Page 8 - HEF Pen & Ink 2023
P. 8

Pride Doesn’t Last
By Brailey Sublette
A crack.
A puncture, break, or slice.
Everybody has one.
Some have multiple.
Some have so many, they struggle to remain in one piece,
Yet somehow they do.
They go about their lives, wounds hidden, Hopelessly taped or glued shut,
Because the only thing worse than the wounds Is letting them bleed on others.
You walk to lunch with your friend and she asks, “How was philosophy today?”
You manage to scarf out my regular reply.
“Normal” “Fine” “Okay”, occasionally mixing in a “Good”. She has become skeptical because it used to be your favorite class,
But you insist, because blood is better on you than on her.
You walk into math late, and the teacher greets, “Come on in!”
“Hi,” you squeak, attempting to hide your anxiety as they all watch.
You pull out your notebook, and a kid in the second row blurts out,
Asking “when will we use this in real life?” but he is ig- nored, just like you.
Though if people ignore you, they won’t have to deal with your blood.
Later, your gym teacher tells a story.
Everyone sits on the floor, some continuing their conversa- tions.
He doesn’t blow his whistle or yell though, he just begins talking about an old student.
Not a valedictorian or sports star, but instead someone who always seemed average.
He describes them as prideful in theirself but unknown by others.
Someone a few people to your right asks, “Why do I care about this kid?”
“I’m getting there, just listen.” He replies calmly, with a certain look on his face.
This moment is when I realize why he is telling the story. The reason he hadn’t yelled or blown a whistle today.
To not make anyone’s blood pump quicker.
I drift off, noticing similarities between us.
This was someone who thought about poetry and ancient gods too much.
Someone who took pride in their self but was unsure about other’s pride in them.
Someone who was not “known” for anything in high school.
Someone who believed that their wounds were best hid- den, blood kept far from others.
Someone who kept the blood hidden for so long, they eventually lost it all at once.
Someone who knew that they should’ve asked for some- thing to stop the blood, but didn’t
want to be an inconvenience.
Someone who fought so hard to keep the pieces together. Someone who couldn’t keep reattaching pieces by their self and also contain the blood.
“Pay attention,” you think to yourself, even though you know this story.
By now, the conversations had gone and rapidly faded into something more somber.
You know how the story ends without listening, because it sounds the same as your own.
The stories of Greek gods and goddesses, daydreaming in math class, and scribbling song
lyrics on my hand.
It was all too familiar and I knew every aspect of it.
As he finished, I considered that maybe this wasn’t the way it had to end for me.
Instead, I could show my wounds and allow others to help. Some could glue pieces together like a puzzle,
Others holding in the blood or donating some of their own to help you recover.
Because while your blood may seem bad on others, It’s worse when you aren’t there with it.

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