Daily Fiction Writing Challenge Day 10: Everyone

Our prompt for the StoryADay challenge was to write about a small space, or one that is becoming smaller. They suggested maybe an elevator or even a shrinking solar system.
I thought instead about the things that make us feel smaller and this is what happened.

Everyone

“Children should be seen and not heard,” they repeated to her as she grew, reminding her girls were supposed to be dainty and pretty, not boisterous and plain.

“Keep your laughter to yourself,” her teacher cautioned in junior high. “This is QUIET reading time.”

She grew, but the space around her seemed to shrink.

In college, they told her to be contemplative, not opinionated. “You’re here to learn.”

At her first job, she talked about inequality in pay.

“You’re poor. You’re just jealous,” the told when she talked about wealth disparities.

“You’re married, to a man,” they said when she asked for marriage rights for everyone.

“You’re healthy. Why would you care?” They told her when she asked for health care for all.

When she became disabled, they told her she should let people who were able bodied make the decisions.

When she talked about abortion, they told her men knew best.

When she talked about racism, they reminded her she was white.

When she told them history was repeating itself, they said she was paranoid.

Finally, the woman was frayed around the edges, a tight know of insecurity and nerves.

She sat on the edge of the giant chair in the therapist’s office, her arms drawn in tight and her words soft, barely above a whisper.

“What made you afraid to express yourself?” he asked.

She shrugged, ever so slightly and whispered, “Everyone.”

--

--

--

Lucinda Gunnin is a commercial property manager and author in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She’s a news junky, sushi addict, and geek extraordinaire.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

The Brahmin turned Astrologer

Nervous Water

Texas Heat — Chapter 8

It’s Never Dull Being a Property Manager at a Senior Complex

52 Stories from 52 Photos: ‘#04’

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Lucinda Gunnin

Lucinda Gunnin

Lucinda Gunnin is a commercial property manager and author in the suburbs of Philadelphia. She’s a news junky, sushi addict, and geek extraordinaire.

More from Medium

Operation Enduring Digitarti

Fundie Fridays: Putting the “Fun” in Christian Fundamentalism

Corner Lots Baseball