She was scant, thin, quiet and timid. Bearing a feigning resemblance to her father, a striking resemblance to her mother, and a spot-on mirror replica of her older sister. Long, wispy, jet black hair reached her shoulders, which usually dawned a purple cardigan which consisted of loosely-spun wool and the stray furs from the home’s cat – Snicker. She had a good set of friends, countless hobbies, and small mountain of books under the end table at the foot of her bed. A well-rounded, polite, and knowledgeable young lady, it seemed the only thing Mae didn’t have a small wealth of knowledge of (for someone her age – 11) was how people in her school managed to stay the social butterflies that they were.nnBefore school, everyday, the students of Truel Elementary would congregate on the steps of the building. In nearly every direction she looked, classmates were laughing, gesturing, talking feverishly – putting on an animated performance of their trials and tribulations. The tone and energy rose and fell in a sporadic, volatile manner – interaction and social queues were no mystery to those in her grade. And as she watched, observed, and tried to absorb such mannerisms, her attempts at replicating an exchange never “took” amongst her friends who stood in a cluster around her. An awkward creature, indeed. And she was aware of it. And she assumed other were aware of her awkwardness, as well.nnBut despite the uncomfortable interactions around her peers, she still conveyed issuances of confidence when put on a per-person level – whom she had but one battle to win, one person to entertain, and one person to display sincere character to. Amplifying this audience and her personality and confidence crumbled likewise.nnOftentimes, she yearned, sought out, and initiated these moments – those of personable communication, as it was simply how she knew the world, how she persisted through it. It was all is stark contrast to her family, who were flamboyantly outgoing, socially at-ease, and had an essence of that of floating atop a raft in their social gatherings – calmly moving, flowing, and adapting to the events around them, undisturbed, and un-sunk.nnIt was her family that put her in this position she was in, a fairly pricey private school – where status, hierarchy, and family name made the most impact in the events and functions which they attended. Several generations claimed the name of the family crest in the Midwest, but they were referred to as “the Oceans of Missouri”, as there were family tree branches in New York, Oregon, Washington D.C., and Georgia, but they took residence in Missouri for employment reasons. nnThe family’s home was a direct representation of the rumored lifestyle they were believed to have had lead – a high ceiling pre-war cottage that looked as though it had manifested from within a fairytale, but only if the keeper of such an abode had lavished a healthy budget to it’s architects, and spared little expense in regards to minute detail. nnOf course, Mae conveyed no dissonance to her and her family’s position, inheritance, and place of dwelling, as these were just more things to enjoy, more room to play – more assumed conveniences of a life well-lived and a surrounding neighborhood that took to that same understanding.nnIn fact, everything was well considered and maintained properly in her home and in her life, but, familial affluence did not ease the intuition towards instinctive premonition that Mae saw in the world and in herself. A premonition of empathy, of relatability amongst those who hadn’t been brought into the world with “a name”. She was much more astute to notice an individual’s strengths and passions, despite “who” they were, or “what group” they belonged to, or what “class” they seemed to fit into (by sheer chance).nn…nn*This is just the very first part of a longer story – by me, TMO*

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