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African American Sad

TW: mention of child molestation

You're ugly and no one is going to love you but me.

Those words were branded onto Toni's heart, those words seemed

to appear anytime Toni Had a decision to make. And now, before her was her

future and the biggest decision of her life.

Today was the day of reckoning, today Toni was going to leave

her mark on the world.

Just three months ago, Toni was discovered so to speak. She was

showing some of her drawings and sketches at a community art fair, when she was

propositioned about hosting her own art showing at the local Museum. Toni agreed

at once as the asker was the Local Museum Curator, He was gushing about the

potential Toni's art possessed and was adamant that she present herself

formally to the art community.

Toni was taken aback by the voracity of the Curators praise. She

didn't think of herself as an artist, instead she saw her creations merely as

doodles or amateur renderings. Oh, they were good, but Toni didn't think they

were exhibition worthy.

The Curator promised Toni That he would make all of the

arrangements and that she only need to select 30 to 40 pieces of work to show

and possibly sell, it was overwhelming in the moment, Toni was so bombarded by

the praise being heaped upon her and her work that she agreed without thinking

about what would have to come next.

Toni was a shy introvert, a girl who survived her horribly

violent and abusive childhood by withdrawing into herself and creating worlds

where she fit in, worlds where she was the hero who was brave and confident,

worlds where she belonged, where she was cared for, where she mattered, where

she was safe. Toni created galaxies of worlds through her drawings, beautiful

meadows filled with sunflowers, Dales and Glens inhabited by faeries and

sprites, fantastical places in which she could retreat and disappear, where she

could dwell in her heart space to try and heal from her daily doldrums.

the Curator did not exaggerate when he told Toni that he would

take care of all the details of the exhibit. The rooms where Toni's collection was

to be shown were immaculate, the walls were covered in large lithographs of

VanGough, Picasso and Warhol, a perfect complement to Toni's art style. There

were platters of crudités and dozens of bottles of Champagne. The Curator even

hired Professional wait staff to serve the appetizers in white tuxedos with

tails. Toni was overwhelmed, she had selected 44 pieces of her best work to

show, it was an eclectic mix of serene nature renderings, quirky caricatures,

poignant shockingly dark and violent scenes as well as a host of political

cartoon drawings to sell.

Toni felt as if her world had spun into hyper drive, all these

wonderful things were happening, doors were opening, dreams were being

realized, manifested right there before her very eyes. Every wish and hope that

Toni had imagined. Fame, fortune recognition, acceptance, it was all there

waiting to be taken ready to be accepted. All she had to do was reach out and

grab it.

Toni stood in the restroom of the Museum staring at her

refection in the backlit mirror. She was trembling from excitement and

apprehension. Why did this always have to happen? anytime anything good comes I

blow it! Tears are streaming down Toni's cheeks, her mascara is pooling in black

ponds at the corners of her eyes, doubt is creeping up inside of her like a

broken water main, filling every inch making it impossible to breathe. Toni

feels like her heart is going to burst! oh no oh no oh no please no Toni pants,

she knows she is experiencing a panic attack. Toni consciously tries to control

her breathing, but she becomes lightheaded and sinks to the floor, her hands

locked in a death grip on the edge of the vanity, her head cradled on her

forearms, tears flowing unceasingly from her eyes leap to their demise from the

tips of her nose and chin,

God! Seven years of Therapy and look at me! No Better than the

day I left home! Here I am on the most important day of my life letting my

anxiety keep me from my destiny! Toni Pulled herself to her feet trying

desperately to calm her breathing, I will not let him win!

Toni declares to the empty room. I will not let him control my

life for one more second!

Standing to her full height, Toni looks herself in the mirror

and says " I am Worthy of good things, I am not a victim anymore, I take

back my life, I reclaim my sanity, my strength, my voice, my power! I am worthy

of happiness I am worthy of success; I am talented I am creative, and I am

Beautiful! I forgive myself; I forgive him. I love me and I am grateful for all

my blessings.

this will be the last time I let your hurt filled words stop me

from realizing my dreams. I am not that Twelve-year-old girl you molested and

destroyed with your twisted words. I am Beautiful and I don't need your love

Because I love myself!"

Staring into her own eyes in that restroom mirror Toni realizes

she had stopped crying. Quickly Toni washes the ruined makeup away and

reapplies a fresh look, checking her hair and smoothing her lipstick She

reaches for the door. I am ready, she says. I choose me!

Staring into her own eyes in that restroom mirror Toni realizes she had stopped crying. Quickly Toni washes the ruined makeup away and reapplies a fresh look, checking her hair and smoothing her lipstick She reaches for the door. I am ready, she says I choose me.

Toni Opens the restroom door and is greeted by raucous applause

and the sound of clinking glass,

The Curator announces, Ladies and Gentlemen Please welcome our

Artist of the evening, I give you Toni Yates! The Curator extended his elbow to

Toni and escorted her to the center of the room.

Toni stood at the lectern staring in amazement at the crowd of

people there to see her, to see what she had created, to see the person behind

the pictures.

Thank you all for coming. Toni states, this collection is called

Adversity it is the story of my life depicted in art, and today with your help

I have just defeated it.


May 23, 2021 14:18

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1 comment

Tanya Stingley
14:30 May 23, 2021

this one is personal to me and my quest


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