Plastic butterflies and privacy

I’m being held hostage by butterflies!

Yesterday morning, I had barely picked the gunk out of my eyes when my mother strode into the room and began hanging these little plastic butterflies on the double-decker I share with my sister. It was her latest loot from the neighborhood, the newest addition to the collection of clutter she has chosen to hang on our walls over the years—calendars, ceramic paintings, plastic potted plants, a map of the Philippines.

My sister didn’t think it was too bad, and since my mother seems to forget sometimes that not all her children are girls, there was nothing I could do! My only reprieve was that it didn’t run the entire length of my bunk. I could still get out at the other end of the bed, without me having to bother with the beads and the fake chime they make.

I don’t really get much privacy at home. I’ve always shared my room with someone else. There was always someone—and 99 percent of the time it’s my mother—snooping on my things, reading my inbox, asking absurd questions about where I’ve been.

If she had just chosen to hang a real curtain that could actually block out both light and sound, then maybe I’d be happier. I’d have, at least, a piece of privacy, a piece of something I’ve never really had.

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