Shame Comes Not Alone, But as a Package

August 5, 2008
The hour late, the character tired, she had no idea where it would take her. Her decisions on-the-spot and abrupt, her resources exhausted, her mind did not think beyond the now of the moment. The feelings and precision of her character being the only considered factors in her resolution, she made a choice which left her, a fortnight later, alone, neglected, and dishonored.

Upon receiving news of their daughter’s actions, her family threw her out. They disowned her, sent her out into the world on her own, and themselves moved. Told her that if she felt herself mature enough to make such choices then she was old enough to face society alone.

“You’ve shamed not only yourself, but our entire family,” her father had loomed over her that night, his voice severe.

“You’re a scandal -- you’ve stained our family’s reputation for miles around,” her mother had used a soft tone more cuttingly painful than any raised one. “You’ve forced us to detach ourselves from you, to move. Do you know what that does to us?” The girl, for she was merely that, barely a fifth of her way through life, had seen reflected in her mother’s eyes another question, askew with grief: How could you do this to me? How could you force me to lose you?

Her older brother had sat solemnly in a chair, watching his family batter back and forth, exchanging remarks. The girl had gazed at him, pleading for him to vogue on her behalf. He was indeed, in their society, the epiphany of perfect, had built such a picture about himself as to which she could never aspire, especially now. He’d shrugged to her, showing a slightly awkward discomfort in that he could do nothing to post-pone, let alone prevent their parents’ actions. He’d worn the expression of one who has been through much, for whom this was stretching his already-stressful limit.

She’d found her father the most difficult to read, the only one seemingly without an under-lying emotion secretly wishing to be expressed. She’d sat at his feet, attempting to break-down his apparent emotions -- anger and shame -- as he yelled. Still, it had seemed, there gleamed something untold, lying beneath the surface, as there is always some secret dying to come out, hidden in the depths of every soul, deceased or living. Sadly, as the girl attempted to gauge the likelihood of finding her father’s, she had come to conclude that he was one to take such a secret to his grave.

Now, a fortnight later, the girl has had plenty of time to reflect. She has found that for every action, however small and seemingly insignificant to the rest of society, there are consequences. The expression of shame comes not alone, but accompanied by a family of other emotions. Most of all, she has learned that the only expectations one can ever fully meet is one’s own. Once you make a mistake large enough to have everything you knew, everything which had respected you up until that point, taken away, you don’t make that mistake again.

The hour late, the character tired, she had no idea where it would take her. Her decisions on-the-spot and abrupt, her resources exhausted, her mind did think beyond the now of the moment.

She stood, turned away, and began to rebuild all she’d lost.

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