Just every now and again I will see the other me, who I call Penelope (as I always wished my parents would have noticed at birth that I was a true Penelope, a girl who would be adored and loved by all who met her, a dazzling shiny sort of girl who could only succeed at life.)
I am called Maud named after my grandmother because that's what sometimes happened in those days; you had to carry the name of someone dear lest they were somehow forgotten!
It's not the name itself that's a problem as I'm sure there are a lot of lovely Maud's in the world, it's the picture it conjured up to me at a young age living amongst all the Isabel's Annabel's Caroline's and Alicia's all lovely dainty rainbow coloured names. I felt Maud was like a smudge of dark brown and grey puddles. I had grown up quite ordinarily, without any great talents. Not witty like the rainbow girls, not musical, not clever not anything really. A plodder my teachers had called me. Maud who plods, Maud who has nothing to say. Maud who lives in the deepest shadows of herself.
Yet there is someone else within, there is Penelope, the one who dances on the horizon with the long auburn hair and floaty dress, who laughs a lot and is loved by all. The girl who can chat easily and enjoy her life.
There she is now just standing there behind me in the mirror putting on her lipstick over my shoulder, ready to go out and be a bright Penelope sort of person. I turn around and she, for the first time looks at me and actually seems to see me.
I am waiting for her to glance away and walk past me as usual, but instead she smiles and takes my hand and says 'come with me Maudie, come with me to the party on the horizon and we can dance in the sunlight!' I smile back and suddenly it's as if my eyes have been opened to the world.
I find myself feeling lighter and lighter as we walk away together into the bright day ahead.
We are both smiling, both staring up at the flock of brown and beige birds flying overhead, wings flapping in unison, squawks echoing into the clouds.
They disappear as I watch them fly far away into the distance until they are specks. Then they are gone.
We start twirling round and round, our floaty dresses swishing together as we dance under glistening rainbow.
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