So I was randomly looking through old files I have on my computer and apparently I started a story a long time ago. Maybe someone will like, maybe someone will use part of it later for some reason or maybe no one will ever read it or care, but I thought I might share it anyway.
I actually used to write a lot when I was younger, because it was something I really loved. That’s why I got into journalism. I love words and being able to use big ones the right way, but it’s true what they say (and please forgive the overused adage) but if you don’t use it, you really do lose it. I haven’t tried to write anything in a really long time. That sucks. I should probably get into that more.
Anyway, I haven’t posted anything in over a year now. Which makes this blog thing kind of pointless. But I want to start. I guess I just need the creative part of my brain to wake up again. I need ideas to write about. I need to have something to say. There’s a cute quote I found (also in my archives of old files I kept buried in folders on my computer) by Maya Angelou, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” I need a song.
“…Now class, you understand what’s being said here right?” Mr. Williamson addressed them. Without raising her hand, Fatima stood up and started her spiel.
“I think this is all simply silliness. Everyone knows Israel is going to die and most of the people will too if they don’t smarten up. They’re not strong enough and their hatred has gone on too long. They’re killing Muslim babies for no reason.” The whole class was silent. Fatima continued, “This whole study is stupid, why are we even doing this. I liked what we were reading before though, about the Muslim women and the hijabs. THAT was interesting, and really important. I think –“
“STOP IT!” Miriam was practically in tears. “It doesn’t matter to me who started what or who’s right; what matters is that innocent people on both sides of this war are dying. My grandparents were almost killed, twice! It’s so hard to live each day praying you won’t hear a horrible phone call saying someone you love has died. We live in constant fear that something horrible may happen. It doesn’t matter to me what color someone’s skin is, what matters is what color their heart is. Every culture, every people, every country; they all have those with black hearts and they ruin life for everyone. I just want all this fighting to stop; all the fighting from everywhere. Both sides have done bad things and they both say it’s in retaliation for something the other side had done. To me, this doesn’t matter. Someone started this long ago but now they both need to end it. They need to come together and agree on peace once and for all. An agreement on peace that actually means something and lasts, not an agreement broken over night when someone fires more missiles at the other. Don’t you understand how important this is? To me, to you, to everyone. Please stop hating.” Unable to control her tears, Miriam stops talking.
“Yeah whatever… JEW! Of course you would say that. You try to sound sweet but I see through your words and into your own hate-filled heart. You hate all my people and you know it. You shouldn’t be talking here. And what happened to the quiet girl I barely knew existed all summer? Where did this lying pig come from?”
“I can’t believe you would say that. I meant every word I said. I hold no hatred in my heart for anyone. I tried to reach out, to make peace but instead you spit in my face.” Turning to Mr. Williamson Miriam continues, “Could I be excused please?” Mr. Williamson nods and Miriam leaves the room. As she enters the bathroom she has no idea what’s being said about her back in the classroom.
“I can’t believe what you just said to that girl!” Melissa began. Melissa Yu is a smart Chinese girl who’s always been good friends with Miriam. Melissa is usually a quiet girl in classes but she felt so strongly opposed to the attack on her friend she broke her vow of classroom silence. “Miriam is one of the smartest, sweetest people I have ever met and she’s definitely sincere. Obviously you’re just too big-headed and thick-skulled to see what a strong and kind girl you just broke!”
“Honestly, Miriam never hurt anyone. She’s always helped me and Melissa in everything. She’s never said a hurtful word about someone and she would never lie about something like that.” A new voice broke into the argument, adding numbers to stand behind Miriam in her absence. Jennifer Smalley was one of Miriam’s first friends after she’d moved. Jennifer too, excelled in academics but she was more open then the other girls. She often spoke if she felt the topic wasn’t too far beneath her. Most of the class, including the teacher, Mr. Williamson, stayed quiet. Jennifer continued, “I’ve known Miriam Radinsky since we were in the second grade together. We’ve always been close and I’ve never thought differently about that girl. Fatima, I think you are the mean and insincere person. Everything that came out of your mouth, not five minutes ago, was a spiteful lie. You’ve proven to the class why there is still a war going on.”
Almost finishing Jen’s thought, Melissa spoke again, “Fatima, there are people like you in this world who can’t see anything past themselves and they’re the ones causing all the problems. You have put another person down to try and feel strong. You’re not strong though, and everyone can see that. People like you are the reason there are wars. If you could just lighten up a little bit and get to know a person before tearing into them, maybe you’d see more beauty in the world. If you would let go of your prejudices, maybe you would see some light.”
Finally Mr. Williamson decided to take control and calm the class down. “Girls, please. Drop this argument. No one is wrong, no one is stupid and everyone is entitled to their own opinion but please do it kindly without personal attacks. There is a girl crying in a bathroom now and that’s unacceptable.”
“Mr. Williamson!” Fatima called out. “What’s truly unacceptable is that the silent wordsmith, genius of English can use her stupid little lies to twist what everyone thinks. She’s making her words seem pretty and sweet and now everyone is one her side. It’s so unfair that she’s allowed to say those things about my people!”
“What did she say?” The speaker, unidentified, had a quiet and uncertain challenge in their voice.
“What do you mean what did she say? You all heard her say my people have black hearts!”
When no one answered Fatima she sat down. She seemed to be thinking things through. What HAD Miriam said? And why was no one helping her or defending her like Jennifer or Melissa were defending the Jewish bitch? Fatima was filled with hatred all of a sudden. This was far from over.
“Sir,” Fatima’s hand shot up in the air excitedly. “SIR! I think we should
Yeah, that’s where I stopped. I have no idea where I was going with that. But there you have it: one of my many attempts at starting a story. I have more files too. I’ll post some of those I guess 🙂