I Say It To Remind Myself I Can

 

When I was a girl, my favorite book was actually not Harry Potter,
I know, shocker.
There was something about them that felt like it wasn’t totally mine.
Mine was Ella Enchanted.
A girl is cursed from a young age by a wicked witch.
She, Ella, must always say yes to every single thing
another asks, perform a task, without talking back
just a magically pronounced “Right away!”
Always.
She tries to go against it occasionally and does not succeed;
the curse gives her excruciating physical pain
in the case she denies her fate.
And for the sake of not going in too much detail I will say,
eventually,
after defeating a series of mystical obstacles that make a point to help her find
herself
she conquers the curse by
herself
with a strength she always had but never realized
until
the satisfying end of a not so tall tale.
So, I like to say “No” to remind myself I can.
Even if I want cream in my coffee, I will occasionally deny it.
I just like the flushing out of automatic compliance
with that inspiring word that will not surprise you when I admit
it was the first I spoke,
“No.”
It feels freeing to think about an answer before
I release
its valuable heat
in the air.
Can you do me a favor?
It depends.
You have to go.
I’ll have to see.
Thank you in advance!
I’ll do my best.
Dance with me. 
Thanks, but no.
Have another drink, sweetie.
Nah.
Or, just cause you felt like it touch my ass, flick my hair as I walk past,
or God forbid someone tries to grab this pussy,
No, no, and hell no.
Hand me the salt.
If you hand me the pepper.
I know that last one might seem excessive,
but my “Of courses” are reserved for special circumstances.
The feeling in my belly that shoots out of my throat when I deny
my obligation,
that curse,
is worth all the raised brows jumping at the sight of my audacity
while they watch me do
as I damn please.

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