Speech
June 23, 2021

Speech is a powerful thing. I always remember my grandparents telling me to watch over the things that I utter. Their daughter, my mother, never learned that from them. I remember multiple times where she would hit me. Her palms on my cheek, leaving a red mark on my face. That did hurt, but not as much as the sentence that always follows after, saying, “I regret becoming your mother”.

I very much understand the sentiment. She took on the shame put on young, unmarried mothers. But every time those words escape her mouth, confidence flows out of me. The lack of it made me an outcast.

As a kid, I was bullied by people from school. But even after all the physical and verbal pain that I experienced from my peers, I always try to not say anything bad or hurtful back. Only cries of pain and yells calling for help escape my mouth as the cycle repeats.

As much as I want to, I don’t want to say things that could break a heart. Maybe the kindness that is absent from my mother’s words could be found in mine. I’ve always promised myself to not leave remarks that scars people’s confidence or break their belief. But people can become abusive of the kindness that you show them.

All of my bad experiences with people left a pile of nasty feelings waiting to escape from me. One day it found its way out. One of my bullies from school, a socialite, posted pictures for an anti-bullying campaign. That ticked me off. Maybe her intentions were right but the act she put on was hypocritical. Emotions ruled my mind and I found my hands gliding through my keyboard. The intent of every line I wrote was clear, to put her and her hypocritical act to shame. To top the paragraph, I wrote, “your parents should regret having you as their child”.

I said it. I said it too casually as if words no longer have an impact. As if my statements could easily mean nothing if I’d apologize. I said so casually like the way my mother said the same thing to me. My online statement got so many hits and she was exposed to everyone that even some of her other victims stepped out. People’s interaction with her changed. They started turning their backs on her. She lost her friends and her reputation. They didn’t like the way I said things either but finally they started to look my way and listen. Only this time, I no longer want more words to escape from me. I’m afraid that the more I’d say, the worse things could get. She lost so much from a paragraph I wrote. I apologized to her after the fire died down. She said she called it quits, and admitted she was wrong too. That left me with a lesson, watch my words, it’s a powerful thing. Using it wisely can make a
difference.

2ND PLACE – SHORT STORY MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE DIGITAL WORLD
FetteredFeatheredFriend
16 years old
Female

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