Earlier this week, I took an afternoon walk with a wonderful friend through a local science museum. As we strolled by the gem gallery, a piece of Opal jewelry reminded me of a beautiful Opal ring I once lost.
I read somewhere that the Opal gemstone can provide the power of invisibility and the bearer becomes unnoticeable to others whenever they want to. There’s a little bit of truth in everything because shortly after I lost my Opal ring, I was, without a shadow of a doubt, visible again…
I was eight years old and it was a gorgeous day. My backyard was connected to my best friend’s backyard. Our yards were separated by a 4-foot chain link fence that we often climbed over to play Barbie’s or dress-up. On this day, my parents were taking my sister shopping so that meant I would be all alone with my tormentor.
I just happened to look out the kitchen window, which faced Stephanie’s backyard, and I saw Stephanie playing in her sandbox while her mother was relaxing in a lawn chair just enjoying the nice weather.
As my mother was gathering her purse, I ran over to her and I begged her to let me play with Stephanie while they were gone. To my surprise, she didn’t hesitate at all. She said as long as her mom was okay with it then I could go.
And then I saw him… from the corner of my eye… just sitting there. I could feel his anger seething because I knew he was looking forward to having me all to himself and I ruined that chance in the blink of an eye.
Or so I thought… Oh, silly me…
I ran so fast towards that fence that I couldn’t stop myself in time before slamming into it. It certainly startled Stephanie’s mom. She asked me if I was okay and I completely ignored her question by asking her if I could come play with Stephanie. She asked me if my mother said it was okay and I said she did so there I was, climbing over this fence. And at this moment, this fence represented freedom from my impending doom.
As we played, Stephanie saw and admired my ring and told me how lucky I was to have something so beautiful. That precious ring that lived on my little finger and I felt lucky for it. At some point, I discovered that the Opal ring disappeared and I went into a state of sheer panic.
I dug… and dug… and dug… and dug… through that sand. I couldn’t find it.
I kept digging and as I was digging, I looked up and saw… him… walking across the yard… towards that 4-foot chain linked fence that separated my world from that of my best friend. My heart sank and sheer panic turned into sheer terror.
I felt frozen. I knew I was no longer invisible.
He greeted Stephanie’s mom and made small talk with her. You could tell she was glowing. He had a way of charming everyone he met. And then he turned his attention to me. He charmingly spoke,
“Remember, you promised your mom that you would have your room cleaned before they got back. Don’t disappoint your mother.”
I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t believe that he had found a way to get me back into that dreadful house. I finally turned to Stephanie’s mom and asked in what had to have been the most pathetic voice, “10 more minutes… please.”
Of course, she agreed with him and said that I should hurry home because my mother would surely be home soon. How would she know? She didn’t. She just blindly agreed. I brought myself to my feet and slowly walked over to the fence.
As I climbed the fence, I felt his cold, clammy hand wrap around my left wrist. He held onto my wrist as he guided me to the backdoor. And I remember looking back over my right shoulder, the entire way, just staring at Stephanie’s mother.
My big brown eyes were screaming to her.
Rescue me… Save me… Come get me… Don’t leave me…
Don’t fail me…
My eyes screamed until that backdoor finally closed… and then… nightmares…
I never found my beautiful Opal ring, but I do hope that someone else did. And if they needed it, that it provided them with invisibility that I so desperately wanted more than anything else that day.
I no longer have the desire to be invisible though. I willingly choose to be vulnerable, otherwise, my wall stays up and my words go unspoken. My greatest wish right now is that my story will be heard. Stephanie’s mom failed me that day just as many others’ before her and many others’ after her.
I hope that my words can provide some insight, a different point of reference, and a heightened awareness that…
Our perception is not always a reflection of reality.
– Brown Eyed Princess