Fiction · Short Story

Never Gonna Understand

Note: This entry was originally posted on 27 September 2014.

THE PERSON WITH more smiles

is the person with more heartaches.

~never gonna understand~

GROWING UP WITH a perfectionist mother, she was used to doing everything fast but flawless. She was used to doing everything tidy; no mess should be made, and nothing must be in disorder. She was used to following her mum’s orders all the time. She was used to how her mum controlled the situation all the time and how her mum controlled her every single actions, too.

At the age of 7, she started to wonder where her dad was. She asked her mother but all she received was a shrug and a short response, “Your father is dead.” Her inquisition grew so she always insisted her mother to tell her what really happened to her dad and how he died and she had gotten the most painful lecture. Thinking about it made her cry so she refused to elaborate it. After that, she kept taciturn and never said anything.

All she did was work hard to please her mum. Every day, after school, she would go straight to her room and start reviewing what they just have studied for the whole day. At Saturdays, she would meet with her ballet teacher no matter how much she had preferred to stay home and play with her Barbie dolls and play house. At Sundays, they would go to church with her mum redundantly repeating her words before the mass started, “Always be cautious. We don’t want others to notice my daughter acting like a clumsy, unsophisticated brat.”

When middle school started for her, it was the first time she came home with a B on her grade. She was so disappointed with herself for she knew her mum would be disappointed too. However, there was a voice on her mind saying that she knew she did everything, sometimes things just didn’t get to work out the way people wanted.

When her Mum knew about the hideous red mark called B on her answer sheet, her mum would say things like, “I am so disappointed.” “You never did anything good. Gosh, what’s happening to you?” “I think you need to get back to home school so for once you could focus on your studies. No toys for you for one week.”

She wasn’t startled when she heard those words from her mother. She saw it coming since the minute she saw that mark on her paper that morning. Although, hearing the actual words from her mum still hurt more than any pain that was inflicted. Her mother’s words always clung to her like sharp eagle’s claws and carved deep into her.

She never said anything because she knew she would receive a worse punishment, though removing her toys wasn’t counted as punishment because she never got to play with them, anyway.

When she was home schooled, she always tried to do great. She would always show her mother her works and A+ activities whenever her mum got home. But all she had received was sermons and lectures about how insensitive she was about not seeing that her own mother was knackered and stressed from work.

With that, she would just hide in her room and cry herself to sleep. She never said anything because she wanted to make her mum happy. She always pleased her mum and do all the things her mum liked her to do.

Though her existence in every aspect failed to meet her mum’s great expectations, she would still strive hard to be perfect in her mother’s eyes. She was almost perfect. But almost wasn’t enough.

Her freshman year came, and she finally got back to regular school. She couldn’t be more thankful enough that her home school teacher went abroad for a new job. She still thanked her though, and she was a little sad. But she was happier to finally have a taste of being a true student and teenager.

Being a regular student, she found it hard to adjust with her surroundings. Being isolated for two whole years was the reason why she couldn’t find new friends. Eventually, a group of girls noticed how she hid herself from other people. Being nice enough, they befriended her and that was how she found new colleagues in school.

She would hang out with them. Every day, at recess and lunch, she would be there whilst her newfound friends would talk and she would listen. She never shared her opinions and views for she was afraid they might judge her and notice how much of a failure she was.

Her so-called friends were there. Whenever she would come to school with slightly bloodshot eyes from countless nights she would cry to sleep, they were there. They would always tell her to stop crying because crying is for the weak. That was why whenever they ask her, she would always reply with “I’m okay.”

So she stopped crying. No matter how hard it is to be strong whenever her mum would reprimand her about her B grade, she refused to cry because she didn’t want to be weak. She would always hide her real feelings beneath those smiles.

As she was afraid of speaking her heart out, she started to keep a journal where her notions were immortalised. Her big, black journal knew how she felt. Her big, black journal knew what her real feelings were. Her big, black journal was there when she needed it the most. Her big, black journal knew that she wasn’t really okay, she was far from it.

During her senior year, she finally discovered why her mum refused to tell her what had happened to her dad. Turned out, he died of lung cancer and liver complications. He was a great father to her and husband to his mother until she was at the age of 2. He became friends with the wrong persons in the business industry and he ended up as a drug addict, alcoholic and excessive smoker.

With all these information, she somehow understood why her mother wanted her to be flawless and impeccable just like how her mum was. However, she wasn’t like her mother. Her mother’s genes weren’t completely passed on her that’s why she couldn’t be as perfect.

But then, she never said anything. She would be misunderstood, anyway. She just busied herself in Creative Writing Club. She would write about how she truly feels without utterly making it obvious that it was her own mess called her life.

She became partner with a lad who was one of the best writers in her school. They constantly met as they needed to work on their projects. It was three months since she knew him that she realized she became totally close to him. He knew her fears and insecurities. He knew her doubts and weaknesses.

He was someone who she could confess to. He was someone who said to her that crying is okay. He said that crying is human. He told her that it was okay to spill all emotions hidden beneath the smiles and laughs. He comforted her when nobody did. He was beside her when she was in her downtimes.

But her mother noticed their closeness so her mother instructed her to stay away from him. She never really knew why but she obliged. She loved her mother so much that she would please her just to make her happy.

Thing she knew about her mum was that she wasn’t great at showing affection but she would hear her mother pray at night for her own daughter’s safety and well-being every day. Maybe that was an enough excuse to lessen the pain she felt every single day. Her mum loves her. Her mum wasn’t just good at making her feel it.

It was graduation day and she knew that after that, she and her mum would transfer to another country for her college. She saw her friends. She bid her good-bye to them and vice versa. She saw him and immediately ran away. She couldn’t have the guts to face him.

“I love you,” Those three words that came from his pink, plump lips she could never forget. It was the eve of Valentine’s Day when she planned to meet him and end their friendship. What had really happened was him confessing his feelings for her. How she wanted to let him know that she reciprocated his feelings.

However, she never said anything. She just ran away and left him standing in the middle of the park. Anyway, she knew that she would leave him at the end of the school year.

Again, that was what she did at Graduation Day. She ran and quickly rode in their car whilst she knew he was there chasing after her to ask for an explanation. She fought hard not to look back, for she knew she wasn’t strong enough to leave him with unanswered questions. She knew that if she looked back, she would go down from the running vehicle and tell him what she really felt. So she sat back, refused to cry and continued on forgetting everything.

That was how it would end. She never said anything for she believed no one was ever going to understand. They’re never gonna understand how she felt no matter how hard she would explain. She stopped trying because the people who understood her weren’t approved by her mother, anyway.

All she did was try her best to be as perfect as what her mother wanted her to be. She became almost as perfect as what her mother preferred. The again, almost is never enough. Something was missing in her life and although she would look okay, she may look okay; nevertheless, being okay was far from being happy and she knew why she couldn’t be.



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