The townspeople were forever speculating about Vienna; her behavior a source of lurid gossip in our small town. A self-righteous lot, the townspeople had a vanity that left no room for empathy. Abnormal, Crazy, Freak were the only labels their frame of mind could hang on her.
But I've long buried my resentment toward them, and made peace with their pettiness. Whether unwilling or unable, they never saw through her torment. Their bigotry robbed them of charity and compassion. But at her core, Vienna was innocent, loving, and kind. She never harmed a soul. She, too, was robbed; and deserving of so much more than she was given.
Nearly 11 at the time of our relocation, Vienna changed when we changed homes. What previous balance there might have been was discarded along with the worn cardboard moving boxes.
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