McCallum’s Christina Fudge was recently honoured with a prestigious 2012 Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Award. The program, first established in 1952, has recognized some of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most talented and well-known artists.
Christina’s entry in the competitive process was a written passage about a young girl trying to cope with an abusive boyfriend. Naturally, all of McCallum was overjoyed to hear of the Grade 11’s achievement.
What Christina accomplished required commitment and courage. So, the rest of today’s column is dedicated to a small component of Christina’s contest-winning composition, ‘Strike’, partly out of respect for the young author’s achievement, but mostly because Christina’s writing is the kind of art that can change the world:
Have you ever felt truly lost? Like you didn’t know anything? Not even yourself?
Standing face to face with myself in the mirror, I felt lost. I started to wonder who I was, who I had become. Some pathetic little girl who didn’t have the strength to stand up for herself, when she finally took the time to realize that she was being treated unfairly?
I wasn’t this girl. I had become someone I never wanted to be. I became one of those girls I wanted to help. I became weak. Weak, broken and hopeless. I was worthless.
Perhaps… perhaps I did deserve this.
I shook my head, fiercely. No. No, I didn’t deserve this. My aunt most certainly didn’t deserve what happened to her. And neither do I.
“This ends… now.” I whispered, locking my gaze with myself, seeing the stubborn spark of fire that had been lost for months now. I closed the foundation case, shoved it in my bag, and walked downstairs, ready to face the worst, yet best, thing that had ever happened to me.
As the doorbell rang, I opened the door to reveal that entity. My boyfriend of the last year, Chase Mitchells.
“Hey, Pippi.” He smiled, using his nickname that he had given to me when we first met, breaking my heart a little more. He stepped inside my house, kissing me on the cheek. He didn’t notice my flinch, as he asked, “Ready to go?”
“Act-actually, I think I’m going to walk to school today.”
“What? Why? What’s wrong?”
“N-nothing, I just thought I should get some exercise, and fresh air. Good for the heart.” I smiled, slightly at him, but dropped it as soon as I saw the anger in his eyes as he glared.
“Don’t lie to me.”
I sighed, “I don’t want to go to school with you, Chase.”
“Why not? You always go to school with me. What’s wrong with today? Do you honestly want to walk? I’ll walk with you. You know I will.”
“Ever. I don’t want to go to school with you ever again.” I took a deep breath before uttering the words I never thought I would say. “I want to break up.” I told him, looking at the ground. The silence that followed was deadly and I was too scared to look up.
“What?” He asked, calmly, a scary kind of calm, which was laced with anger.
“This isn’t going to work out.”
“What garbage are you going on with?” He yelled, taking a step closer. Flinching, I took a step back. Stepping into my personal space, he gripped my forearms roughly. “You don’t want to break up with me.”
“Yes. I do.”