Creative Nonfiction Sad Contemporary

The melancholic violin grazes over the fields of wheat. The wind weaving through every ear. Her heart stings. As if it’s caving right into her spine. She’s filled with rage, and hatred. She knew her work wasn’t the best of the best, but she’d like it to deserve more than an ‘it’s okay’. She thought it was worth more than that, now she’s not so sure. She served her vulnerability on a platter, only for it to be thrown out, along with the rest of the words with no deeper meaning. 

She stares out into the horizon, the colossal mass of wheat silhouetted by the descending sun. The wheat and the sun mix, forming this beige hue, identical to the one in her father’s eyes. His eyes lacked emotion as he said the words.

‘It’s okay’. She’d written a hundred eighty-pages of words, only to receive a couple in response. She’d waited in silence. Praying for more. When she got none, she pursued for more. 

“Did you like how it ended?” she’d asked, awaiting to be praised for the intelligence of it. She’d been so proud of it. 

“I liked the beginning pages best, after it… it changed.” 

She had gripped her arms, to avoid throwing a punch. How could her own father dislike her art? 

There’s fathers who put up every one of their daughter’s drawings on the fridge, even if they are simply stick figures. Her fridge is naked. 

“Well, did you enjoy it at least?” she croaked, trying to avoid the pit in her throat. 

“Yes, but it needs work, I don’t like the concept.” 

He doesn’t like the concept. He doesn’t like her book. The pit in her throat grew heavy, as she bit her trembling lip. Her own father. She wishes he’d lie. She wishes he would tell her adores it. As terrible as it is, she wishes he’d simply lie to her face, obscure her from the truth of his words. Just like everyone else does. But his is the only one that matters. His is the only one that she listens to. She doesn’t want approval from anyone, but he. 

At last he spoke, “I’ll give you some indications.”

Indications? She knows ‘indications’ are only disguises towards an entirely new idea, at that point, it’s easier to begin back at word number one. Erase all those 40,883 words. Because not one of them took the liking of her father. 

All she wanted was for him to support her. To appreciate how much value his words mean to her. They are priceless. All she wanted was her father to read her work, with eagerness, and in the end, smile, applauding her for the greatness of the work. She knows that sounds like a horrendous thing to admit. She knows she doesn’t want false sayings, but right now anything besides 'okay' will do.

She knows her story isn’t good. What’s good about it anyway, she thinks. How could she ever feel proud of it? And why did it hurt her so much? 

Her body. Her mind. Her soul. They merged to create this story. This story is part of her being. It’s her most prized possession. It’s what makes her happy. It’s her. In some foolish way. 

Tears raced down her face that night. Screams of agony were silenced by her pillow. She wishes she’d never asked for his opinion. She was so close to deleting the entire document just because of his opinion. Just because of him. Just for him. 

It’s fair. It’s fine. It doesn’t have to appeal to all. But to her father it does. It must. She looks up to him, in a way nobody would understand. 

She almost destroyed her work. The very one she’d praised so much. But she doesn’t. She couldn’t. 

She shouldn’t care that he doesn’t like it. His opinion should be overruled by the passion she poured into her words. The shadow of her words are too strong to be eliminated. They’ve cut into her being. They’ve shaped her, just as she shaped them. Words were the building blocks of this story, of this building she's constructed.

She wants others to read her work. She doesn’t want to believe her father’s words. He suggests her aunts and uncles read it. She refuses. She claims she wants strangers to read it. Therefore, the judgment will hurt less. Therefore, if she receives a negative outcome she can assume a stranger's mind is simply filled with jealousy. Therefore, she won’t be at risk of more disappointment. Especially from the one’s she loves. She shields herself from the truth. She submits her work to a contest. She doesn’t get recognition. She talks to many, with little interest. She does it all. She does it all, to prove her father’s words were wrong. She knows he’s right. She doesn’t accept it. Not yet. How could she have written something of so little value? How could she depend on merely her own words? 

She decides to give in to the failure. Because at this point, it’s not criticism any longer. It’s a tunnel with no light at the end of it. She took his words to heart. She let them control her entire being. Until He. 

He stepped into her life, and showed her the beauty of her own words. He allowed her to take her father’s criticism and use it to her liking. She decided to enroll in a fair, to promote her novel. She began with selling five copies in the first hour. Thirteen more in the next. An invitation to a young author’s reading group. Soon her book will be published by a major publishing house. 

She found people who viewed her book with a different pair of eyes. She slowly fell in love with her own words. With herself. She slowly learned that everyone will have an opinion. Even her father will have an opinion. One she may not like. Everyone has an opinion. She has a choice. She is given the privilege to listen and to think, instead of listening and collapsing. Collapsing at the thought of criticisms from the ones she loves. Because of fear. Fear, she’d allowed herself to use it as an excuse. Not anymore. Constructive criticisms they call it. Sometimes, it hurts more than ‘constructs’. Sometimes saying ‘don’t be offended but…’ doesn’t sugarcoat the situation. Sometimes criticisms are just that, opinions. Whereas, sometimes they really do speak to a person. And sometimes it’s difficult to deal with, until the bigger picture is revealed.

April 11, 2022 03:02

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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