I Will Rise

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It’s because I’m a girl, isn’t it? It’s because you think I can’t be as good as a boy, no matter how hard I try. You claim to be modern, and you call me ‘your little Einstein’, even when you know you’re trying to curse me to a life of subservience. You tell me I’m better than my brother, so why do you not say anything to him when you catch him smoking and drinking, but yell at me when I talk on the phone for too long? You say I’m the apple of your eye, that I’m capable of achieving greatness, but you never let me do what I want to. It’s always what you want me to do. You tell me about great women, and tell me that I’m going to be better than them, but how can I, with the way you treat me?

On the surface, everyone thinks you treat your daughter just like you son. They think you give me the opportunities to do what I want to do. Oh, but you deceive them all so well. For so long, you made me believe those lies, but I’m not a gullible little girl anymore. I won’t fall for them anymore. You need to know where I am and who I’m with every second of every day. You don’t let me go out with my friends without asking me a million questions. You get angry if my phone’s engaged when you try calling me. You say it’s because you care about me, but you’re afraid I’ll turn ‘wild’ and people will talk.

You yell at me when I get bad grades, but have you ever offered to go over the work I do in school with me? Have you ever asked me if I need your help understanding something? You say I’ve got good grades until your friends tell you about their kids’ grades. That’s when you call me useless, you tell me I don’t know how to study. Instead of looking at the Bs, why don’t you look at my As sometime? It’s hard trying to live up your expectations while trying to keep my dreams alive.

You don’t let me date, because you think I’ll ruin my reputation. You say guys will distract me from my studies. But in reality, you’re scared of what your so- called friends will say if they find out I’m dating. You think they’ll call me a s***, and insult the way you bring up your kids. You’re right. They will. But they don’t look at their kids before talking about me. They don’t know the stuff their kids do, or they ignore it even if they do know. But they still gossip about me. You say it’s because that’s how our society works, but it’s your fault for staying in this society. And you know what? It hurts a lot when you learn that your parents chose a bunch of back- stabbing losers who moan about other people because they hate the way their lives turned out over you.

And then, when you said you’d send me for camp, when I was so excited because I thought you were letting me be more independent, you dropped the bombshell. My brother would be coming along. I was so excited; I had planned everything out with my friends. But now? A holiday without you and with my brother? That just ruined everything. He tells you false tales about me, and you believe him.

I hate him so much. You tell me all siblings fight. I know they do, but this isn’t a normal brother- sister relationship that we have going. I hate him. He hates me. It’s mutual, but you refuse to see it. He’s jealous of my brains and my popularity. I hate him because he lives him life by imitating others. He thinks smoking at the age of 11 makes him cool. He thinks using abuses in every sentence makes him a god. He thinks telling you every sordid detail of everybody else’s life makes you believe he doesn’t do any of the stuff he tells you about. He’s right, you know. When he tells you everything about my friends’ boyfriends or girlfriends, about people who bunk classes, people who shoplift and people who smoke and take drugs, you think he’s talking about it because he finds it shocking. You’re so gullible. He does every one of those things. Except dating, because no girl finds him attractive enough. He tells you about the guys who ‘bully’ him, and you yell at me for not defending him. You never believe me when I tell you they aren’t bullying him- they’re decent people who are trying to stop him from acting the way he does. You say they have no right to do so, because you are so blinded by your love for this person you call your son.

I wanted to go to camp because I thought I’d be away from him for a week. But of course, you had to go and burst my happy bubble. Do you know how many times I’ve cried myself to sleep? The number of fights I’ve had with my friends because I refused to tell them what was wrong?

So now I’ve made a decision. However much you try to hold me back, however much you deprive me of my basic rights as a teenager, I am going to rise above the crowd, and achieve great things. So I thank you for giving me a burning desire to prove myself, because it’s going to make achieving distinction so much easier for me.





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