Chiara Fabiano

Average plus

For a very long time no one had even noticed it. She stood up as always, came home as every day and went to bed like she always did. Sure, she did not speak that much nor did she bother reporting anything about herself or her daily life but was that not the normal behaviour of people her age? This forced lack of interest for most things, just not letting anyone know that it actually did bother them. This pretended bored attitude which should connote that they would be emotionally too cold or too cool to really let things touch their heart. Well, it just wasn´t a prejudice. This scheme contained most of young people. That was why many people thought her behaviour could be referred to being a product of her age, a consequence of the changing hormones. How could anyone has had expected the truth? Then, one day, she did not come downstairs for dinner. They yelled her name, they got mad at her for being late. Dinner was already served, it could have got cold. Everyone was mourning the loss of warm dinner, everyone was groaning and rolling their eyes. After a sempiternity they heard sluggish steps coming down the stairs. They all took deep breaths of relief and as everyone tackled the dinner, no one noticed the dark shadows under her eyes, the suffering expression on her face, the pinched cheekbones. She was pale, a ghost, barely existent. They pinned it on her exhausting life, she did not have any freetime in months, was at college until late afternoon and even besides that they had only barely seen her. But even though there were explanations, even many oft hem, her physical appearance was so horrendous that some moment they started to notice it. They realised something was wrong. Nevertheless they belittled it, made jokes and barely perceived that she did not laugh about them. They harrassed her, called her „Cry-baby“, told her „Just wait until you arrive in real life and you will know what hard work means“. She endured, she stayed silent, she took deep breaths. Within seconds the rings under her eyes grew wider. They saw her swallowing. „Eat something“, her mother told her, „You always used to eat so much“. She shook her head. „I feel sick“. They played it down with a shrug. She probably was dieting again, completely normal at her age. Every girl behaved like this, every girl lived through a phase like this. And now? They should leave her alone, she did not need anyone now, she only needed silence. So she stood up, took her plate and banged it onto the sink. Completely normal! The door of her room cracked into the lock. They sighed annoyed and desperately wished for the end of puberty. The next morning she rushed outside without saying goodbye, which was untypical for her but anyway she was experiencing an exciting time, living through a change. As the laundry was done her mother brought it into her room. She had not seen it from the inside for months. There were multiple notes hanging on the walls. She did not understand the content and asked herself wether she had already done such complicated stuff at school aswell. It looked chaotic, messy and the bin was overcrowded. Only the desk was free and utterly organised. Mad about the mess she grabbed for all the papers and took them out of the bin to bring them out into the container as she noticed the red signature on most of the papers. A disposal of orders. Words like „Very good“ or „Excellent minus“ were written in a shrill red. The paper was crumpled, the exams torned. The Appeals could only hardly be read, they mostly were formulated like „Work on your…“ or „Please enhance your…“, not less often: „Pay more attention to your…“. She asked herself why her daughter would throw away such good results neither did she understand the overcritical comments under the good grades. She found everything very suspicious. Then she went downstairs and threw all the papers into the bin together with all the accusations.

They found her laying in the field near the marsh in the late afternoon. All around her a surreal seeming red puddle. The red had been flooding her arms. Next to her they found a note. „Average plus“. The rest had been torned angrily. No one had noticed it.


All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Chiara Fabiano.
Published on on 08/22/2019.


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