Tag Archives: tumor


The eyes aren’t the portal to the soul. The eyebrows are.

Shave them off and you’ll know. You’ll see the stares; you’ll feel how people slowly alter their path when you come closer. They do that even when you’re far away, when they can’t yet see what might be wrong with you. They just know that there is something very wrong.


Like Martina in 7th grade. She was a ginger; soulless. So it was okay that we bullied her. You can’t hurt someone doesn’t have a soul. She was a person to be pushed, not touched.

It was fun to push her into the lockers. She never fought back; she just accepted it as her fate to be squeezed between lockers and the bodies of bigger girls and sometimes boys. Nobody moved away when she came. Nobody played by the rules when she was there – to move aside, make space to allow each other to pass. All just walked straight and Martina had to find a way; to squeeze to the side, between elbows and lockers, hoping that they didn’t attempt to connect.

It wasn’t us that ripped her hair out. She did that herself. Sitting in that seat, on the right side of class, close to the exit, she pushed her right hand deep into her curls. Then she pulled and twisted her arm, but her head stayed in place, unmoving except for the occasional twitch. She pulled the hand out with full force, holding a tuft that disappeared in her bag. She never looked back. She knew we were all staring.

Rumor had it at night her mom would sew the hair back to her head. Continue reading

The Inside of Her Skull

When they found the tumor in Ellie’s brain I pretended to be strong. I was her shoulder. But the truth is that the only thing that kept me from crying was the wet spot that her tears slowly formed on my shirt.

It took her long to fall asleep that night. When I was finally sure that Ellie was dreaming of a better world I went to the bathroom, locked the door behind me, sank on the cold white shower floor and sobbed like a four year old that lost his favorite toy and his mother on the same day.

Her small twitches made us make the appointment with the neurologist. He sent us straight to the hospital for a scan. At the bottom of his hand-written transfer note was the word “urgent,” the only word in capital letters. Continue reading