Growing Malcontent

By Sinéad Delaney

My mother hates my friend, Laura, because of all the digs at me she makes. It’s not that I don’t notice. I can handle criticism. I know she can’t because I’ve seen her crumble and sob, as if cruelty was something unknown to her. “That girl has a thornbush for a heart,” my mother said.

She meant she was cruel, but the image stayed with me. I pictured wounds being stabbed from the inside, and her needing to spit the thorns out. I take the insults but I know it won’t help. In the end, the thorns will get her.

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“Being Irish, I grew up being told that storytelling is heritage, and community. I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember.” – the writer

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