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Upside Down

There once was a little girl who saw everything upside down. She saw everything inside out, and when things were moving backwards, they were moving forwards to her. A tree wasn’t just a tree, but it glittered and sparkled with thousands of brown and green jewels clinging to each branch. As summer turned to fall, emeralds simply turned to rubies for her. In the winter months, she’d go outside in only shorts and never get cold, because her bare feet weren’t touching frozen water, but they were touching the sky and the snow was simply above her. At school, her teachers would tell her to write a paper on a specific animal and she would write:

Lizards are dragons that can’t breathe fire
Lizards are dragons that can’t breathe fire
Lizards are dragons that can’t breathe fire
Lizards are dragons that can’t breathe fire

And she’d usually get that paper back with an F marked in the top right corner. But it didn’t matter to her, because F’s were really A’s if she thought about it backwards. And after school she’d walk home barefoot, over grass and sharp pebbles, but her feet would never cut because the pebbles and glass were really just sidewalk without the cement.

But one day she skipped out of school, with her F paper in hand, and she felt a little sting at the bottom of her foot. She looked down and saw blood seep into the sidewalk, and a pebble fall off her big toe. For the first time she started to cry, as she felt pain and realized the blood was coming from her, the pebble could really cut, and the F was her future.

At seventeen years old, sometimes she would still put on shorts and go outside to sit in the snow. She’d sit there until her thighs were purple and little tiny bumps climbed up her arms. Even when it hurt she’d close her eyes and keep repeating, “this is the sky and the snow is above me.”

And finally she’d stand up, look around, and wonder just when the world got so very cold.





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