Peer Review by Fernweh (India)()

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Legs aren't for pulling!

By: Drishti Bhatia


PROMPT: Rain or Shine

​​Her narrow, dry lips turn into a weak smile and then part slightly letting a childish giggle escape. Laughter is being reflected in her voice but not in the eyes. Anyone paying attention to it can realise that it is fake. Fake like the friendly punches she give others neglecting the tension in her muscles that wants to escape. Hidden deep under the layers of her lovely gestures is the feeling that's too bitter to taste.
She continues laughing as everyone else continues mocking her. Her eyes seem lost. Maybe helping her brain search the reason she is laughing for.......at herself.
Until ​yesterday,I never observed her so carefully.
Until yesterday, I never knew how sensitive she was with tears waiting to overflow her eyelids.

I remember her shooting her hand up to give an answer in the science class. Her knowledge demanding to be acknowledged. But what she blurted out was the unexpected and most inaccurate answer which even the dumbest student could find wrong. But she wasn't the dumbest. So, it did not appear wrong to her.
And what came through the mouth of our teacher as a line of reflex, sent the entire class bursting with laughter but her with tears. The expression he used was unintentional but it came out so funny that it kept our classroom echoing with laughter even when everyone saw her crying.
I covered my mouth but laughter finds it's way to leak through every bandage. I tried focusing on her instead. Embarrassment had already flushed in her cheeks painting them red. Tears did the same to her eyes.

His comment wasn't rude but funny by my standards. But everyone have their own standards. Maybe, or definitely,  for her, it wasn't in the limits of just humor.
The entire incident left me under a single impression that she was childish.  Still believing in a beautiful lie called life. 
For some reason, her face kept flashing before my eyes not letting me sleep that night. All that my mind saw was her wet cheeks, puffy eyes and the uncontrollable trembling of her lower lip. 
The incident was too disturbing to allow me some sleep. It demanded attention. So I agreed to give it that. I replayed the film in my brain and analysed my thoughts so carefully as if I had to write about it in a research paper. And it helped.

I added a little brevity to my impression. 'Childish' wasn't the right adjective to define her. It should have been 'sensitive'. 

Sentiments are just like immunity. They need vaccines of every emotion to prevent from being hurt. Maybe, she never got those small doses to prepare her from the bigger ones.
I find it rude to scoff at and shoo those people away who annoy me without even  realising that their presence is hard to endure. So, I help them realise it. For her, it was through ignorance. 
Until yesterday, I ignored her in the most polite way possible ( if you call ignoring someone polite ) replying her with just nods and one liner answers. But she never saw the distance I was trying to maintain between us.
But also, it was until yesterday.
Her tears showed her innocence . As I remember, those who cry a lot are not alone, but lonely deep inside. 
What if she needs company? What if she keeps her pillow damp at night? What if the shame she inhales is suffocating  her?
Until yesterday, I believed that focusing on countless  'WHAT IFs ' was unhealthy. Now my belief is that at least some 'WHAT IFs' should be bothered with. Maybe I find her annoying 'cause that's how I have feeded her in my brain. What if she's not?

Until yesterday, I was completely oblivious to her emotions. But now, it's time that I make everyone else conscious to it. 


Message to Readers

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.


Peer Review

After reading this piece, I feel motivated to view people in a different light. Think about them with a clear head and try to observe their emotions. This ability is something that is currently lacking in our current generation. We need to be more sensitive, more compassionate and most importantly, more human. Being emotional is not being weak. It is a sign of strength. A sign of how deep you are. People really need to understand this.


Did something similar happen to you or to someone whom you know? Or maybe you just came up with this issue? If yes, then what made you take up the issue even if it had nothing to do with your daily life?


Reviewer Comments

This is a wonderful piece. You are an aspiring writer and capable of doing more great work. But never forget that there are many writers here on this website who are struggling for support just like the protagonist in your piece. They need help too! And we all are like a family here!
Great work! Keep writing!