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Elise Kelley

Grade: 11

Bay Village High School

Instructor: Erin Beirne

My Creator and Me

Personal Essay/Memoir

My Creator and Me

"What are you thinking, sir?"

He looked up at the source of the voice, a young man. Blonde hair, piercing green eyes, dressed in a white shirt and white pants. One of his workers, a new guy.

He glanced back down at the parchment on his mahogany desk. "I feel as though I am in a creative block. Nothing seems to be coming to me for this one," he admitted with a frustrated sigh.

The worker drew his eyes to the parchment. Squinting, he asked, "A girl?"

"Yes," came the response, "but that's all I have."

"Hmm," the worker thought, "well, have you thought about physical traits?"

"That depends on where her story takes place, I suppose."

"Where do you think it will take place?" the worker inquired with a raised eyebrow.

"The United States probably."

"Does that really narrow it down?" the worker asked, incredulously.

"Hmm, I suppose not," he mused. "So I guess...white. A lot of Irish heritage, maybe about fifty percent."

"So...pale?" the worker questioned.

"Yes, she'll burn herself within the first ten minutes of being in the sun and then will immediately go back to being starkly pale," he replied offhandedly.

(Skin resembling that of a strawberry, burning pins and needles running down limbs, running under skin. Looking disdainfully at the cursed sunscreen that was used. SPF 15 only? What was she thinking?)

A small smile grew across the worker's face. "What about her basic personality?" the worker asked.

"That question is more complicated than the last one," he admitted, at a loss.

"Okay, start with good traits then," the worker encouraged. He paused, thinking.

"Patient, I feel, is a good one for her—"

(It's loud. He's always so loud. It's not his fault, not his fault his brain makes him anxious all the time, not his fault he's on the "spectrum." It takes a lot, it takes patience. He's still loved though.)

"—talkative, helpful, hard-working. Definitely non-confrontational, which I suppose is either beneficial or crippling depending on the situation," he listed.

"Okay, and some negative qualities?" the worker asked.

"Stressed all the time. She'll start holding herself at an unfairly high standard at age eight, believing that her life will be ruined if she dared make a single mistake," he stated with certainty.

(Everything needs to be perfect all of the time. School work needs to be perfect, behavior needs to be perfect, everything needs to be perfect. The young mind doesn't even know why it needs to be perfect, only that it does.)

"Oh of course."

"Very picky, causes her parents' all types of annoyances, especially when she's young—"

(Tears, remnants of light brown sausage, dry pieces of chicken, or shredded greens resembling leaves on a tree, remaining on the plate. Being sent upstairs as punishment, stubby legs slowly carrying themselves upstairs.)

"—People-pleaser, too."

"And what about as she gets older, what then?" the worker inquired. He paused, turning to the worker with a kind smile on his face.

"Oh, what happens to her as she grows is out of my control," he admitted, tone soft and musing, "that is dependent on her circumstances, those around her, and most importantly, herself,"

"What do you think might happen?"

"That's a broad question, my friend. Anything could happen. Perhaps she retains her stress her whole life, or perhaps she will grow out of it, realize that there are better experiences in life—"

(A few years pass, the writing assignments, the history sheets, the math problems get done, without the stress and tears attached to it. There is enough care put into it to get the good grades, but not too much to cause unreasonably high expectations. Times are calmer now).

"—Based on her people-pleaser nature, she will probably reach the time in her life where she loses the confidence she had as a young child—"

(Nothing seems to feel right anymore. Outfits aren't right, words aren't right. Nobody is right. Nobody truly likes you. Hopefully, that last part isn't true. Middle school is the worst.)

"—She might lose some of her talkative nature, and perhaps she will never overcome that struggle, or perhaps she will. She might find herself surrounded but alone, or maybe she'll be embraced and accepted. Frankly, I feel as though she will be smart when finding those to surround herself with, but that is only my hunch."

(The basement is dark. Loud sounds and scary images are on the T.V., another horror movie. Chips and cookies are scattered on the floor, and people—friends—are scattered on the couch and chairs. A smile. This feels right.)

He glanced down again at the parchment on his desk, added a few more notes, and then picked it up, nodding. Looking up at his worker with silver highlights growing in his hair, he closed his fist around the piece of parchment. Opening his hand, all that remained was a sphere of brilliant, blinding light. He tossed up the light, and it floated out of his hand, and down, down, down.

And then I was born.