There are so many of us. We breathe silently, drifting through folded-down pages. We go unnoticed most of the time, and yet we are always there, hiding in the furthest corner of your mind.
We are united in the way we exist in past tense.
We are mentioned at cocktail parties, linked with sharp adjectives that paint ugly pictures: Crazy. Cold. Heartless. We are the best punchlines and the greatest of dares.
Myths are born this way — you forget how the story ends, so you decide to write your own final chapter. You remember the details wrong, and so we are revised. You skip paragraphs, leaving out the most important pieces. You edit conveniently. We become caricatures of ourselves, forever misrepresented as villains. Your false memories are written in the darkest shade of ink, impossible to change.
It didn’t begin like this. In another life, we were real – we were three-dimensional and alive, immersed in your world. You saw us across from coffee shop tables, knew the sound of our laugh, could spot our hair underneath knit caps from the other side of the room. We were yours, we existed in technicolor. But stories don’t always end the way we want them to, and sometimes colors fade into empty puffs of white and grey. You struggle to swallow the last sentence, so you erase it completely, replacing it with something more satisfying. Something you can stomach.
Then, we become the girls who are used as scapegoats. We serve as excuses when excuses are needed; we continue to be the reason why things don’t work out. History repeats itself, and we are easiest to condemn. It is simpler to point fingers at the past than it is to deal with the reality of the present. We’ve become invisible, and so we cannot rise to our own defense. We are helpless against theories that masquerade as truth.
We are the girls who become the stories that you tell over and over. You tell them because they’re cinematic. They’re fascinating. Our ears ring continuously, burning with awareness of your narration.
And so, we become immortal; we live on forever through your anecdotes. We are resurrected every time our stories are told, transforming into characters that are universal and timeless. As long as you continue to speak our names, we are eternally bound to continue our haunting, solidifying the ending you prefer. This way, you will always have us to blame. This way, you never have to face the actual truth.