The Beggar Maid

I would like to dedicate this story to those who have influenced my life artistically.

Yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy . . .

That's what I've been typing all morning. I've been trying to write but I can't.

I couldn't sleep last night. The heat was unbearable. Nowadays my life seems to be a series of 'I can't'.

What's holding me back? My age? My situation? My physical appearance? The reality of my life?

I read novels, books and prose that are strikingly brilliant, beautiful, and real. Real. Are they really? Maybe it's that fact that they are disturbing and that those things could happen in real life and the authors usually describe the beautifully messy events in tantalizing, dark, and poetic prose.

But come to think of it, I can never have those lives. Like Esther Greenwood from 'The Bell Jar' by the late Sylvia Plath. I mean, I would never end up that depressed and I would never end up like that in New York or in a mental asylum. My life is too sheltered.

Yet in all this safety I feel so trapped. Does it sound as if I want to experience tragedy? Not really. I want to experience freedom and through this freedom tragedy may come my way.

I highlight all my 'y's' and click on the 'delete' button. I go back to bed.

It is slightly warmer upstairs now. My father opened the windows in the middle floor to make it cooler. The heat is irregular this summer for where I come from. 35 degrees and above. We don't bother buying and air- conditioner since we always thought we'd never need it. What's two months out of a whole year anyway?

I curl up in my blankets feeling hotter than ever. I use the same blankets throughout the whole year. Including winter. I can't sleep without a blanket. I've gotten used to it.

A little bit of sunlight flows into my room due to the blinds and I hear a car pass by.

I try to sleep for what seems like an hour. Again, I can't.

So I give up on something once again. I turn on my computer and write something. Anything, I can come up with. My younger sister comes downstairs asking where our parents have gone. I tell her they went off to church.

Then, without even reading over what I've written so far I highlight everything and delete it. I don't even feel bad about it. I've never deleted something just like that. I feel slightly proud of myself.

I phone my friend Judacia. She sounds like her usual self. Somehow when she talks to me on the phone (usually) I feel as though I am no different from anybody. I feel that in her life, I should be. I knew and she knew I was different from her other friends. My mother says that she is threatened by me and even jealous. I find this true at times. But it is normal for Judacia to be jealous. She's too competitive. She's good at hiding her darkness, though. Unlike the other friends I used to have. Their deceit was obvious. But deep in our hearts (probably not even that deep).Judacia loves me and I love her. She just doesn't love me as much as I love her.

"Hey." I say.

"Oh, hi" She replies.

"Anything new?" I ask her. I know the answer.

"Nnnnno." She says this as though her 'n' in extended.

"I just got an e-mail from my best friend." I tell her. Like she would care, though.

My best friend, Faylinne lived overseas. It's been months since I've heard from her.

"Oh really?" Judacia said.

"Yeah." I replied.

It was silent.

"We should go check on Lysandra some time. She's been sick lately." I tell her.

"Yeah." She replies.

Later that afternoon we walk over to Lysandra's house with orange juice and muffins. For some strange reason we don't talk like we usually do. We talk like we do on the phone. With me doing most of the talking and Judacia barely listening. Today, there is no chemistry. But I know that on another day there will be. Like, tomorrow.

We drop of the food with Lysandra who seems to not want us around today.

Judacia walks me back home and we say our goodbyes.

I go back up to my room and lie there. Feeling lonely. Feeling alone. At least with those characters in those books something happens to them. Nothing happens to me.

I look at a ripped out picture from a of a painting. I've forgotten the artist's name and the full name of the painting. It was called, King somethingsomething and the Beggar Maid. The story of the painting is that the king was searching far and wide for love and he finally found it in a beggar maid.

That's kinda sad. Not only is she a maid but a beggar. The story is supposed to be happy but why does the beggar maid look lonely? She sits on this stair-like 'throne' and he sits one level lower than her. He gazes at her adoringly. Yet she gazes ahead at the viewer. She looks lonely.

Does she love him too?