Better To Pay Attention
Daniela Stow, Grade 11, Ruyton Girls School
1st in the 'Fantasy And Beyond 1998' competition
I sat in my room. I cold hear them laughing from their cocoon in the drawing room. I may as well not exist for all she cares. I’ll show her, She’ll notice me.
The box was small, damp and had a definite odour to it. As I lay there people began to talk in hushed voices. As always they were trying to hide something from me. The only difference this time, was that I was the centre of attention. They were all there for me. She was a lovely girl, never asked for much. Who did she think she was? She’d never listened, certainly never acknowledged my presence. Suddenly, now she was watching. This was making her pay attention. Maybe now she’ll think about me. Maybe she’ll even regret not listening to me. I should stay in here longer, maybe forever. That might give her a chance to see what it feels like to exist, physically, but not within the eyes of others.
I could just see them all sitting there. Some crying others just in awe that I’d finally gone. I’ve got your attention now, don’t I? She’d get up and make a speech, a eulogy I think they call it. She’d talk about how much she loved me and would miss me. Others would then begin to cry, maybe because they felt guilty about ignoring me, or because she had become such a good liar that they actually believed her. Whichever way, I’d won. They were there for me. I’d finally found a way to make them notice me.
The lid began to slide open. I shut my eyes and lay as still as I could. I could feel it was her. She rested her hand on mine. It was shaking. I knew that she didn’t mean it, she couldn’t. She hadn’t spoken more than five words to me over the past two years. As usual it was I, facing this by myself. How would she feel if she knew that I was really just testing her? Trying to prove a point.
A tear fell on my fact. It was warm. She did this every time. She had the power to manipulate your emotions. Not this time. This time it’s my turn. I moved my arm just a little. Enough for her to feel but not see. She jumped. Her face would be going white. I opened my eyes and she promptly fainted.
I felt like Juliet. Willing to take that drastic step. So far, she was the only one who had seen me. I got out of the box, walked across to the microphone and gave my real eulogy. I am here. But none of you has ever paid any attention to me. Now you’re listening through. Until the shock wears off, you can’t move. I can say whatever I want and you have to listen. The power I felt. The control I had regained over my life. People would listen now. They would be asking for a long time, why?
I stop my cackling as she beats on the door. If only I could do it…….