“Did you hear about the flight that has been shot down? The Malaysian airlines one in Ukraine?”
The five teenage girls sat around a table in an empty classroom, enjoying their sandwiches and staring at the screens of their gadgets.
“I know right, it’s so horrible – all of the passengers and crew on board were killed!”
A strange kind of fury welled up inside her. She did not know what had happened yet; she had been avoiding the news for quite some time now. This was her chance to say something about all those things that she thought about so often, but no one seemed to care about. While her friends expressed their outrage and gathered around a fresh newspaper article on a laptop screen, she attempted to gather her thoughts. How can she tell them everything that she wants to say?
“Ummm, you do know that it’s not the first one to be shot down, right?”, she began hesitantly.
“Really? It doesn’t say so in this article.”
“No, no. Of course it doesn’t…”
“Were those other planes civilian as well?”
“Ummm, I’m not quite sure. Probably not.”
Her friends turned away, continuing to read thorough similar articles and chit chatting amongst themselves; tears welled in her eyes and her hands shook ever so slightly.
Your greatest concern right now is how to make a gluten-free vegan black forest cake. You don’t care about politics; thinking about them just makes you unhappy, she tried to convince herself.
If you eat gluten-free and vegan, you will lose weight and you will be happy, the voice of an eating disorder chirped in.
She chose to listen to it.
After spending years trying to make sense of the passion she felt when reading about the political happenings in her parents’ motherland and it’s neighbours…
After spending years believing that change would come soon and that perhaps it was in her power to hasten it’s arrival…
After spending years routinely embarrassing herself whenever she spoke of the things that tugged at the strings of her heart…
After spending years feeling helpless and disillusioned…
She had had enough.
She was determined that the key to happiness was to concern herself only with the most worldly of concerns, or more specifically her weight. Of course she disguised her obsession under the pretext of health, but if anyone would have dared to ask a few simple questions, they would have discovered that her only aim was to lose weight.
After all, it is easier to feel angry at yourself for having eaten too much chocolate last night, then to feel angry at the fact that you were born in Europe’s Last Dictatorship.