Thursday, 10 December 2015

Story of Grace

She looked at me, but I could not hold her gaze. “It’s alright,” she said, “you don’t have to be afraid.”
   “Am I afraid?” I replied. She just smiled.
   She reached out a hand, I hesitated, then took it and she helped me up. She was small, I suppose, but somehow I didn’t seem to be any taller.
   “What’s your name?” I asked.
   “I’m called Grace,” she answered.

At school no-one liked her. They made fun of her. Whispered comments came her way, or sniggered suggestions. She sat quietly and smiled, her small, quiet smile. No-one knew why.
   When she was eleven she became ill, of what, the doctors could not say at first. At school they said she faked it, that she was scared of them. She smiled.
   One day she arrived in a wheel chair. Some just laughed, others tried to push her the wrong way. In PE she took shots at the netball hoop, at one point scoring five in a row. Everyone pretended not to notice.

She looked at me, her eyes shining brightly.
   “Why are you so kind?” I said aloud, by mistake.
   “It brings me life.”
   “Don’t you mean joy?”
   “That too.”
   “But why are you so nice to all the others, at school I mean?”
   “I’m called Grace,” she reminded me.

Story of Grace was inspired by the picture above, sketched by Naomi Saunders. There might be more to tell.

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