it and see for yourselves.

We are waiting for just one more submission (JAMEEL!!!!) and then we will start taking submissions for round two. Scraps and I have already committed - anyone else?:

Once upon a time there was a blond haired, blue eyed girl. Many might even call her spoiled, but they knew little, if anything, of what really went on behind the walls of the castle she called home. She lived with her parents and younger siblings in suburbia. They were a normal upper middle class American family. Every winter they would even go on vacation to exotic locations. Everything looked picture perfect.

But appearances can be deceiving.

It was another family outing. She and her siblings were once again being posed for an endless session of pictures. The girls were all in matching dresses with headbands that had a cute little bow. The youngest boy, the baby, was in his little young man outfit. Her Dad was standing next to her Mom with the video camera while her Mom kept making funny faces to try to get them to look at the camera and smile. But then there were the moments when she got frustrated when there was always someone who was not cooperating. People would walk by and most of them stopped to watch, for it was always a whole production. Most of them would stay and watch for a minute or two and say, "Oh how cute". After all they looked like the picture perfect family. They even have the pictures to prove it. Albums and albums full of them.

But the reality of her life was very different from what it appeared to be. Her whole life she was always told what to do. Everything was manipulated. Every aspect was controlled by her parents. They had to consent to every detail. There were so many rules. She could not even decide what to wear in public because only they could form the appearance. Her life was not her own. She grew up to constant criticism with some love thrown in for affect. When her parents were not yelling at her they were yelling at each other. Her parents were always fighting about something. Their voices would resonate throughout the house. There was no escaping it. She had no where to run and no white horse to escape on. There was rarely peace.

It was only when the family was out in public that they would act like loving parents. She almost resented that because she knew it was fake, that it was an all an act, that they were just putting on a show. Although there were times when she wanted their love so badly and wanted her parents to love each other that she started to believe it. And then her world would come crashing down again. Vacations sometimes turned into disasters with the family packed into one hotel room for the week. The fact that it was a four star hotel meant nothing to her. When they walked around on the beautiful grounds she would often walk some distance away and watch from afar. If she sat in a secluded group of palm trees she could try to snatch a few moments of silence to just enjoy life. In an attempt to escape reality she pretended she was not part of the family and dream of a time when her life would be her own. She waited for the day when she would no longer be so alone. She longed for the day when she would no longer have to have most of her conversation in her head.

Then there were those times when they were out in public when the masks dropped. But that only happened when they knew there was no one around to hear that they cared about, no one who could spread the truth back home. So they would go right back to their routine. They would fight and snap at each other and her siblings when people's backs were turned. She hated the embarrassment they made her feel and she hated the looks people gave her out of the corner of their prying eyes. She felt like the adult as her parents acted like children. Parents were not supposed to throw tantrums and act like selfish children, but no one ever told her parents that and she never dared try to impart that lesson.

She was supposed to be the treasured princess, but it never turned out quite that way.
Everyone always saying to her, "Oh they waited a long time for you I hope you are making it worth the wait. You guys are everything they've always wanted". So she just smiled on cue and nodded. They certainly fooled everyone else. Yet at home they never acted like these were the moments for which they waited fifteen years. Hhmmm, then of course there was the story her parents always repeated about how she had been such a hard baby, as if she could knowingly control her actions, and if she had been born to anyone but them she would have been thrown out. Wow how generous. That just makes everything all better. If anything the generation gap only made things much worse. Communication was impossible. Sitting down to talk out problems was impossible because they were irreproachable. Yet everything they always did was for her own good even if she did not know it. Never mind what she wanted. She was not old enough to know what she needed. They had the wisdom that only comes with age. They had all the answers that mattered.

As the oldest she had no one to look up to, no one to talk to, no one to turn to for help. Behind the walls of the castle she was all alone in her misery. To try and protect herself from further damage she began to build a protective wall. It was a defensive measure, a last ditch effort to try and preserve what was left of her shattered self-esteem. Because when she did lash out and fight back the criticism just got worse and lasted longer. If she really said what she thought then the gloves came off and the hitting began. So there were times she just stood there and took the criticism. But it got to her. It hurt. The pain keeps building up inside with no where to go. It is a big burden to carry. Even when she answered back and defended herself, there was only a small release. Everything was her fault, her responsibility. She had to be perfect. She had to set the example. Not her parents, but her. She knew the situation was not about to change anytime soon and there was nowhere to go. Running away was never far from her mind, but she had nowhere to go so she never really went through with it.

By that point she had already learned a lot of the hard lessons in life. Too many to count. She already knew that money was not happiness. She knew what she did not want in life, but she did not really know who she was. She did not yet know her plans, her goals, her passions. All she knew is that she had to get out from under their control. So she continued to dream about the future, finding true love, being independent, and making her own choices.

One day she got up and said, "I have to fight for what I want because no one is going to do it for me." The fight for her independence was underway. And this was one fight she planned to win.

6 Comments:

Blogger Scraps said...

I'm rooting for her.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Elster said...

Ah Scraps - the most loyal of Storyteller followers. First to write and first to comment. If Storytellers had 50 more ppl like you, this place would really be taking off!!


Bell - excellent buildup. Maybe you would consider a second submission telling us how her battle went?

8:11 AM  
Blogger SS said...

Elster, you always say what I wanted to say! Hmph!

8:54 AM  
Blogger bellanny said...

Thanks to all. It is the first story I ever wrote, and once I came up with the idea it flowed pretty quickly.

I'm willing to say maybe to a continuation, but that is as far as I will go. ;-)

1:15 PM  
Blogger Elster said...

SS- Well you could pre-emp me with a STORY of your own.

Bell - Well we wouldn't expect - GASP - an actual commitment.

1:30 PM  
Blogger bellanny said...

sticks out tongue

and thanks for the intro...love it

3:54 PM  

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