I stared at this photo of beautiful girl I used to know. She was looking back at me with a spark in her eye, slim face, gorgeous cheekbones, and shining glossy hair. She had the cutest smile, and was talented, smart, and kind.
I remember her, just. I can remember how I bullied her. I called her fat and hagard, I told her that her hair was boring and her eyes had bags.
I feel a wash of shame that I didn’t love her for who she was.
Her eyes didn’t always sparkle, she had terribly bad depression and anxiety and I made the most of that, taunting her relentlessly, calling her names and trying to break her spirit, what was left of it.
The difference just 3 years makes. That same girl had a terribly bad car accident not long after that photo was taken.
She survived with barely a scratch. Many proclaimed it was only by the grace of God, that she must be needed on this earth. Even the first responders were shocked that she was alive and safe, proclaiming surprise that after seeing the wreck, they were sure they were attending a fatality.
But although she survived, her life would never be the same. She lives in a world of constant pain, she’s gained 20 kilos, closed her business, and can no longer work. Some times she doesn’t bathe for days, because she can’t do so without help.
She is now all the things I taunted her about. Surviving in a world of pain and exhaustion, she gets through the best she can.
That girl was me.