Once upon a time in a land not too far away, a little baby girl was born. She was a pink little thing with small hands and tiny feet that all newly born babies have. The baby screamed and whined and never seemed to understand the meaning of the word “stop.”
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, a little girl had bright eyes. She played all day and slept peacefully at night. The little girl often laughed and shouted in great joy and was just like all the other little children. She loved the Lion King and Barney and sang along to all their songs.
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, a girl was still loud and still boisterous. She had learned some things but still retained her childishness. She had a new little sidekick, a younger brother who worshipped her every word and followed every step.
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, a girl was growing. Her favorite color was not pink, which all the other girls liked, but blue. She was shunned for it, but it was no matter. The girl had with the boys, playing kickball and pokemon cards. She was content and fell asleep in the backseat of the car when her parents drove at night.
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, a larger girl watched people. She was picked on by her former best friend. She did not understand why and did not realize she was being bullied until she burst into tears one long night. She was quieter when she entered middle school.
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, a tween sat still in her new school. Popular girls gossiped and whispered all day, and she longed to be one of them. They didn’t like her sweatshirts or sneakers.
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, an adolescent realized that people would talk about her behind her back. She looked to her “friends” for support, but none came. So she studied away the long, lonely hours and developed a new view of the world.
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, a budding teen brooded over issues. She moved onto high school, and though her friends were better than her and accepting, they could not handle her. So she developed a mask and wore it every day during every public moment until she started to forget who she really was underneath it all.
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, a saddened child-at-heart tried to understand the phrase “growing up.” Her favorite grandmother passed away. Her heart did not only break when she looked upon the remains of the beloved grandma, but when an elderly lady cried and cried in front of the corpse, wailing “Forgive me” over and over again. The once-child was so disturbed that she could not even go to the burial.
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, a tired work-in-progress discovered a personality test that resonated with her. She was sick of not belonging and needed to find something that fit. Her old sidekick was long gone and her beautiful, beautiful friends were too busy to be burdened. She was four letters, INFJ, and felt that she belonged to something. Being her personality type was beautiful. She was dreamy and connected and believed she had no faults.
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, a discontented female realized the depth to which those four letters came. She was emotionally ruthless. She was hyper-sensitive. She was close-minded, ignorant, selfish, and angry when she didn’t have her way. It was a tired day when she snapped at an acquaintance and emotionally tore them into pieces beyond repair. She felt bad after for not feeling any guilt at all.
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, a breaking teenager revealed a devastating secret to her shallower but loyal best friend. The best friend was shallow in the best way possible and the breaking one knew that her best friend would not understand. But her best friend listened. And the teenager was so sick of keeping the secret to herself and finally found a pillar that was shallow but steady.
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, a broken child waited for life to take a better turn. When she stepped outside, a smile would plaster itself onto her face. Her mask was so perfected that it was hard to find someone who could see through the multiple layers of masks. Because when someone managed to see through the first mask—the most basic one—there was another to lull them into a false truth. No one ever got past the third mask except when she did let them see the fragile, broken, confused thing she thought she was. By then she did not even know which mask was actually the real her.
Once upon a time in a land not too far away, a lifeless but existent creature started to crumble like a week-old pastry. She tried to keep holding onto life and existence, but it slipped through her fingers like water. High school messed her up pretty well. But she took solace in knowing that it wasn’t just her who was messed up. Her friends all were transformed into lifeless creatures too. It was a selfish thought, but it made her feel less alone.
Once upon a time, a once-girl was sitting alone when her cellphone rang. After a meaningless five minute conversation, she was tired and wanted to leave.
“I love you,” the friend trills. She answers with the standard “love you too” in a peppy voice before hanging up. Then she lies down on her bed and stares blankly at the ceiling.
“What a shitty thing life is,” she whispers.