Je ne sais quoi.

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Image source: Cowboyzoom

At first, you want attention. You are the painting in the art shop, that fights to be hung at the entrance wall so that the world sees you. Passers-by shoot glances at you as they hurry to and from their work places; high school friends point interestingly at you as they walk home in troves, gossiping about the new hot guy in class. Sometimes, the world comes in to meet you, touch you, feel you. Some say you are the right size but you are overpriced, others say you are just the right price but not quite the size. Stranger after stranger has a thing or two to say, but none takes you home. Dreamy eyes covet you, lonely eyes envy you, and that is it. At the end of the day, the sun goes to sleep, the world goes home to where it belongs and you are still in the shop, now closed; you are still the painting hung on the wall, waiting for the sun to wake from its slumber. Everyday. It is what you are: a painting on the wall in the art shop until someone takes you away.

But soon, you start to want more. You don’t want to be the painting on the wall. You don’t want the world to see you. You don’t want to spend your life waiting for someone to take you home. You just want to mean something to every eye that is lucky enough to see you. You want to be an answer to someone’s question; and the question to another’s answer. You want to be a light to one person’s darkness; and the awakening to another’s numbness. You want to be unforgettable, irreplaceable. You don’t want to be someone’s everything. Or everyone’s everything. You want to be the art work that touches lives without being touched. You want to inspire people with lessons that they take home even if they never take you home. Beyond that, you want a home away from home— in the hands of someone brave enough to want more of you and do what it takes to have you.

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© The Short Black Girl, 2019.

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