• The Incandescent

When We Fall


Artwork by Ananya Singh, staff artist

It’s funny how during a storm, the trees allow the wind and rain to push them around. The roots are anchored, the trunk is tilted, the branches are thrashed. The strong ones know with confidence they are needed and cared for, but the weak ones, who eat last, talk least, and are stepped on the most, end up falling. They fall from 50 feet high, and destroy the fence you use to guard your garden, or the car you drive to flaunt your fortune. They are too weak to stand back up, to cry for help, to live another day—and yet they still are blamed.


I fell. Years ago. I want to say it was school, but I can't. Because they say everyone goes through it. She gets good grades and stays up till 2 in the morning. He got accepted into his parents’ dream college and lost 20 lbs. They have a social life and take a shot of tequila. She takes on two jobs and pays her friend 20 bucks before handing in his homework. They say everyone makes it through. So I weaken.


I want to say it was my family. Because of my sister who won award after award for her artwork, fashion, and writing. But I can't. They say you are younger and my AP history is pushed off the report card, with only her AP english left standing. You are growing and she eats two ribs. A bowl of water. You have time and she spends Saturday with her friends, while I must wait another two years. They say you shouldn’t be jealous of family. So I weaken.


What I wore on the day I fell: probably sweatpants, worn-out sneakers. A sweater two sizes too big.


But none of that matters.


I didn’t have the roots anchored in love. I didn’t have the person to cling onto. I didn’t have the strength to stand back up, so I stayed down. And I was blamed. Sorry.


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Bio: Joy Song is a high school sophomore from Long Island, New York. She enjoys creating works of art through different mediums, such as writing, playing clarinet, and cooking. Joy has received a certificate from the National Council of Teachers in English: the Promising Young Writers Program. Joy was also Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine Rebel Pen at her middle school. In her spare time, Joy likes to dabble in calligraphy, and can often be found taking walks or baking cookies.


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