Fiction · Writing Prompts

Lighted

Prompt from WriteWorld

We’re taught to be true to ourselves. Our parents preach it. Our schools encourage it. The movies do a back-flip in celebration whenever the protagonist is true to themselves. The television shows – there isn’t really much to say.

Except we can’t be ourselves. We can’t be true to ourselves. Even if media and parents and schooling teach us to be, society quickly rams down the notion that we have to conform, fit to standards. No toe out of place, or one will be punished for it. No good job, no good friends, no fitting in, everything, anything.

Everytime one pushes further, it is shouted back in, scared off by the cold, cruel realities. We have heard success stories, but simply because they know how to market themselves. We learn how to protect ourselves, shield ourselves. We learn to hide a thousand faults, so we can present that one facet of us that the society truly wants.

“Being ourselves” is a lie. “Being like others” is the way the world, despite others telling us so, wants us to live.

So we hide that warmth. We hide the light that is ourselves, trying to burying it into our chests, into the deep recesses where we guard is secretly, jealously, afraid that once the light escapes, there will be no going back, and others will fear and covet and scorn its brightness.

Then, until the day we meet someone who does appreciate the beauty of the light, it is sentenced to lie there, until the last days.

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