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That one over there
That one over there
3rd May, 2012
My parents aren't proud of me. They never have been. I'm nothing to them. Just the poor, weak, helpless, blind daughter of the most wealthy family in the Earth Kingdom. I've always been hidden from the world, but keeping me cooped up with them doesn't make me any more well-mannered or less rebellious. Ever since they told me that I was never going to be a proper Earthbender...
Well, let's just say that I don't like doing what people want me to.
I still remember that one day when they explained to me what blindness was. I was sitting in the garden, only 4 years old, trying in vain to play with the marbles they'd given me. But of course I couldn't see them. I would never be able to see them. I didn't know that back then, though. I just knew that everything was black, black, black, and the whole world was empty, empty, empty.
I remember saying to no-one in particular, Why is the world made of nothing? Everybody stopped talking, the buzzes of conversation stopping in my ears, and I stopped rolling the marbles around - well, blindly. Even at my young age, I knew that something important was going on. Finally, my mother spoke. "Toph, the world is not empty. It is beautiful and wonderful and full of amazing things. You just cannot see them."
Her voice was cold, emotionless, holding no warmth or affection. My body became cold, numbness spreading through it, for my mother and father seldom spoke to me like that. But, nevertheless, I asked her: "But why can I not see them?"
"You are blind," my father said brusquely. Then followed a long, boring explanation of blindness. The only thing I managed to really pick up from the conversation was that I could not see the wonders of the world, and never would be able to.
I did not succumb to the shameful weakness of crying. I never cried. I would never cry over my blindness, or anything else for that matter. If anything, my father's long, uninteresting speech only bolstered my desire to be better than anyone else, to excel at something my parents did not think I could excel at - just because I could. I could do anything - blind or not.
That was the day I also realized - did I have any hidden abilities? Could I do things that were... not ordinary? EXTRAordinary?
No, not extraordinary. To me, that word has always meant more ordinary than usual - and that's not what I am. That's not what I want to be. I wanted to be special. I wanted to be unique. I wanted to rise up above everyone else, and not have to hide my true nature from my stupid parents. I have always wanted to be that person. I will be that person. And I always have been that person.
I keep holding onto a stupid belief that if I close my eyes tight enough, and then open them when the time is right, I will be able to see. I will be able to experience the miracle ot sight. I have always believed that, deep down, although I know it's not true. But I refuse to accept it's true.
Every time, my hopes are lifted. And every time, they are struck down.
Each morning, I wake up with my eyes closed, and when I think the time is right, I open my eyes, and...
Nothing but vast, empty blackness.
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