daffodil o'connerfull name: daffodil sinead o'connernick name(s): daffyage: fifteenbirthday: march 31grade/occupation: freshmanhometown: dublin, irelandparents: donovan o'conner - 48 - structural engineer - irishcatrin o'conner (neé sayer) - 47 - administrative assistant - welshsiblings:rhiannon o'conner - 17 - student marital status: singlename/alias: courtney age: nineteen almost 20face claim: isabelle fuhrmanmember group: freshmen contact: go look at elliot or robbie im too lazy to c+p ;) other: :* :* I“Push my baby, Push!” [screams then crying]“It’s a girl!” - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -“So, my sweet, what shall we call her?”“I want a delicate Irish flower, but she has to be Welsh like me.”“We could name her Shamrock?”[snorts] “You’re joking right Donny?”[laughs] ”Completely, but she would be good luck!”[laughs] “What about Daffodil? She sure seems sunny like one. She can be our flower. Welsh like me, Irish like you.”[softly] “If you like it, I like it.” II“She’s beautiful.”“Look at her hair! ”“So precious.”It’s the same thing. Day in. Day out. That’s all they ever say, ask, think about. It’s always about looks, never thoughts. Be prim and proper; a delicate Irish flower they say. What if I want to be more than just an image, a mirage illuminated in a puddle by the sun? What if I want to be something? Feel something? Do something? No. No. That will never happen. Psychology doesn’t matter; it’s always about the physical. Nice hair. Nice eyes. Nice body. Look pretty. Act pretty. Be pretty, but never feel pretty. Scrub and polish, prim and proper. I want to scream. III“One, two three. One, two three. Keep up the pace ladies!”I hate this. I hate having to partner up with Finley again. Just because we have the closest first names. It isn’t fair. Who is she to decide whom I want to dance with? Who is she to tell me that I can’t dance with Riley or Quinn or any of the other amazing dancers in my class? I admire them. I want to be like them. I want their curly blonde hair tied up with a pretty bow. I want to have their long legs, their smiles, their eyes, their laughs. I want to be them. Mum and dad always try to make me be like them but I don’t look anything like them. I’m not blonde.I’m not tall.I don’t have good teeth, a cute laugh, a perfect face. I’m stuck being short with dark hair and no coordination whatsoever. No matter how many dance classes they throw me into I know I’m not going to get that gracefulness that they want of me. I’m never going to live up to their expectations. I’m always going to be a disappointment. It is inevitable.“Daffy! Pick it up child! One, two three. One, two three!”She is standing over Finley and I again. Like a hawk, she always knows when I’m falling behind. She’s always waiting to pounce, to embarrass me. I can feel my cheeks burning red. I can feel Finley looking at me in boredom. He knows he can do better than me. He knows he should be stuck with Riley or Quinn, not insignificant, untrainable, Daffodil O’Conner. I want to pull away, just leave and never come back. There’s only fifteen more minutes left of class anyway. I can find my way home. It’s just down the street and around a couple of bends. I can tell mum I got sick and walked home. I can lie, make up an excuse. I can’t tell her I quit though. She’ll just throw me in another class with another teacher who knows I’m incompetent with two left feet. I don’t want that.I don’t pull away but I stop dancing. I just stand there. I don’t know what to do. Finley’s tugging on me trying to get me to keep up. I can’t keep up. I don’t want to do this anymore. She comes over to me. “Daffodil. What’s wrong, child? Don’t you want to be a delicate Irish flower?”- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -The car ride is awkward. I can’t say anything so I just sink into the seat and stare out the window. Mum knows what happened. I can tell she’s not happy. I can tell she’s already thinking of punishment and which class I would be taking next. I want to tell her that I don’t want to do dance anymore. She won’t understand. She never does.“I hope you’re happy,” she sneers. I feel the sting in my eyes and my throat congesting. Why can’t she see that I’m unhappy dancing, being their delicate Irish flower? “Mum…” I choke out.We’re home; there will be no more discussion.I want to scream. IV“You’re grounded until the move.”“You can’t do this! I didn’t do anything wrong!”“You broke our hearts.”[scoffs] “By not going to the fucking dance lessons I never wanted?”“Don’t you dare curse at me Daffodil.”“What are you going to do mum? What are you fucking going to do?”The pain is so sudden I don’t even know how to react. Mum’s never done that before. I’m twelve. This isn’t the way you’re supposed to deal with a twelve year old. Doesn’t she know that I’m just going to go on Twitter and rage about her to my friends? What a stupid cow.I look at her and she looks at me. She’s smug. I know she wishes I was like the girls that are in my classes. I’m twelve and I still wished I looked like them. I won’t though. No matter how many times I die my hair or raise my skirts, I’m not going to look like them.It’s not like it’s going to matter in a couple of weeks when we move anyway. “I’m sorry I can’t be your perfect Irish flower mum.”I turn and run upstairs to my bedroom before she can say anymore. I want to scream.VIt’s late. Everything is fuzzy and funny. I’m stumbling home from another soiree completely fucked out of my head. I know I am but everything just registers as funny, not concerning. Mary’s with me. We’re always walking home with each other since we live so close to each other. I stumble into her, laughing. She straightens me up and looks at me. I look at her. Something in my stomach turns. I think I’m going to throw up. I don’t. Instead, I lean in and kiss her. She kisses me back. This is crazy. I can’t believe I’m doing this. I pull away. I know I’m blushing and flustered. Mary’s smiling. She grabs my hand and we walk the rest of the way home in silence. No one can know. This isn’t what a delicate Irish flower is supposed to do, only wilted and dying ones. I can’t help but smile though as I sneak in the front door and upstairs to my bedroom.I want to scream.VIOf all the people I’ve ever seen, she is the most beautiful. She makes all the other girls, the blondes with pretty faces and pretty smiles, pale in comparison. I think it’s the red hair and obsession with pink glittery things. Too bad we’re friends. Well… kind of. We’ve hung out a couple of times before tonight, mostly in school or out at parties. She knows me and I know her, we’ve had some laughs, but that’s really as far as our relationship goes. Word is she’s moving soon and we’ll never talk again. I should ask her. I watch from the balcony as she leaves with some guy…again. I sigh and down the shot in my hand. Goodbye sweet princess; maybe one day you’ll see that I’m what you want, not some chav. Doubt it. She could never want a fake Irish flower like me.I want to scream. VIII’m stunned. I can’t believe that we’re moving again. It feels like we just got here, to West Yorkshire. Now we’re going all the way across the ocean to America. Why couldn’t they have just waited until I went to college? I guess it doesn’t really matter…I’m going to be tossed into the odd American system. High school is it? At least it’ll be easier for me; Rhi is already in college. She’s going to have to finish out with American high school and do their silly SATs or ACTs or whatever they’re called. I don’t envy her. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -We’ve arrived in America – Boston, Massachusetts. There’s only a few months left of school and dad has me enrolled in some preparatory school here. It’s uncomfortable. I’m supposed to start next week some time. Then it dawns on me. I scroll through Facebook at record speed, searching for her name. Bingo. Ellison Academy Class of 2015I’ve found my destination. I beg and plead and tell him why Ellison is so much better. I tell him I’ll be a delicate Irish flower if I go. I leave behind England and Ireland and all the bad things I’ve ever done as a wee girl. With some discussion with mum it’s a done deal. Rhiannon has to come, too, though. That is the deal. I’ll gladly take it. Ellison Academy, here I come. I want to scream.