Give Nor, Give Up.

A self-made raw cotton dress. Abby tenderly wraps the gift. Her bare feet find their way down the stairs, past rich wood panelling. She sees herself in a gilded frame. She wonders, “Where’d that come from? I look so beautiful, those colorful ribbons.” Shaking it off she continues her descent.

The stairs end in a grand room full of people. “Maybe this time.” Holding out the gift Abby looks at the boys gathered at the table. The weight of it begins to burn in Abby’s extended arms. She looks away and pulls the gift close to her chest. Some see her, but some stare past her.

Friends pat her on the shoulder and she gets distracted and pulled into a conversation. Soon she is laughing and singing the night away. Following them to the door, Abby waves goodbye to the last of the party goers.

Returning up stairs she comes to that painting and sits down studying it. “It is me, but it is not myself at the same time.” She shifts her dress from where it pinches, “My eyes and my smile, but not me.” Abby stretches and rubs her eyes. Climbing to her feet she gives it one more glance and continues up the stairs.

On the next landing a mirror sits opposite the stairs. She sets down the gift and stares into the mirror pulling at her skin and she studies her reflected features. “Odd that the mirror also feels like me and not me. In some ways I am more like the painting.” She stretches her face in to a silly expression and giggles, leaving the mirror.

Back in her room Abby puts the gift on her vanity table and crawls into bed.”One day we will see each other and see the entire person.”


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