Names

They called me stupid. Not to my face. Oh no, none of them had that much courage. They talked about me behind closed doors, seated down at their dinner tables feeling secure inside their thin walls and houses of cards. It made them sleep better at night, apparently.
They called me mad. It didn’t hurt me. I’d lost the capacity to feel a long time ago. I let them, knowing that sometimes, people pull down others to feel better about themselves. Sometimes, they hated what they saw in the mirror.
They called me an outcast. The one who had followed her heart. The one who had refused to be barefoot and pregnant. Look at her, they said, waving her learned ways in our faces and tempting our husbands with her knowledge of foreign places.
I smiled when they wouldn’t greet me, when they looked right through me. Like puffed up balloons, they couldn’t look past their noses at the rocks they were lazily floating towards. The revolution was here and it would crush them.
I smiled.

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