Neglected

“They try to tell us we’re too young, too young to really be in love,” she sung as she made shadow figures on the wall opposite of her. “They say that love’s a word, a word we’ve only heard.” Her current lover stirred a little as she sung. She stopped a moment and glanced over at him. She smiled a little once she seen that he was still asleep.

She went back to making her shadow figures while she was silent for a moment. She always thought of him after she had sex with someone else—always.

“But can’t begin to know the meaning of,” her voice cracked a little, as it always did when she got to that part. She missed him. She missed him more than anything in this world.

She lost her true love at the age of eleven. And she never found anyone she loved since then. He was her best friend and the only one that showed her any attention. He looked up to her, admired her, and most importantly, did anything that she requested. It was hard for her to find that again.

Her mother died when she was young, the only memories she had were those of others. Her father never really showed her any attention—something she desperately wanted. Her father focused more on others, helping them getting over the grief of losing their loved ones. It was hard for her to compete with that. So she tried to get his attention by saying that she was sick with a deathly disease, but that couldn’t hold her father’s attention for long. He would call her dramatic and quickly dismiss her.

As she got older her behavior became textbook and she began to act out. She got drunk. She got high. She slept with men more than half her age.

“Just call me Neglect,” she would tell them when they asked for her name. They would be hesitant at first, but after her persistent, they would end up calling her Neglect. She would sleep with them until she got bored with them and then moved on to the next older guy who reminded her of her father.

“And yet we’re not too young to know, this love will last though years may go,” she thought about her first kiss with him. Nat “King” Cole’s “Too Young” played in the background.

“Would you ever consider marrying me?” he asked her. “You know if it doesn’t work out with you and Mr. _____.” Mr. _____ was a neighbor Neglect had a crush on.

Neglect studied him for a moment. “Sure, why not.”

He smiled with satisfaction. “Do you wanna dance?”

“Sure.”

He put his arms around her waist and pulled her close. She rested her head on his shoulder. They let Nat “King” Cole’s voice guide them. They were eleven and they were one soul.

“Have you ever kissed anyone?” she asked after awhile.

“No, you?”

“No, I wonder what it feels like.”

He didn’t say anything. He just continued to guide her.

“We should try it.”

“Now?”

“Yeah, to see what it feels like,” Neglect said. “Close your eyes.” He complied. She leaned in and kissed him. He smiled and she did too.

“And then some day they may recall, we were not too young at all,” she sung while they danced.

“And then some day they may recall, we were not too young at all,” she sung while she made shadow figures next to her current lover.

He died a week after their first kiss. He was riding his bike home when a drunk driver hit him. Neglect was devastated. Her father gave her some attention, but then someone else lost someone so his attention turned to them. Neglect wasn’t the same since then.

Once she turned into a teenager she began a quest; a quest to have sex with the men that reminded her of her father. Only men who reminded her of her father because no one could ever remind her of him.

“And yet we’re not too young to know, this love will last though years may go,” she never knew how much she really loved him until he was gone. She never felt a lone with him and after his absence she felt neglected.

“And then someday they may recall, we were not too young at all,” tears rolled down her cheeks.

Her current lover stirred. “Mmm-mm, Neglect.”

“Yes,” she said making a shadow bunny. “That I am.”

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