A Voice

By Emma Stokes, TIWP Student

She was desperate. Practically on her knees. Begging to talk to anyone. It seemed to her that no one would listen. No one wanted to listen to her long list of problems. The thing is she would never talk. She wouldn’t answer if you asked. She wouldn’t look at you if you stared. She wouldn’t be hurt by you. Or if she was, she wouldn’t say. No amount of locked car doors full of curious parents who are worried could make her talk. She wanted to talk but she couldn’t.

She was so anxious that she would sound crazy. So worried that her feeling that no one understood would be confirmed. Most of all she was scared no one would care. She knew they all said they did but what if it was a lie? These what-if questions haunted her day and night like a hurricane she was in the middle of and it certainly wasn’t calm. Her feelings were so suppressed that if a scientist were to look inside it would probably look like those really old rocks with thousands of layers. You’ll find, however, that when you’re carrying a rock around in your stomach it tends to not sit well. Then someone finally asked the worst question.


One simplistic word but it set off the alarms in her head because really she didn’t know. There are millions of stories she could tell herself about why she did everything but none of it was true. All those layers of rock seemed to be spewing out of her. The first layer was not words, neither was the second or third. It was just raw waterfalling tears that wouldn’t stop until the sea in her eyes had dried up. Then the words came and they didn’t make sense.

It seemed to be a different language but she just kept speaking and talking to anyone. She talked to herself a lot and there were many of what she supposed her English teacher would call a-ha moments. Then she started talking more—and now some people might say she talks too much. They might find it annoying, but she loves it. She loves how much power her words have. She’s not perfect to any extent of the word, but she has a voice now.

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