The Place Where It Isn’t

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
June 2019

By Eliana Schaffer, Art by Sloka Ganne

Sun Flower

 

There was a space. The space was empty, but, if you think about it, it wasn’t an absence; it was a presence. It didn’t belong. Inside her heart, there was the absence, or presence. In her heart was an empty space, or filled space, and it just didn’t belong. The rest of her heart, though, could take years to describe thoroughly. There was art, there was math, there was writing, there were jokes, and there was family. What was missing? In the very back, there was sorrow, but sorrow had its place. Of course, it was hidden. Everyone has sorrow hidden in them. It is human.

But everything about this girl was normal. Except for the absence, she felt as if she was complete. Not special, not out of the ordinary, but she was fine. You could almost say she was perfect, but even in perfection, there are flaws. You see, even in perfection, it is hard to learn, to improve, and to do better. You cannot set goals, not achieve, for what is there to achieve in perfection? The perfection, as the girl saw it, was something she loved. But not until she learned of what that perfection did to her did she realize what it took from her.

Every day, she would watch the other children get scolded, and taught, and corrected. She laughed and thanked the gods for what she had achieved.

Two days later, the girl was crying. She was crying, and crying. For she was told by her teacher that she had to stay home from school.

“Why?” the girl cried out. She was upset at the teacher. So, so, so upset. For that teacher, unintentionally, had spoiled her lifelong journey toward perfection. She had never cried. Even as a baby. Now she let it out, and, surprisingly, it felt good. She approached her teacher. Screams and screams were aimed at the teacher. The teacher looked hurt. What was hurt? It didn’t make the girl happy. There was something else, like the opposite of happiness. Then, she hugged her. It was a solution. Why would she need a solution?

The solution helped. It filled up the hole of hurt. The hurt was still there, but it was covered, and the covering made her happy. It was an accomplishment, and that felt good.

Eliana Schaffer The Place Where It Isn’t

Eliana Schaffer, 11
Los Angeles, CA

Sun Flower Sloka Ganne

Sloka Ganne, 9
Overland Park, KS

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