To 2015 - 2016
Woman 2.0

By Meredith McCain

  1. Untitled
    By Brittany Ahn, 11
She eschewed commitment. Lack of commitment was a pervasive force the oozed out of every pore in her body, a siren call that drew in those who secretly craved rejection and martyrdom.
Her whole life, she had disdained commitment. She didn’t have a particularly messed-up childhood to make her this way. It’s just how she was. Her earliest memory was of her mother slipping a tiny jumpsuit over her plump baby skin. She cried until her mother took the clothing off. She couldn’t commit to wearing that much clothing; the thought repulsed her.
Throughout grade school, she floated from one friend to the next, easily bored and always searching for something different. Not necessarily better, just different. She never finished her homework on time and couldn’t complete her assessments because that just took too much commitment.
Her parents worried about her and her lack of motivation. They took her to all sorts of doctors, who probed and prodded her until she screamed with irritation. They searched for some absurd explanation for her “condition.” “ADHD,” “depression,” “bipolar disorder,” “brain tumor,” all rolled off the specialists’ lips, each false diagnosis prompting another round of painful testing. It seemed they wanted to test her into submission.
But her noncommittal spirit could not be tamed. She would often wander off from her parents just to prove a point. She indulged herself in many brief phases that fulfilled her desire for temporary excitement: a grunge phase, a preppy phase, an academic phase (to her parents’ pleasure), a hip-hop phase, and so on. But none of these stuck. And she liked it like that.
Then she discovered boys. They were an exciting new medium to which she could be uncommitted. She would indulge them in one date, maybe two, before cutting off all contact with them. It amused her to see insulated, macho jocks pleading for her affection when they were used to girls bowing down to them. But she wasn’t hard to get. Once you lost her, she was impossible to get.
But then he came along. He was different from any person she’d ever been with. He was the quiet, down-to-earth, doesn’t-speak-until-spoken-to type. His slim frame disguised an intellect bursting with passion and intelligence. Everything about his aloof manner screamed innocence.
She couldn’t resist. Her siren charms seemed to have no effect on him, so she had to explore new methods to win him over. Nothing seemed to work. She had never had to work for anything before. He was a formidable challenge. She finally confessed her infatuation to him. He was flattered, but he told her she would have to change for him. He craved commitment. She craved him. So she decided to give it a shot.
It felt unnatural to not run away after the first date, or the second, or the third. But she forced herself to stick it out and explore this new world of commitment. After a while, she lost the urge to run away and she actually felt satisfied for once in her life. He lavished attention on her and genuinely cared for every aspect of her life. In return, she provided him whatever emotional support she could.
She found that her love for him grew over time. It just didn’t seem possible. They were in the bloom of young love, delighting in every moment with one another.
One day, she saw herself in the mirror. She was positively glowing with euphoria. Commitment looked good on her. He saw that, and he didn’t want to lose it.
They were on a walk by the river when he knelt down and offered her the rest of his life. Gazing at the three karat diamond, the color drained from her face. Every joyful moment together, every shared delight, every moment of pure commitment, they all scattered like the sunlight passing through the diamond. She was disgusted with herself, with him, with this whole fantasy life she had built for herself.
Gently closing the ring box, she pushed it toward him without a word.
This wasn’t her. It never had been her.         
Realizing this, he stuck the ring in his pocket and walked away.
Once again, she was free.