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It is amazing how different people react to the same thing. Take the sun, for example. The sun’s warm touch is a universal part of the human experience. Yet, two not so different girls interacted with it in completely different ways. The first girl did not like the sun. When she felt its beams upon her skin, it felt as if something moved within her. She did not like this feeling. But the other girl, the other girl needed the sun, for it was the dark that made her stomach churn.

When the first girl felt the sun wrapping around her, all she could do was imagine how she should feel. She looked around her and saw her peers basking in the warm glow. They enjoyed it. The warmth meant something to them. It reached some deep place within them, and they were fine with that. The sun made her think there was something wrong with her. Why couldn’t she smile and enjoy the moment? Why was her mind consumed with thoughts of melanoma and peeling skin when the other girls’ only concern was for their tans? Why couldn’t she bring herself to lie down in the grass and just be? Why couldn’t she just be? Oh, how she longed to be swept up in a moment, any moment! No, she did not like the sun. The sun brought out her darkest feelings of isolation and detachment. The sun made her acknowledge her greatest secret: this smiling happy creature was, in fact, not like everyone else. Behold her icy heart! The sun’s burning did not melt it, it only froze another layer.

The second girl needed the sun. The sun meant activities and company. The sun meant distraction. When the sun went down and she rested immobile in her bed, her thoughts began their nightly strafing run. Thought after thought, image after image, flew at her in a frenzy of consciousness. She tried to dodge them. She tried to hide from them. She tried to banish them. Still, they flew. Still, they attacked. Every night, her mom pokes her head in the girl’s bedroom and thinks, how peaceful my little angel looks. Her little angel, her cherub, her heavenly gift would sell her soul to the devil if it meant she could fall asleep. If it meant her thoughts would slow and leave her alone. When she wakes, she is bright eyed and bushy-tailed. She adjusts her halo and prepares to start her day, all the while dreading the moment when she will run out of things to do and it is time to sleep.

Meanwhile, the Earth keeps rotating. Day and night continue hopping back and forth, trading places. The sun still burns, hot, deadly, and indifferent to those who would die without its flames. Both girls are tortured by the sick inevitability that both day and night will come again, but still they keep moving forward. Why? It is not because they are stubborn; after so many years of pain, they have a significantly smaller capacity for resistance. So how do they continue? Hope. They both hope and pray for the day when the Earth’s rotation will not seize them in a paralyzing depression. They are able to get through the brightest day and darkest night because of their fervent belief that eventually, the pain will lessen. Someday, they will be alright.



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