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// This Girl //

One decade ago, a girl of thirteen played with the silver band around her wrist. A friendship knot design. There is a lot to be learned at thirteen and perhaps sometimes, too much. But this girl was excited. This girl was ready. 

One year ago, a girl of twenty-two slept more than anyone could possibly sleep. She was pulled under a cloud of exhaustion and stuffed to the brim with a lack of opportunities. It was almost always easier to sleep than think. This girl had burned out with no glory. 

One month ago, a girl of twenty-three was returning, victorious and, at least to her, utterly glorious. She had just left a burnt red country and was now back in luscious green. This girl triumphed. 

One hour ago, a girl of twenty-three picked up a pen to write words that are neither beautiful or inherently positive, but are true. Her words often get thrown by the wayside in her life, despite their power to her. They are an all-consuming vital force. This girl is learning. 

Oftentimes, the girl wrings her hands together and pops her knuckles just for the sake of something to do. She certainly did this as she stood on a shore of a tidal lake in East Africa.

Several hours earlier, the girl was the kind of tired that quakes the very bones. It had been an early start, when it was still dark out and the dogs barking was the only sound for miles. The purity of the sky was a glorious distraction whilst the girl and her friends waited for the car against the blackened gate. Without pollution, the stars did not even twinkle. They beamed with all of their might. The girl kicked the dusty earth around her and yawned, the glory of the sky at least half wasted on her. Perhaps another blanket might have been wise.

For a long while, the car drive was a blissful silence for every sense. Dark and quiet. The girl tried to sleep some more and when she spoke her voice cracked raw. She feels like this for days at a time sometimes. Happy in the silence of darkness.

But then there are blinding contrasts. This day was one of them. It stung at first it was so bright. The girl woke only when the car was pulling onto the softness of the white sand. The only sounds are chickens, children and the distant noises of lake water birds.

The girl became energized, infused through the sand. She was the waiting destination of the lit match, dropped onto alcohol. It was that fast. She became alive. One step at a time, towards the shore, this girl realized that she was perhaps no longer defined by her time spent dormant. When the urge became too much, she knelt just when the sand grew wet and pressed a hand into the water.

It was neither warm nor cold, but seemed more to mirror her own heat. It was as though this memory was truly to be formed for her to relish. A not-so-subtle message that times had changed and so had she.

The rest of the day was spent swallowed in the knowledge that this girl was no longer, that girl. That sad, sick girl was gone. This girl was electrified.

–  Jennifer Poyntz

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