Short Fiction: Her Mantra in Times of Distress

Everyone has a certain coping mechanism they resort to in times of need; some think of their happiest memories to block out the negativity; some try to escape by going for a run, trying to outrun their problems in a sense; some seek solace in their favorite foods; some write; some sing; some dance. There are countless coping mechanisms as every person in the world has a uniqueness about them.

Just like any other human being, Ella too seeks comfort in something during her times of need: she recites texts that she has memorized.

Whenever she is distressed, Ella’s family and friends find her in some corner, reciting texts from the latest books she has read. Sometimes they are facts about things that most people would find boring; sometimes they are poetry with deep and profound meaning; and at times when her mind is too much of a jumble to sort through, she can be heard saying to herself, “Recite, Ella! Don’t stop! Think! You read about it just an hour ago.” And whether or not Ella would successfully remember what she had forgotten, she would still lose herself in trying to figure out just what it is she ought to remember.

Sometimes Ella envied those around her who could channel their emotions and negativity into something productive, like writing or sketching or dancing or song-writing. All she could do was memorize things and no one seemed to care about that ‘nerdy’ aspect of hers. Sometimes she wished she could be more like the others kids.

Ella had the best friends and family that a girl could ask for, because in those times she was constantly reminded by them that being different from everyone else was nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, in a few years’ time, she along with others might even revere it.

So with their support, Ella soon grew accustomed to the whispers and the pointed glances her way that clearly meant that those kids considered her an outsider, and she no longer cared about what they thought of her. They hardly even knew her and she didn’t know them, and their words didn’t matter in the long run.

Naturally though, sometimes she stumbled. Who amongst us hasn’t? But it was in those times that the people closest to her helped her out. And she always had the support of her books. And while it was words that hurt her in the first place, it was words that also helped pick her back up. After all, it’s not the words that are bad themselves but the people who use them in negative ways. She was finally learning that lesson, and she knew that someday their words would never be able to hurt her again.

Until then, she would just recite when their taunts would get to her, and she would rise back up again with more strength than before.

© Ashes 2017

via Daily Prompt: Recite


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