She stayed silent to preserve the sanctity of her story


Sofia Hargis-Acevedo

Some of the recent little moments in time that I have felt truly present and happy in, and I simply have to thank her.

She is forgotten about often.

No one seems to mention her, acknowledge her, care for her.

She still cares for them, nevertheless. She keeps them safe from harm and keeps them warm from the harsh cold. They confide in her with their most sacred secrets and spill out to her their grandest concerns. But they are not aware of what they are doing for her or what she is doing for them.

In some way, she knows that they are thankful for all that she does for them, even if they have an absurd way of expressing it. In return, she watches—she observes and creates a wonderful story in her mind that will never be shared with anyone.

She has seen many faces come and go throughout her lifetime. As of eleven years ago, she has watched a little girl with thick, dark brown ringlets and wide, curious eyes the color of pennies grow up. Head to toe, she was filled with energy, for she would jump and dance everywhere she went.

This little girl must have too much energy in that petite body of hers, she thought. How has she not yet burst from this excitement?

She observed the little girl with concern every single day. She watched intricate story lines involving her Barbie dolls with plot twists and action—all the drama of all sorts. She watched her many attempts at becoming an artist. She watched as she crumpled paper after paper on a bright teal desk as her Sharpie ink drained. 

So she listens to the whispers she can almost hear. Every good moment of her life she soaks up like a sponge and never wrings it out.

She gave up on the drawing quite fast—it was not a penchant of hers.

She watched as the little girl moved on in life. She watched as the little girl and her best friend and neighbor would make stop-motion movies with their American Girl Dolls. They would spend hours and hours perfecting every movement, including voice-overs and music to add to the plot. 

But even that stopped eventually—they grew out of dolls.

Why does she give up so easily? she wondered. She seems to adore these things with all her heart, but then one day, she stops. I hope she soon finds something that she truly loves.

There was no question as to what she loved most in the long run. She loved to leap, kick, and turn across the floor. She loved to move to music in a once uncoordinated way, but she observed the little girl practicing with music downloaded to her iPod Touch. She watched as she brought home more placement pins and plaques and scintillating trophies. She watched her coordination and technique skills sharpen with precision. She watched as her love for dance never wavered throughout the years. 

I am so glad to see her so happy doing something that she adored so much, she thought proudly. I hope she stays this way for the rest of her life.

But then school got more difficult.

She spends hours on her bed, at her desk, or just on her bedroom carpet, trying to finish all of her work in time to get at most six hours of sleep. She overthinks and overanalyzes every situation and stays up at night, racking her brain over what she did wrong. She tries so hard and does the best she can, but it leaves her exhausted.

She is counting down the days she has left until she gets a break.

I hate to see her so upset, she thought. I want to make sure she savors every moment of her life before it washes away.

So she listens to the whispers she can almost hear. Every good moment of her life she soaks up like a sponge and never wrings it out. She’s been smiling more genuinely, and she has been laughing harder at jokes that are not that funny. 

She is getting out more often and enjoying herself. She is being present in every moment possible. She realized just then how far she has come since the Barbie dolls and failed drawings. She sighs as a wide grin spreads across her face, and she is proud.

I am so happy to see her happy, she thought. I’ve loved watching her grow to be the human she is now.

It was one random Monday that she realized that she has never thanked the one who’s seen the most of her. The one who has seen her at her most vulnerable moments, at times when she was naive, or when she was the most present in her life.

So I thank you, truly, for creating a wonderful story in my life that stays sacred to everyone, except for us.