Stuck and Alone
I began this little vignette with one word – a girl’s name. Agnes. I had no idea when I began writing where this piece would take me. As it turns out, I created a female who is baffled by her life. Though it hasn’t quite turned out as she might have planned, she has decided to take it just as it is.
Agnes had no idea why she had no answers, but she realized a little too late, that she did not. She had been searching her whole life for a purpose, for a reason to be, for a means to make a difference, for the perfect relationship, for one of those loves that make magical movies. All of it, every bit, had evaded her and now that she was on the verge of forty, she felt as if she were an empty vessel. Even her feelings had betrayed her. She had none . . . or so it seemed. She was not happy; nor was she sad. She did not expect anything, did not look forward, and did not look back. The only good thing, she supposed was that she was here, breathing, taking in air, in and out, in and out.
How does one reach her fortieth year feeling unaccomplished, unappreciated, unloved, undone? Agnes had to wonder, but that was about all she could do.
Maybe it’s my name. Why in the world did my parents name me Agnes? Agnes. Ag-nes . . . the pure and holy one. She had looked up the meaning once. “Who in this day and age,” she had asked herself, “is going to employ, befriend, or love an Agnes? Maybe if I’d been a Jennifer, a Shelley, a Madison, a Rachel, Alisha, Emily, Deb, Chloe, anything other than Agnes, my life would be different.
Maybe it’s my face. I’m ordinary. The fact was that Agnes was Agnes - brown hair, honey-brown eyes, paler than olive skin, a straight nose, a mouth . . . one that seldom smiled. She was of average height, normal weight, and was far from ugly, but not beautiful either. She did not stand out in any way. She was convinced she had gone through life unnoticed. Completely unnoticed . . . pathetically unseen.
Maybe it’s my intellect. Agnes was smart, but not too smart. She had graduated from high school and junior college with every grade being a B or C. It didn’t matter the subject – one she liked or one she hated - she always earned, or, at least, was given a B or C . . . nothing more and nothing less.
Maybe it’s my personality. Not one person disliked Agnes. How could they? No one had ever been close to her because, whether consciously or subconsciously, she had kept others at bay. Better to be safe than sorry. Her reasoning had become her bond - an enemy and a friend.
And so it was. Agnes would spend her fortieth birthday on her own. Her parents had died, her sister lived miles away, and her only acquaintances were distant as well, both in proximity and in relationship too. It’s all right, Agnes. Being alone would be an advantage in itself. No one would listen, no one would hear, and she wouldn’t have to answer to anyone.