17. March 2013 · Comments Off on Saving Face · Categories: I. 11 to 12 years

I find a quiet spot on the hillside.

While I was going to school I could still imagine a different future.   While I met with a wall of indifference I could still hope for glimpses of caring.  But now I see that the wall my father built around himself is there to hold in his rage.

Linda too, rages inside.  They keep to a narrow, joyless, zombie existence but they are partners.   I am the interloper.

At this moment I feel that I am, after all, an orphan.

I feel utterly hopeless.

I know I need to tell Mother Superior why I am dropping out of school.   I go back to the apartment and I write her a letter.

I do not want her to know how helpless I feel.  I know it isn’t anything I am doing wrong or can change, and yet I feel shame.

First I thank her and everyone for their kindness.  Then I invent a mission for myself.  I ask her to pray for me as I do the Lord’s work here.

Somehow it makes it tolerable if I am in this wretched situation by my own noble choice and not because I deserve to be in it.

I mail the letter.   Immediately I wish I could take it back.  It was false and a poor attempt at saving face.  Maybe the letter will get lost.

I didn’t think I could feel worse.   I was wrong.


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