Once there was a little girl who never became anything.
She never hit anyone who had stolen her sweets, or passed notes to the boys under tables, or poked dead frogs with sticks after school.
She never opened cans of worms, or cried over spilt milk, or counted unhatched chickens.
She never played possum on family trips or wiped her nose on the carpet or hid in cupboards instead of getting in the bath.
She never watched her brother drop a plastic gun out of their mother’s friend’s window.
She never found out James and Alex from two doors down were actually adopted, and possibly not blood brothers, even though they looked so alike.
She never came third in love triangles or suffered in silence as others won her heart’s desires.
She never moved away and left everything and everyone behind and cried herself to sleep. She was never lied about, or made fun of, or left to eat secretly in the toilets.
She was never asked or answered, pandered, wasted, ignored.
She never thought her family was better than all that; it only happened to other people.
She never got tired, or fed up, or ran out of anything. She was never sad.
No wrinkles graced her face or hands, no postman came to know her name.
She was never rescued, never saved, and never lost in all the darkness in the world.
She was never old, or young, or somewhere in-between.
Once a little girl became not any of these. No more, nor less.