She did not ask to be introduced to this world, but here she is, full of hopes to achieve dreams and live an almost-contented life (because nobody can ever be truly content). Her first few years of her life were mainly about her following orders. Sleep at eight. No telly after six. Study hard.
Occasionally she found some joy in her home, but most of the time she was in pure delight among her friends. They were the ones that pushed her on, believed in her that she could do it -when nobody in her home can.
At that stage of her life, she is given the question that gave a little spark to her eyes. “What do you want to do later on in life?” Finally, with a little taste of freedom at the tip of her tongue, she spills her plans for building her own future. The response to her enthusiastic speech is unfortunate, however. Step by step, with more rebukes and opposing comments from the Backbone, she falls into despair.
There was the saying that goes “home is where the heart is” but she doesn’t believe it. Jealousy boils in her blood every time she sees the parents of her peers supporting what they wanted to do. How old is she now? Already reaching adulthood. She has her own life too, but home does not see it that way.
Stubborn Backbone does not understand, does not even want to step into her shoes. Hard-headed Backbone, cutting off her speech midway, saying things like “you will regret” “you think it’s so easy?” “people who do that won’t succeed”. She’s tired of fighting and exhausted from trying to justify herself.
That night is one of those nights where she hopes nobody hears the echoes of her cries from the bathroom. She hopes the soaked pillow will be dry when she wakes up, and that no one will notice her red swollen eyelids.
People her age are now enjoying herself. Some take their freedom to the fullest and she vows that she will never be like them -even when she has been living in a cage all this while. She will be moderate, she knows she can control herself for she has learned from the disasters her peers faced. She knows what to do, but she was never given a chance to manage her own life by her own self.
She is a child, not a pet dog. Sometimes even dogs were let loose so they can explore, so perhaps she is worse than a dog.
Don’t get her wrong. She doesn’t see “elders know best” as some bull manure. Nonetheless these elders should know that young ones are not as stupid as they think they are. Young ones might be impressionable, but if they were given a moderate radius to explore, they will learn what the world actually tastes like. These experiences able them to adapt.
If elders know best, elders won’t even shelter their children from such one-in-a-lifetime occasions. It turns into a cycle; the children will never grow up, and elders will never see such potential in their offsprings because these poor young ones were never given a chance.
And if Backbone thinks he’s sustaining, maintaining, saving this bond, he’s wrong. She has read one of Shakespeare’s classic, learning that Jessica had even left Shylock in the midst of all anguish.
That night is the night of her breaking point. The warm summer breeze from the window invites her and incites her to flee. If she survives, she runs away to pursue life, lead solely by herself and undriven by nobody else.
And if she doesn’t outlast the fall, the long deep sleep seems exiting enough.