It was the Boy who conceived me. He sat at a squat table swinging his legs, the laces of both shoes dangling. His tongue stuck out at the right corner of his mouth.
I started life as a piece of orange construction paper pressed up tightly against the other colors in the pack—green and pink and yellow and blue. The teacher opened the pack and fanned us out upon the table. The Boy chose me. The Boy changed me.
The Boy cut me into what you humans call a heart. Coated me thickly in glue. And then, he covered me with a white paper doily and rubbed at it with his thumb to smooth out the glue.
“Mommy will love this,” he told me as he affixed two eyes crookedly to me. The boy filled me with purpose and intent and slowly, I began to take shape.
He painted on a green nose and a smile of yellow.
He shook glitter over me-gold and silver and red and blue.
He attached a thick stick to my back.
“You’re beautiful,” the Boy whispered.
* * *
At eleven o’clock, you picked the Boy up from preschool. His face was beaming. You had your head bowed over your cell phone.
“Look, Mommy!” The Boy held out his gift to you. “Look what I made for you.”
You glanced up. Frowned. “Hearts aren’t orange, silly.” You took me in your hand. You placed a thumb in my wet yellow smile. “Oh,” you said. “Thank you.” You painted on your own smile as some of my glitter spilled across your pretty white sweater.
You looked at another mother. Spoke through your teeth. “Why the hell does she let them use glitter?”
You took me home and posted me on the refrigerator, where I’ll remain until another messy project replaces me. Every time you look at me, I can see you considering: Is it too early to sneak that into the bottom of the trash can?
You find me too gluey, too glittery, too messy.
I know you don’t want me. I know you don't love me.
But the thing is, the Boy knows it too.
This prompt was written in response to Gifted
: Dam Burst – Since many of you don’t appear to be being challenged enough, we’re going to step our game up a little for the Dam Burst prompts…starting today. You get to play the part of the gift (Mwah ha ha!) Write a piece in which you, the gift, have fulfilled your destiny—to be given to someone… only they don’t want you. Good luck!
Labels: Fiction, Story Dam