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  • Writer's pictureLaurel Rafferty

Is She Happy Now

Laurel Rafferty

A spiders web

In my former life I was black, plump and quite nervous, I usually stayed cooped up all day, but liked stretching my legs at night – much less chance of bumping into people. Popping out each evening for a bite to eat was my one ritual. I didn’t have a problem with people, but some had a problem with me. Living on the top floor meant I didn’t get hassled too much, I came and went as I pleased, some of the other lodgers even looked like me.

One evening, whilst I was walking downstairs, I saw a woman coming up. I was instantly wary; I could tell by her sharp intake of breath and dilated pupils, this could get tricky. I sidestepped, pleased she did the same, giving me a wide berth, we didn’t break eye contact until we’d passed each other safely.

The next evening, I was returning from a lovely evening meal. As I heaved my weary legs up the staircase, I saw the woman again. We both let out an involuntary gasp. She squinted at me and I could tell by the set line of her mouth and the bracing of her back, this meant only one thing. I turned and took flight down the stairs, heart racing, legs pumping. Her thunderous steps boomed in my ears as she ran down the stairs after me. Thankfully I managed to flee through the front door.

With my back against the garden wall, I took deep breaths, trying to calm myself.

Why do people have to be so awful? So unkind just because of the way I look? Why couldn’t we live together harmoniously?

No, I realised sadly, that’s not the order of things in this world, this type of prejudice will never end.

I looked at her then, as she made her way over to me. I tried to make myself appear as non-threatening and as small as possible, but I could tell from the determined look on her face, it wasn’t going to make any difference, her mind was made up. I closed my eyes and waited for the inevitable.

I look down now from above - my eight hairy black legs; squished. Eight once beautiful iridescent eyes; crushed and my little body lifeless.

I wonder, is she happy now there’s one less spider to worry about?

Is She Happy Now

Copyright © 2024, Laurel Rafferty.

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