Precious Outcast

March 17, 2011
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Narissa Talloy opened her mouth and let the sweet melodic notes cascade out in a beautiful arrangement of love and passion. Every word was sung with perfect clarity and uttered with such a fierce passion that the audience was captivated, stuck in the moment of pure joy. Narissa smiled as the audience swayed with the music. She could stand on that stage forever. She could keep on singing until the rivers dried up and the ozone fried. Narissa didn’t want that special moment to end.
As the music faded for the first song, Narissa launched into another melody with even more passion than before. Even more vigor. The audience picked up on her energy and began to sing along. Narissa was overjoyed and smiled as the voices of her fans blended with her own soprano vocal.
The crowd seemed to call to Narissa. Seemed to beckon her to join them in the rows of velvet-covered seats. Narissa obliged and, without ceasing her melody, stepped down from the wooden platform to walk among her adoring fans, to shake hands with the people who opened their mouths to accompany her. Could life be any sweeter?
“Narissa! Look at me when I’m talking to you. Narissa!” The shrill voice snapped Narissa out of her daydream and into the harsh reality of her life. Narissa turned her eyes to look at the face of her mother. The grey eyes were darker than normal, like storm clouds about to rupture and spew out lightning and thunder from their depths. Her nose was chiseled a little too big for her small heart-shaped face. Stringy brown hair was wrenched back into a tight ponytail. A baby was balanced on one hip, and both hands secured the chubby infant to her body. Disgust was written on her face, “Did you even hear what I said?” Narissa shook her head. Mrs. Talloy let out an exaggerated sigh to let everyone know that she was annoyed. Switching the baby to the other hip, Narissa’s mom opened her lipstick-smothered mouth again, “I told you to hold the baby and get out of my way!” Mrs. Talloy thrust the tubby baby into Narissa’s lap and kissed the peach fuzz covered head. On her way by, Mrs. Talloy kicked Narissa’s wheelchair.
Narissa looked down at the roly-poly infant with large grey eyes like their mother’s. Even the baby’s face was riddled with disgust at the sight of Narissa. Narissa tickled the baby under the chin.
“Even you treat me as an outcast, little one.” Narissa said with contempt laced into her words. The child began to wail in Narissa’s arms. “Please be quiet. Rudi, please don’t cry.” The baby was deaf to Narissa’s pleas for silence. Narissa wrapped her arms around Rudi’s body and decided to sing a lullaby to the infant. Hoping that the beautiful soprano voice of her daydreams would awaken and sing, Narissa opened her mouth. But the only thing that came out was a raspy, off-pitch voice. Rudi’s wails intensified. Narissa quickly shut her mouth hoping against hope that her attempt at song would go unnoticed by the rest of her family.
“Mom!” Narissa cringed at the sound of one of her younger brother’s voices yelling from the den, “Narissa’s singing again!”
“Narissa!” Her mother loped into the kitchen sticking earrings in her swollen ears. “What did I tell you about singing?” When Narissa didn’t answer Mrs. Talloy launched into an explanation, “I told you to never sing in or even near this house. I told you that with nine squabbling children always griping about their terrible lives, I don’t need some poor excuse for human life attempting to sing. Who do you think you are? Why in the world would you think that you, a cripple, could disobey our rules?” Mrs. Talloy paused for effect and then continued, “And don’t try to run to your father for help. He agrees with me.” Mrs. Talloy fastened the last earring into her ear and snarled at Narissa, “And shut that baby up!”
Tears dotted Narissa’s face and filled her eyes. An outcast in her own home. She quietly wheeled herself and Rudi into the den hoping to find one of the other eight Talloy children eager to help her in this predicament. But, when Narissa wheeled into the room furnished simply with an old black-and-white TV and two couches groaning with years of use, she found that the six elementary children scattered about wanted nothing to do with their older sister. They all stuck their tongues out at Narissa and gave her looks filled with abhorrence. When they had finished their show of hatred they returned to their toys and gave Narissa the cold shoulder to her pleas for help.
Narissa swiped at the tears and turned her chair back into the hallway. Loud music met her ears and guided Narissa to Jenny’s room. Jenny was two years older than Narissa and usually flipped her long blonde hair and pointed a long polished finger at the door when Narissa entered her room. But, to Narissa’s surprise, Jenny ushered her little sister into her room decorated with posters of musicians. Stacks of CDs and clothes were strewn around the tiny room.
“What do you want?” Jenny asked, chewing her gum loudly and running her fingers through her hair.
“Do you know how to get Rudi to be quiet?” Narissa asked in a feeble voice, knowing that the answer would be an annoyed sigh and a demand to leave. Astonishingly, Jenny held out her hands to take the baby. Narissa could only sit there with her mouth open.
“Give me the baby.” Jenny said. When Narissa did nothing, Jenny reached down and plucked Rudi from Narissa’s lap. Jenny bounced up and down to quiet the crying child. When Rudi had settled down, Jenny turned to a flabbergasted Narissa and spoke; “I couldn’t hear my music with Rudi wailing at the top of her lungs! Now, scat. I don’t want to see your miserable face again.” Jenny turned around with Rudi, sighing happily, on her hip and turned her music on even louder. The music reached out its arms and filled the entire house with its ruckus.
Narissa turned and wheeled out of the room. All hope that her sister had had a change of heart and finally realized that it wasn’t Narissa’s fault that she was a cripple vanished like snow under the August sun. Narissa had no place to go, since her bedroom was in the basement and navigating her way down the stairs alone was impossible. She would have to wait for the one kind soul in the house to get home from Youth Group. Narissa would wait patiently until Lydia got home.
Lydia was five years older than Narissa and always had something nice to say. Whenever Narissa needed a friend, Lydia was the first one on the list. Narissa nestled her wheelchair into a corner and relaxed, letting her eyes wander around the room that held nothing but a fading carpet and a family picture taken three weeks ago. A professional photographer had been hired to take the special picture. Every Talloy was in the picture. Every Talloy except Narissa.
The front door opened and in walked Lydia, her face glowing with joy.
“Narissa!” Lydia ran over and wrapped her arms around her precious sister, “Oh, I’m so glad to see you!” She peeled herself away and stared deeply into Narissa’s eyes. Lydia could read the hurt in their grey depths. “What’s wrong?” The gentle voice was overflowing with compassion and compelled Narissa to tell of her sorrows.
When Narissa finished, tears had filled Lydia’s eyes as well.
“Oh, Honey!” Lydia allowed Narissa to burry her face in the folds of Lydia’s purple shirt and cry. “I love you.” Lydia continued to talk in the soothing voice about her day and what she had learned in Youth Group. “You know what?” Lydia stopped and changed the subject, “I’m not the only one who loves you. God loves you too. In fact He made you exactly the way he wanted you to be.”
Narissa pulled away and stared into Lydia’s eyes.
“What kind of a God would create a cripple? He must not love me very much if He designed me for a life as an outcast.” Lydia smiled.
“He loves you more than anyone in the whole world loves you. I love you so much. You believe that, right?” Narissa nodded. It was true Lydia would die for her. “Well, God loves you even more than I do! He died for you and He wants your love in return.”
Narissa shook her head, “Please, stop.”
Lydia nodded, “Okay, I’ll stop talking about it. But that doesn’t mean that God will stop loving you.”
Lydia helped Narissa into the basement and left to help with dinner. As Narissa sat in the cold room, she thought about what Lydia had said. Was it true? Could there really be a God who loved her, even though she was a cripple? And if there was, did He really want her love? Did he really die for her?
“God,” Narissa said feebly. “If you’re there, I want you to know that I would love you. I would love you if you loved me.” And in that moment she felt a comforting presence and knew without a doubt that there was a God out there. A God who died for her. A God who loved her. Narissa knew that her family would still treat her the same as they always had, but she was loved. Narissa was precious in God’s sight. The outcast was precious.

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This article has 11 comments. Post your own now!

JourneyOn said...
Mar. 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm
You guys are TOO sweet! Thanks a bunch!
Shaggyblitz123 said...
Mar. 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm
It really was amazing...I wish I could write like this!!
Libra97 said...
Mar. 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm
This is absolutley fabulous!  I can't wait to read your others.  You have a very special, God given talent for writing and I wouldn't be surprised if you became a legendary author.  This story was especially wonderful since I could feel all of the emotions of Narissa.  Your similies are amazing too. "...vanished like snow under the August sun."  My favorite! 
JourneyOn said...
Mar. 24, 2011 at 8:52 pm
Thanks everybody! You are all so sweet! It is really good to know that my friends and family are suporting me. It encourages me a lot. So...THANKS!!! for your comments and ratings and vewings.
soccerguy said...
Mar. 24, 2011 at 8:05 pm
It was very interesting. I like the part where it started out with her imagination and ended up being crippled.
Pa Doc said...
Mar. 23, 2011 at 8:31 pm
I loved the story. Just the right amount of suspense. It will help me feel the emotions of those less fortunate.
gracenglory75 said...
Mar. 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm
I am very proud of you! This is excellent! I subscribed to any future writing you put up! 
brookerhollow said...
Mar. 23, 2011 at 10:46 am
Keep up the terrific work!
Shaggyblitz123 said...
Mar. 23, 2011 at 8:46 am
That was wonderful...I have tears in my eyes. You have a wonderful gift and I encourage you to use it. Who knows you might be the next New York Times best seller!!!
brookerhollow said...
Mar. 22, 2011 at 9:32 pm
A great story. Wonderful job!
liking2write said...
Mar. 22, 2011 at 9:27 pm
Your descriptions are wonderful! I can feel Narissa's anguish. Great short story!
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