Shallow- A Life in a Word

They all think I’m so shallow.

They see the cheerful eight year old bouncing around with her spoildness sticking to her as she beams, never a pout unless she doesn’t get her way, Liz, Liz, stupid, silly Liz.

They threaten me with not getting what I want.

Is that really all the see me as?

Even my family, the ones who should know me the most, stare after me with narrowed eyes and disapproving stares with threats and anger as if video games and phones and not being able to buy something they already refused to buy as if I’m just that shallow.

Nobody’s ever tried to venture past those calm waters, have they? Cautiously peered into the deep end.

Even the people closest to me call me spoiled behind my back and whisper words of disapproval as they laughter about situations I’ve been in as I walk down the halls, alone and clutching my jacket around me tighter and shiver.

Even as I call out into the darkness, falling deeper by the second, no one comes to pull be back at out.

Empty smiles. Hollow laughter. Fake cheer.

Was I really always meant to be so, so alone?

Voices that pull me down at ever second, people that push me away, people who claim to know me never knowing me.

I suspect they never would.

(Elizabeth- Age 13)

I was suddenly sucked into the popular world. Now I can see the stares, envy, hear the rumors trailing behind my back as people act two-faced, dancing around my approval as they whisper insults under their breath and cast me nasty glances. Laugh at my every moment. Comment on everything I do.

The overly tall, 5’ 7 wispy girl with long hair that adorns her smooth and perfect, natural skin as others dance with their heavy, thick makeup. And they call me shallow.

(Elizabeth- Age 17)

I see the glances trailing at me. I’ve grown, like the others. Become more popular. My hand-made outfits are seen as rich and decadent, frivolous things as they look down upon me as if I bought rich clothing.

I made every single thing I’ve ever worn, since I was six, and this is what they say. My expertise grew out of need, and… they toss at it. Shallow. The word sticks to be like the label they’d never find on my clothing.

Nobody cares about who I am outside of the gifted beauty and careful clothing I pour myself over.

Shallow, the word I’ll never escape from, the word that defines me and ensure my loneliness.

No one will ever see past it, and will they ever want to?

(Elizabeth- Age 25)

“Elizabeth, dear, being a clothing designer is not a easy job…”

”Elizabeth… With the… Good life you lived, can you make it?”

“Starting and keeping a business isn’t as easy as you think, Elizabeth.”

They talk down on me like I’m nothing. Like I don’t know. Like I’m overreacting- A life full of pent-up anger because nobody would listen and nobody would understand is apparently not a hard one. I’m thinking too much of it. I’m being stupid. Founding a business is too hard for me. They say these things  as Liza’s Bouquite is the single most popular clothing area in our state. They say such things when it’s rated in the top 10 nationally. When every day people compliment me and smile, kind people who are closer than me than the family who is supposed to protect me and help me. Instead they look down upon me and murmur their disappointment, turning their backs on me and disowning me. They did. Finally disowned me. Than came running back when I earned so much money.

When I refused, they’d all looked at each other with disapproval and muttered shallow, each snarling at me as they left.

No doubt I would never see them again. After all, I was too shallow, wasn’t I?

(Elizabeth- Age 30)

They didn’t come.

As I lie here, close to death on the hospital bed from the injury of a jealous woman who’d seen her love watch me for “too long”, I watched the ceiling. I looked pathetic. Hair sprawled everywhere, scars embedded into my face, eyes soulless and dead. Rumpled clothing, and skinny to the point where you could feel and see the bones. I had no power here, though with the idle yet painful time I had, I’d concocted several new designs I’d left behind for the next successor. They were kind-hearted people who knew nothing about me, though I trusted them to take over my shop.

The doctors and nurses had tried everything, and before the surgery that would be needed after the vicious woman who’d escaped from prison had stabbed and slashed me exactly 67 times, they wanted me to say goodbye to people I knewc people who cared, in case I died in the surgery.

Nobody came.

Nobody cared.

The sister who’d taken pity on me had turned away in disgust about a minute later when I enquired about how the family was doing financially in an effort to be polite. She screamed the word that surrounded me forever- Shallow. I should have guessed.

Even in the wildest of situations… Even close to death… Thst was the brand that would follow me forever.

And so I accepted it.

When the nurses and doctors were unable to save me when my heart began failing, they agonized over me. Tried to contact my family. My nonexistent friends.

Yes I’m bitter. A lifetime of this hurts, and when you’ve become a soul wandering the mountains, a legend now of how I would “curse you” if I were “too jealous”. Souls can’t die further. I was given a “gift” though as kind as they were, to let me wander on Earth forever, it just made more misjudgement. I was known as the Ghost of Shallow Creek- a pun, of course. And never had I ever exposed my thoughts, my feelings, burst from the pressure. I kept it in, patiently as others picked at me. I could make it. I could survive.

I didn’t even have a funeral and only the kindest of lies were on my grave, just to look good, just to look like the world wasn’t completely messed up and the one group of people we were told to always trust…

Destroyed me.

And they said I was shallow.

2 Replies to “Shallow- A Life in a Word”

  1. I do not understand how you can write all of this depressing stuff and still be… not depressed. Oh well… I’d give it an 8. I know its the title, but to me at least, it’s a little annoying when you keep on saying it over and over again. Maybe still enforce the repetition, but use a synonym once in a while.

Leave a Reply