Our Youth

Excellence Award in the 'Poetry & Short Story Writing Competition 2020' competition

An ache overwhelmed her.

Dragging her feet slowly along the pavement, her olive eyes were transfixed on the gravel.
Behind her, the loud chatter of the playground echoed all around her, creating a sense of longing.

Slowly, she turned around and sat down on the ground, legs crossed, twiddling with her thumbs. She bit her lip so as to look busy, so very “interested” in the grass. She pulled one blade off, ripped it in half, again, and again.

She could feel the downcast eyes full of sympathy from the class teachers, but thankfully none approached. Which was really all she could ask for. This had to be done alone.
A bashful look swept across her face as she slowly lifted her head, each centimetre higher felt like a meter to her.
A colourful, vivid scene reflected on her eyes, as her perfectly shaped nose inhaled the morning dew.
Children giggled and screamed, running about excitedly as they nimbly climbed the monkey bars and squealed as they went down the slide, or quivered with adrenaline as they jumped down the slide.

A large badge was stuck to her chest, reading the name “Violetta”, handwritten by herself on a slip of paper in the similarly-named colour.

Brown, curly locks of hair were tied in little pigtails, as she twirled it around her finger in a shy manner. Mum had always said,
“Looks are attractive, but they should always be no match for the person inside.”

Ten paces from her, a stout boy tripped on the grass, which resulted in some intense sniffling and a few tears as he tried to bravely ignore the pain.
Empathy radiated from her.

She pulled her head down again.

Tentatively, an unknown teacher crept towards her, attempting to meet the girl’s gaze. She hastened her stare towards the floor, continuing to glare at the ground and never look away. Sensing the attempt to be left alone, the kind stranger stood up and walked off. Obviously, facing it alone seemed the best solution to her.

It was an empty hole wishing to be filled. A deep chasm that would never be satisfied. A hunger for more. A sorrowful poet. A stray dog, tail between its legs. A rage-driven beast, breaking free.

Sadness slowly morphed into anger.
No matter what, this could never be solved. It would never end.
It just had to be that way. Forever alo-

“Hey, it’s Violetta right?” A dark-haired girl asked. “You wanna come play with me?”
“Sure!” Violetta’s smile glowed as they ran off together, laughing.