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  • She said you were an artist.

    She swore the only true version of yourself, the one so few ever really got to know, was reflected in your work; a flash of recognition, a hint of a spark, a knowing all others seemed to lack. She wished you would open up more, share the finite within a broader context.

    They will like you, she insisted, they will understand.

    But it just didn’t seem right to you; everything was so personal, so small, it felt like a betrayal to stray beyond the boarders of the separate, secret world you’d created. How could anyone else ever possibly understand? They’ve no context, no backstory, no grasp of the subtlety, the looks, the exchanges, the personal, the mundane, the meaning in everything.

    No.

    But these were just excuses. Fear-based, mostly; an unwillingness to become something more than what you’d long ago resolved to be: the perennial underdog, the trod upon, the failure. It was an easier role to play, safer in its certainty than any attempts to transcend could ever hope to be.

    Why were you so afraid?

    You always found it much easier to justify the “why nots” than the “whys”, bitter in perceived defeat, comforted by phantom failure. She continued to try to convince you otherwise, push you to become the person she knew, secretly, in the waking world.

    But you refused.

    Every time you refused, shuttering yourself, retreating, a well-worn and tattered white flag trailing behind, admitting defeat in war never waged. Eventually she gave up, realizing there was no hope, that you were too damn stubborn, that you’d never allow yourself to really be who you were meant to be; the you she knew and loved and wanted to share with everyone.

    She said you were an artist.

    She was wrong.

    She had been the artist all along.
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