“What’s wrong with you?” It was her mother’s way of trying to get her to talk but
of course like most things those days she took the question to heart and wondered as
well what was wrong with herself. “You haven’t said anything the whole time we’ve
been home. Did something happen at school? Did you get in a fight with a friend?
Did the teacher call on you again in class today.” Her mother continued to ramble off
questions to the nine year old girl. Trying to pinpoint the cause of her daughter’s
silence. “Really mom, I’m okay.” She replied.
She’d spent the day running her own gamut of questions through her head. She
had no idea why her eyes welled up with tears on the playground as she had played
foursquare with her three good friends earlier that day. Or why she hadn’t told her
mother about the sleepover that she’d been invited to at her best friend’s house that
She didn’t want to go to the sleepover and she certainly didn’t want to be sitting at
this table with her family. She wanted to be in her bed, under the covers with all of
the lights off. She wished she could lay somewhere with her walkman turned up
higher than the dial could even go. She wanted both quiet and noise to drown out
each other. Most of all she did not want to speak. Words would release emotions.
Feelings that she kept hidden even from herself. So she silently shoved down a few
more bites of dinner and prayed that the heaviness inside her chest would somehow
suffocate her to death.