This short piece tells the story of a school-aged, developmentally delayed child and her Papa. Her Papa’s love for music and his self-sacrificing spirit inspire her, but they also frustrate her, as she lives in a world that refuses to understand either one of them. After writing a story dedicated to my mother, I wanted to write one for my father. His passion for music and his willingness to give it up for a stable life have always struck me as tragic. I wanted to draw from his experiences but create a situation that emphasized just how much of an impact broken dreams and an ignorant world can have. I originally started writing this piece in the first-person perspective, but somewhere in the middle, “I” became “you.” When I caught the error, I considered changing everything back to first person. I ultimately realized that using second person helped the story to feel more personal. It is not just one person’s narrative; it is many people’s, and they often cannot tell their own stories. Fiction has always been a fantastic way to relate to and empathize with people different from ourselves. It has been my way of explaining my worldview to others and of learning how the people around me—or even people in faraway places—experience everyday life. Though I cannot say that this story is identical to my own, I have put bits and pieces of myself into this character. My hope is that, in writing this story, I can begin to show others the importance of familial love and unending compassion.
"Melody of Melancholy,"
Horizons: Vol. 5
, Article 7.
Available at: https://kahualike.manoa.hawaii.edu/horizons/vol5/iss1/7