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The only light on in the house is the one in her room. Her pen moves over the paper, her eyes darting furiously back and forth over the words. Her lips are pursed into a thin, straight line, and she shakes her head, crumples up the paper and tosses it over her shoulder to join the others that lie scattered over the floor.

She sighs, dropping her pen. She’s used to this, doing and re-doing, having to think carefully before placing a single letter on the paper. She has to make sure everything’s just perfect…the words that flow from her pen have been praised, but no one knows what exactly goes into those words. No one.

She had been labeled. Retarded, learning disabled… dyslexic. Now the same people label her differently. Intelligent, talented… gifted. Now, she writes better than anyone could have believed, weaving dreams with a pen.

When you learn something through a challenge, you learn to love it, she writes, staring at the words, closing her eyes and thinking of all the challenges she faced. Learning how to read and write when no one believed she could, proving every last one of them wrong. Them, the experts. Amazing them with her gift of eloquence.

It’s because she loves this gift. It’s something she’s earned, something she’s worked hard for. It’s her testament to the world, that you’re not what people make you out to be… but only what you want yourself to be.



© Marziya Mohammedali, 2001-2013