Sweet Nothings

“You look just like you did in high school.”

Her greeting curdles my smile; I feign a giggle. I think she means it as a compliment, but it’s hollow. Maybe if this wasn’t the first seconds of the visit, I’d answer differently, say what I really wanted to – “Please, I look way better than I did then.” And I do. Mostly because I have finally found confidence in who I am.

But that is the cut lurking beneath her platitude.

Where we come from, confidence as an independent woman isn’t supposed to be a badge of pride.

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