An empty room.
Bare walls, the decorations stripped away, the pink pigment faded to white.
The outlines where the paint isn’t peeling exist as hints, as shapes representing a life long gone. Empty images. Lost dreams amidst the pain that refused to leave.
Indentations in the worn carpet mark the bed. Over there…a dresser. Over there…a chair. Over there a desk? A vanity? A stand for simple treasures?
In the corner a crumpled sheet of paper, the crinkles when smoothed showing only crooked lines. No words. But if there were words, what might they say about the heart that once beat within the tiny room? What might they say about the young person who once sat upon the window seat?
If that empty sheet held invisible ink returned, what might it reveal? A list of things to do? A dream lost to a sleepless night? A fanciful letter to no one…
Few girls are as lucky as I am. Though I’ve a disease that’s often thought of as rare, but really isn’t, I also recognize how fortunate I am. I’ve Chronic Invisibility, a condition I’ve had since I was very young. They insist I wasn’t born with it, that I was obvious to everyone at birth, but I can’t remember back that far.
I get to do so many things I wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. It’s very exciting!
So many times with my mother in stores I dance and twirl and don’t get into trouble. No one notices! In school? Oh my gosh, I could do cartwheels in class and the teacher wouldn’t say a word. Of course, I wouldn’t do anything like that. I always try to be quiet because that’s what I was told I’m supposed to do.
It’s easy to avoid cameras, too. At family reunions they call the kids away from playing and so they have to sit, stand, and fidget in family photos, but I can keep playing. My dolls and I take our own pictures…well, I take the pictures and they pose.
And all those sports I don’t like? I’m able to miss those, too. No one picks me even if I jump up and down and wave my arms. Of course, I wouldn’t do that…
Really, I can’t begin to tell you all the advantages.
The doctor always says my transparency isn’t real, that I could appear if I wanted to. Oh, what does he know? He looks past me as well as everyone else, including me.
All I’ve ever known is not seeing anyone in the mirror.
There are other benefits to my condition. Like the times the other girls planned sleepovers and I could stand there and listen when they were inviting each other. I suppose I shouldn’t have listened, but sometimes I was already there and it was awkward to move away.
I was taught that making noise is wrong and I don’t like to make trouble.
Besides, my eyes are much better for gazing from windows. There’s so much to see. The world is a beautiful place. I’ve been told that’s because I’m not in it, but I like to think everything has value even if it isn’t seen. At least, it seems like that should be right.
I suppose people wonder if I smile and the answer would be, of course I do. Though, while I’m not sure, I think I used to smile more often. It’s difficult to remember. Sometimes it seems as though those smiles were once bigger…
Or maybe they’ve faded over time.
Sometimes I wish someone would pass me on the street and say, “Hello.” So often I hold my breath and wait, but they stare ahead at whatever it is they see in their future and walk on by. I understand. People’s lives are so busy and there’s so much needing done.
It’s just that sometimes I wish I was one of those things…