the box girl

They kept her tucked into a box for many years — actually it was more like a drawer. I walked by this gray steel drawer many times; it was in a school, high up, a good reach above my head. One day I heard wrestling around, the scrapping of metal — that’s when I first discovered her. She had forgotten how to speak. A few days later, I freed her in secret. Though the drawer was small, she unfolded herself into a fully grown woman. She was unsurprisingly daunt and covered in sores. Her fingers long, brittle, and unbending; her eyes hungry, narrow, and still.

I was teaching a class on mythology at the time and soon came across an ancient myth about a boxed girl and her detainers. As I was teaching about the myth a few of the people in attendance began to get up and leave the room. They were obviously uncomfortable with the subject. I knew I was striking a nerve, so I kept going. A homely woman with curly brown hair turned angry, she knew of the girl in the box drawer and knew that she had recently gone missing. Now she was blaming me for releasing her. I took her blame with satisfaction, hastily ended the lesson, and cursed her in front of the others. They all began to accuse her of evil. Not soon after the taunting began, her conscious broke and she began grieving in shame — explaining that she, and others, loved the girl . . . that they wanted her forever, and that now they would all be lost without her and their lives would hold no meaning.
We gave her no sympathy. We watched her cry. We tucked her into that small steel box. We walked away.

Years later our hearts began to heal and grow . . . for we truly love that box girl . . . and will never let her go.  ♨

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