I’ve thought about this only briefly, but decided to take the leap. For many years – over 20 if truth be told – I’ve been writing a couple of books. The opening below is from the first one. My thinking is that I’ll write bits of this book over the next six months. You can tell me what you think, or not.
It still is in keeping with the intention of Re-do 365, too. I’m working toward being more accountable, and to doing what I’ve talked about doing for so very long.
It was on the corner beside a Cape Cod style house. It was my favourite house. It sat on a bit of a hill, had gable windows and green shutters, and was surrounded by a hedge. Every day I tried to walk past this house at least once.
When we stopped I was facing the Cape Cod style house with the gable windows and green shutters. I was standing so close to the hedge that its branches poked my thigh. I remember the sky was blue and cloudless. Because it was after school it would have been around 4 o’clock in the afternoon. We stood in a circle, these girls and me, but I didn’t feel like I was a part of the circle. I wasn’t part of any circle.
“How can you know anything? You can’t. You’re just adopted!”
I didn’t know what she meant. Not exactly. But whatever it was wasn’t good, and any retorts I could think to toss back were pointless. From the cast down eyes, and stone faces of the other girls, I knew what I’d been told was true.
I wasn’t liked. I didn’t look like the other girls with my fuzzy hair, thick frame, buck teeth, and glasses. My smarts weren’t for socializing, but reserved for memory only. I was awkward at best and preferred the company of books and horses to people. In that moment, all that was different about me suddenly made sense. Somewhere deep inside I’d always felt I was a cast off. Now I knew why.
“You’re a liar. You can’t know that!”
She could know, though. She was older than me, and her father was the Catholic doctor in town. He would know about things like this and I guess he talked with his kids about what he knew. In my mind right then, I had an image of them laughing about me over Sunday suppers.
I looked at each face once more. It was all I could do. Nothing had changed. My body was going numb. There was no chance I could speak at this point, my mouth was desert dry and my throat was on fire. I could not allow them to see the tears that were ready to flow. I had to move. I turned my almost rigid body and began to walk away, head held high as if nothing had happened. I steeled my shoulders and kept that stance until I was out of their sight.
They could have no idea what was going on in my mind. They might have thought a lot of different things, but would probably be surprised to know I didn’t care about them. As the tears came, I forgave them.