Little Red Perfect Girl

Rays of sun glimps­­e through the curtains as two dark brown eyes are struggling not to open yet.

„Wake up right now, Jo! It’s time to get up.”

It’s too early. And she’s cold. Even in these early summer days when her mom, dad and little brother are already wandering around in shorts and T-shirts her feet, palms and tip of the nose are always frozen, she’s wearing fluffy socks and hates getting out from under the warm quilt.

Too early. She knows once she’s opened her eyes reality is waiting at the door, to hit her again with a new bright day. Full of spotless homeworks and enthusiastically phrased answers to every single question the teachers will be capable of asking. Plates filled with tasty fatty traditional food, three course meals of course, there’s no other way to eat a proper dinner in this family. A huge home library full of overwhelming knowledge, she will never be able to finish reading even if she ends up living for a hundred years and can still read by that age. A cardboard TV box stuffed with toys, Legos and the deepest, most horrifying feeling of utter loneliness in the middle of a perfectly happy family.

It’s time for the house weirdo who’s always complaining about being cold to get out of the bed and face another day in Paradise.

„Jo, seriously! I’m not coming to your room again. Wake up already. Wake up.” Mom’s angry yet distracted voice sounds through the door.

There she is, outside of the quilt’s dreamy cocoon. Why does every morning seem like a Groundhog Day?

Wake up.

Eat breakfast.

Learn, read, write, tear up the pages from the notebook with any misspelling whatsoever, because impeccable writing is mandatory. Rewrite everything from the beginning.

Whisper some witty argues to deal with all your mother’s scolding, but not too loud. Wise comments are not for good girls.

Get your backpack. Double-check your backpack and get dressed for school.

Hate the clothes you are wearing and the definitely too tight ponytail hairdo your mom’s making you every single day.

Double hate the colored jeans your mom got perfectly fitted for you from those second-hand pile of clothes she managed to buy.

Triple hate all the red trousers, skirts and blouses you have. Because they are simply too many and this color seems to scream louder than you could ever allow yourself to do.

Go to school and pitch perfectly no matter the syllabus. Come back from school.

Play with your brother, building cities where Barbies and dinosaurs and cars live together happily ever after. Tear down those lovely cities for entertainment, just to have the pace to make new one.

Alas, mom is yelling again disturbed but too much playful demolition so it’s time to stop tearing down toy cities and do your homework.

Learn that poem by heart for the literature class, finish reading that adventure book and work some more on your math skills who never seem to improve anyway, but you know what they say, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again.

Dad is home early today! So, it’s a rare and special day: dinner in the living room in front of some loud reality TV shows and bowls full of chips, schnitzels and laughter.

Then wash up, get in your PJs just in time for curfew and listening to one bedtime story on the retro pick-up before going to sleep.

Go to sleep right now.

Wake up, wake up right now. Aaaaand, repeat.

How can a tiny head with dark brown eyes possibly figure out a way to accommodate both hate and love all these things, at the same time? And what can possibly make her hate them? In this planned self-sufficient perfection, what possible reason can a little girl have to feel an impossible weight that grows bigger and bigger with each morning, with every „wake up!”?

That’s right. There’s no reason. It’s just a peculiar inexplicable feeling, just as unusual as her body temperature that seems to be stuck in winter, while everyone else is waltzing trough all four seasons with proper, vividly colored clothing. Fortunately, this feeling fades away as the hours of the day unfold, so she’s already decided some time ago to call it „morning sickness” and keep it well hidden behind her eyes. One weirdness is more than enough, thank you, life! The thought of a brand-new reason to be seen as different because of her mind’s sleep post-partum is heavier than her school backpack stuffed each Monday with a variety of notebooks, workbooks, reading books, pens, pencils, three different rulers, crepe paper, glue, paper scissors, tape and coated paper for the Origami class.

Morning sickness sometimes comes back at night, too. But it smoothly goes away once eyes are closed and the mind wonders in the land of dreams.

That must be it, dreams are a gateway to a space where there is food and playtime and laughter with no routine, school with no homework, drawing without reading, stories with no curfew, wardrobes with no red clothes in them, braided hair and family time with no mundane distractions.

When her eyes are closed, it’s like she has this magic power to make every idea come to life and her soul is free, her hair is loosely braided, her jeans are as blue as Levi’s made them.

Mom sounds angry? Close your eyes and picture her smiling with a clown nose on. She’s had enough and doesn’t see you anymore? Close your eyes and watch her dancing with you and a bowl of fresh strawberries in the kitchen.

Dad is not coming home again? Close your eyes and picture him flipping vinyls so you can listen to the „Red Riding Hood” record for the 4th time this evening.

Toys are broken? Close your eyes and fix them in your magic mind, piece by piece. It might take a while, but luckily time doesn’t have wings in land of dreams.

School books are boring? Close your eyes, imagine your own new stories and then tell them to your baby brother.

Red is an awfully loud color? Close your eyes, open your own design shop and paint your clothes in those peaceful, tender pastel colors you’d love.

You’re just too cold? Close your eyes, get back under that warm quilt for a little while longer and keep dreaming on for a bit, perfect little girl. What is essential is so often invisible to the eye, anyway.

„It’s only with the heart that one can see rightly”. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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