To the Younger Me

by Katja Kramer

I want to apologize for the time I took your drawing and crumpled up the paper as if you hadn’t just spent hours working on it. It’s like I can see you on the cool ground in the corner of the living room, sitting cross-legged or lying on your stomach, feet up. I’m sure you put your heart and soul into this drawing—choosing each crayon and color cautiously; erasing bits and blowing away the residue so frequently that you began running out of breath; reconsidering the placement and appearance of even the finest, seemingly insignificant lines. When you didn’t blow away the eraser residue, you probably used your hands to sweep it off the paper—these soft tiny hands; they were barely bigger than the eraser. I’m sorry I thought the result wasn’t good enough in the end. I’m sorry I thought the product of your effort and your dedication wasn’t worth keeping.

I want to apologize for the times I made you secretly use Mom’s concealer in the mornings because I had convinced you that you need to start using make-up to be pretty. I want to say sorry for the times I prevented you from having fun with your friends after I talked you into thinking they would only get annoyed by you anyway. I’m sorry for the times people told you they loved you and I made sure you didn’t believe a word. I’m sorry for the times you stood in front of the mirror in daylight or laid in bed at nighttime and I made you feel like the unworthiest human being alive. I’m sorry for all the moments you could have and should have been happy and I took it from you—just like I took that drawing and threw it away.

Author Bio: Katja Kramer is a 4th-semester student of Anglophone Studies and Kommunikationswissenschaft at the University of Duisburg-Essen. From her early childhood she’s been into all sorts of art: she has been drawing and painting ever since she could hold a pen and brush; she’s passionate about music, cinema and theater; especially in recent years, writing stories and essays has brought her incredible joy.

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