When I was twelve I didn’t see anything.
As I sat on the steps and, with all too much anticipation, watched the world expand, my eyes started to show the first glittering signs of defiance. I ran my fingers through my strong, straight hair to pull it back in to the agreed ponytail and looked on as older girls sat, surrounded by boys even older still, in the centre of the room. Their smiles spoke of something else. Something still secret. And I longed to hear it. To taste the excitement that escaped each time they laughed.
But I didn’t see a thing.
I didn’t see how quickly I would transform in to one of those girls. A transformation greater than rolling the top of my skirt over three times and upgrading to a pair of platform soles. I didn’t see how my smile would speak to other people, how my laugh would echo in their ears. I failed to notice at all so how could I consider the effect? I didn’t see how those glittering sparks would grow to burn hot and angry, silently screaming where my voice would fail to be heard. Where words would struggle to show what my heart would become afraid to say. I didn’t see how strikingly beautiful I would become. Or how little that mattered. Or how much damage that could do. I didn’t see the dangers the excitement disguised. Or how I would ignore all the warnings. I didn’t see my dreams beckon me and whisper gently of all that I might have. I didn’t see how easy that might be. Or how hard I might have to work. I didn’t see how quickly that beauty might transform into something different, into something dark.
I didn’t see how I would long for those innocent eyes. That honest heart.
When I was twelve I didn’t see anything. I was too busy looking for it all.