When you were little by Lizelle Dsouza

When you were little, you used to wear tiny floral print dresses and sit with your legs apart because that was the only way you knew how to.

You would confidently march on that stage and carve melodies with your body — each move either accentuating or masking every curve on your body — and you continued in rhythm, too engrossed in losing inhibitions, too occupied in the fervour of creating art to notice they were looking.

In class, you would sit attentively with a subtle grin, unashamed of how you knew all the right answers, and when you didn’t, you weren’t afraid of repeating the same question thrice either, because you were too excited about learning to notice the judgmental stares that you incurred.

You would smile at strangers and exchange friendly greetings every time someone smiled back.

The whole concept of lying-to-please was alien to you; you offered sincere honesty, even if it meant admitting to your aunt the dress doesn’t suit her, or accepting a compliment with self-aggrandizing words instead of a “thank you.”

You would walk the streets confidently, humming tunes that you heard on the radio that day, swaying your hips to the rhythm of the breeze, unappalled by everyone around you.

You would run to the garden during the first rain of each year and spread your hands as though they were wings and twirl around, conveying  to mother nature how pleased you were.

What happened?

What happened to the girl you used to be?

What happened to that bold and brave girl most admired for her flamboyant personality while others disregarded for the same?

What happened?

Did their lurking shadows compel you to imprison yourself inside resilient barriers?

Did their condescending judgements solidified in displeased stares tape your lips eternally?

Did their profane eyes desecrating your body make you wrap yourself in layers of uncomfortable garments?

Did you cast incisions on your skin to keep their moist hands away?

What happened to the girl you used to be?

The girl you never got to know!!

I really do hope she returns someday.


Leave a Reply