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[personal profile] ladybrooke posting in [community profile] tamingthemuse
Title: Dust In Her Mouth
Fandom: Original
Prompt: #562 - Triumph
Warnings: N/A
Rating: G
Summary: She should be celebrating her triumph, but instead she feels like she has dust in her mouth.

“Hey, love, congratulations on your diploma! Nobody looking at you would expect you to have one.”

She should be celebrating her triumph, she knows. After all, she’s finished now, she’s done everything she ever said she would, everything they said was impossible.

Instead, she just feels hollow. It’s not like she did anything incredibly unheard of. She got a degree in something she loved, then she went on and achieved a higher degree in the same subject. It was hard, but she’s hardly the first person to do it. And it’s not like this was something her grades and her previous accomplishments said should have been impossible. It’s just a slightly harder version of the same thing she’s done countless times before.

And it’s exasperating to constantly hear that she shouldn’t be able to do this, that she doesn’t look like the kind of person they imagine does these types of things (and these types of things can be basically anything).

Her triumph would be worth it if it would change anything, but it won’t. Tomorrow she’ll wake up, and she’ll hear the same comments. And next week she’ll apply for jobs, and she’ll hear the same comments again. And so on it will go for the rest of her life, or at least until she looks different. And when she does look different, the comments will probably still remain the same, they’ll just change the reasons for them.

She should feel accomplished, regardless. But she’s just tired, and it’s exhausting to constantly have to prove herself to be ten times better than the next person to have one-tenth of the respect that everyone else gets.

But she can’t let them know that she’s exhausted, because that’s just more proof of how she wouldn’t be expected to be accomplished.

So she smiles and laughs. “Not your love, but thank you. And yeah, I’ve heard that a hundred times before, nobody ever seems to think I could do this.”

He laughs back, and she waits the rest of the time before she can leave.

As soon as she can, she walks out the door.

She goes home, and opens the book she wants to read. Later she’ll write the story she’s wanted to write for the last few months, and she’ll watch the shows she hasn’t been able to keep up with for the last few months.

And then tomorrow she’ll start all of this again, except with different people than there were today. At least she gets to leave these ones behind and never see most of them again, even though they’ll just be replaced by the next person who doubts her.

She’ll prove them wrong though, even if it leaves her feeling like she’s ate dust and her triumphs feel more like anchors around her neck, dragging her back to where she has to justify everything she has done.

At least she’s done it, and there’s some joy in having done something she enjoys, even if no one else thinks so.
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