Monday, July 30, 2012

Someone Cared About Me Once

A woman I called "The Blonde" and I spent the next hour curling hair, doing makeup, getting dressed and being absolutely girlie before going to a party. It was hard for me—a practical granola who had shunned such things for so long. And the longer The Blonde and I talked, I realized we had absolutely nothing in common. Either she’d changed drastically since I'd met her or she was finally being herself.
    “Take those ugly earrings out,” The Blonde ordered.
    “They . . . Well, they don’t come out.”
    “What are you talking about. Of course they come out.”
    “I don’t want to take them off.”
    “But they’re rusted and old.”
    I smiled and looked at them in the mirror. “Maybe my face doesn’t look like my own anymore with all this makeup, but those earrings still remind me of who I am. When I was eleven, my brother took me on a long camping trip where we climbed mountains and hiked all around. We used to bury cans of Spaghettios under the fire so they could get warm for when we’d eat them.”
    “And what do those ugly earrings have to do with any of that?”
    “One day, we looked over a big valley. We’d spread a blanket next to his trunk. The sun had gone down. The stars came out and my brother gave me these metal earrings. He put one in his ear and gave me these. He said it was a sign that he’d always be there if I needed anything because no matter what he’d love me since I’m his little sister.” I cleared my throat and touched one of the earrings with my left hand. They were little loops, nothing special to anyone except me.
    “I guess I didn’t realize it until now, but whenever I’ve had a hard time, I remember these earrings and they make me feel better.”
    “Does he still wear his earring?” she asked me as if it was a fashion faux pas and not something that had carried me through so much.
    “No,” I whispered. “He doesn’t.”
    “And yet you refuse to take yours out now. Between those earrings and your stupid beliefs . . . That’s great if you want to keep the memory in your heart of how someone cared about you once, but you don’t need to wear those earrings forever. The earrings have turned from a blessing to a burden.”
    She really didn’t get it. Who cared that I hardly had anything, or that my brother no longer wore his earring. They were a sign to me that his words and actions had impacted my life. And If I wanted to carry those memories with me—memories of his kindness and the fact that someone had thought I was worth something once—that was my own decision.

    This is an excerpt from a book in The Golden Sky series.  How awesome that the final book is almost done!

    You might be wondering why I'm writing about my brother so much lately.  It's because his very first book is coming out this Wednesday.  I'm so excited for him.
    For more information about his book, please go HERE.