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E - Everyone

The Travesty of Small Decisions

by ameliabedelia241

There are two types of people: people who drink milk, and people who drink water. There seems to be little in between.

Milk drinkers are heartier, bigger boned on occasion, and always full of life. Many times they are trying to strengthen their bones, as they attempt to mend the fissures and cracks that threaten to crush their foundation. Maybe one day they'll succeed.

Water drinkers, like my family, are weaker. They refuse to acknowledge anything strong: fear, weakness, and often love. They believe that people are whole and untethered; that the damage we accumulate is a figment of the imagination that no pieces are missing. This is a facade, so they choose to forget the past and embrace the future. However, while they are big believers in moving on, they never do, as they do not respect the importance of closure.

I like to think that I am one of the rare in between, a water drinker with the tendencies of a milk monger. I understand both types of people; I see my family fall apart, because the water is not strong enough to soothe their wounds. In contrast, I see myself shiver on my foundation, the water weakening its structure every passing day. Eroding my strength to continue.

I have discovered that the world lacks simple truths, but this is one of them: every single person is damaged. It doesn't matter if you live in the biggest mansion or the smallest hovel, we have all endured pain. That's part of my frustration you see, most of the water drinkers I know are well off people who believe money prevents sadness. As a little girl in a nice house my hurts were never acknowledged, bullying friends and mealy school lunches deemed too pathetic over the eternal cups of water. As I grew older, I realized that the clean cups of water were laced with dirty secrets, secrets that rivaled arsenic in their potency. Grandpa was sick with lung cancer. Sister cut herself at night. Mom was a closet dictator. Dad dreamed of leaving during the witching hour. The secrets will be forgotten of course, eroded as life picks us off one by one.

My secrets are far less dramatic, though my still waters lack purity.

I am afraid of everything, most shamefully of my family falling apart.

I am a milk drinker clouding the water, a swan in a line of ducks, and a girl afraid to change. A still girl in a rushing world, frozen, in a world of gusty winds and raging seas, while the moon hides behind the clouds.

So if the world is composed of two kinds of people, where do I fit? Am I destined to ignore the past? Or possibly the future? Humanity is not predisposed to good, but our choices change our interpretation. After all, the feelings speak louder than words. Behind the fair facade, nothing is whole.

So perhaps we all have our shortcomings, milk is thicker than water, and water runs through our veins. I am not a girl with cracks toppling the foundation or secrets eroding my happiness. I am just damaged. There are pieces missing. Most importantly, there is no reason to find them. After all, a crescent moon does not mourn the suns shadow. One day all of our hurts will be forgotten, and out of their ashes a third group may emerge. So, perhaps one day there will be a third group of people, people who drink all beverages, simply because they are thirsty. 

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9 Reviews

Points: 40
Reviews: 9

Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:31 pm
mungerverna wrote a review...

This is a beautiful story. It delves into what it really means to be human and what ignoring those core emotions can do to a person, or even an entire family and their relationships - how the damage done to one person can ripple out in a shockwave and damage all those around them. The personal touch gives the piece even more emotion, lending even greater authenticity to a short story that already feels quite real. I can say without the shadow of a doubt that I look forward to reading anything else you publish here.

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494 Reviews

Points: 5757
Reviews: 494

Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:45 pm
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Holysocks wrote a review...

Hello there!

I absolutely love this. It certainly is odd but it says something much much deeper than what is said plainly (I'm sorry, my voice is screwed up right now because I've been listening to a Neil Gaiman book and now all I hear in my head is a British accent- so this review might sound a little curt- it's a beautiful book though).

The first line pulled me in right away. I wanted to know more about this odd rule where you either drink water or milk, and I also wanted to know what it symbolised, because it's set up in such a way that leads you to believe that there's more to it- that someone is trying to explain something very complex in a simple manner. Or at least, that's what the phrase "there are two types of people" generally implies. So then I read further and I found it pretty believable and interesting that the narrator seems to have a sort of aversion to water drinkers, and it seems that she's like that because her family are water drinkers. And of course it's pretty common for kids/teens to be less fond of the things there parents do. So I liked that subtle clue to the narrator's brain.

Really the only thing that made this a little less than perfect was that it was a bit wordy in places. It kind of reminded me how I write sometimes- in the sense where I'll string together a bunch of thoughts excitedly that could actually be said in a clearer way. Here's an example:

They believe that people are whole and untethered; that the damage we accumulate is a figment of the imagination that no pieces are missing.

This sentence gets a bit confusing after "accumulate". Partly it's because it's a tad wordy, and partly because the syntax is off. I understand what you're trying to say but it doesn't come out smooth at all. You could simply stop after "imagination" and we would get the same understanding, yet it would be clearer and to the point. Also "that" after the semicolon I don't think is necessary; in fact it makes the semicolon seem odd. Not sure how to say that any better.

the other thing I wanted to mention was the water and milk thing. Although I loved everything about the idea etc, it seemed a bit odd that it was water and milk. Maybe it's just me, but water and milk seem kind of more funny than serious. Especially milk. I always think of kids and milk-mustaches when I think of milk. Though I can see why you'd pick milk- it does tend to be associated with strength. Just things to think about.

I really loved the ending. Everything was awesome, to be honest. Keep it up!


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