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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Microstory 1018: Lenora

Viola Woods. Blast City Senior High’s very own future President of the World. I hadn’t spoken to that girl in twelve years. We were the best of friends when we were kids, but nothing lasts forever, does it? Ask anybody here, and they’ll have no idea what you’re talking about, that’s how badly things ended between us. She was so far removed from my friend list that I wouldn’t have known she was dead if they didn’t write about it in the paper. I would love to tell you what happened, but the truth is I’m not entirely sure. Like I said, we were six years old, which may sound like it must have been something petty, but it wasn’t. She hurt me, and now that I’m older and more mature, I realize that probably I hurt her too. I remember that it had something to do with my mother. She was—as you might call it—the town drunk. She had a bad reputation when it came to men, spent most of her time at the town bar, and single-handedly kept the glass recycling plant working overtime. She’s a lot better now, and I always knew she would be. Lots of kids with bad parents grow resentful, and purely self-sufficient. They have trouble trusting others, and they start looking out only for themselves, because they don’t think anyone else would be interested in doing it. I never hated my mother, though. No, I don’t think alcoholism is a disease, and I always had faith that she could quit, but also that it wouldn’t happen if no one believed in her. Unfortunately, a six-year-old child isn’t a very good ally, so I couldn’t prove my theory until I was old enough for her to see me more like a peer. It was only when we could have meaningful conversations that I started being able to get through to her, which was only a few years ago. Viola was really good at getting people to love her, but that girl had a dark side. She talked bad about others behind their back all the time, and she could never be trusted. She said something about my mom she didn’t think I would find out about, and I was never able to forgive her for it. The most hurtful part about it, though, wasn’t just what she said, but also that she showed no remorse. She never apologized, and she never asked me for a pardon. You wouldn’t believe how quickly and easily she dropped me as a friend, and found someone else to leech off of. I don’t think she deserved to die, whatever it was that pushed her killer over the edge, but it also doesn’t surprise me. She could enchant you, and get you to do anything for her, but that power came at a price. If ever the illusion broke, the reality of what kind of person she really was would just come pouring in, and there is no coming back from that. I wish that I could have done something, not specifically to prevent her death, but to prevent whatever it was she did that got her killed. I know we’re not supposed to blame the victim, but that’s an impractical generalization, because sometimes it really is the victim’s fault.

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