ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Short Story: The Shame

Updated on September 13, 2012

I remember when I was a little girl I dreamt of fairies and unicorns, and all things pretty. But now that I am older I realise that none of that is real, and now everything I dream of is ghastly, with ugly streaks of pain, fear, and most of all, shame. If only I’d opened my eyes sooner – they would not be haunted by this madness. But the damage is done and now I will have to live with the shame of it for the rest of my life.

I was naïve, that’s all I can tell you. My parents took no notice of me so when it happened I didn’t understand, until the clawing at my face and screaming happened. My counsellor doesn’t understand me; it’s as if, at times, I’m speaking a different language.


“I don’t know why.”

That’s the main conversation we have.

Walking over to the reception now, the familiar fear and shame rise up to the surface, only to drift back down again as the receptionist smiles at me with assurance. Kindness. I’ve never been kind I realise, and the shame resurfaces immediately. And as I walk through that door, the feeling only intensifies. I see her sat with him. Oh the pain I’ve caused her. I nearly slam the door shut and run out, but I know I can’t avoid her forever so instead I close it behind me and sit down, completing the triangle. I look from my counsellor to her and back again, over and over, until she opens her mouth to speak. My eyes rest shamefully on her.

“Charlene. Why?”

I want to answer but my tears prevent me. I loved her daughter really, but I did it anyway. And as I sob, to my surprise she shifts her chair towards me so that she can fold me in her arms. And over my gulps and hiccoughs, I can hear her sniffing quietly, which only makes me think again of what I have done, causing me to burst into fresh tears.

What feels like a lifetime afterwards we finally break apart, and I pull myself together with such a force that the waterworks come to an abrupt end. I look at the poor woman, studying her mascara stained cheeks, and the little smile she gives me. And as I study it, I notice that the smile doesn’t just contain the sorrow and grief I had expected for the loss of her beloved Kate, but also something else.


For me.

And so the story spills: the party, the drinking, the jealousy, the rooftop, the fight, the fall. And so now, although I still feel terrible, although my mind is still guilt-ridden...

Although I still carry that shame, I now know that what my counsellor constantly tells me is true, and I’m not alone. I will always feel that shame, but the support I will be receiving will help me through it. And so, as I walk out that door, as I walk past that reception and back home, for the first time in six months I do something I never thought to be possible again:

I smile.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • AUPADHYAY profile image



      Very beautiful and awesome story you have written cmiller0161, I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      5 years ago from US

      This reminds me of another writer here telling these stories that are true. You have a different and interesting twist. Very good.

    • cmiller0161 profile imageAUTHOR

      Claire Miller 

      5 years ago

      Thank you guys! The Urbanite, that's exactly what I was trying to do with this piece; I'm glad you noticed that.

      And Carly, you totally nailed it! I agree. If we were able to just move on and forget all the bad things that have happened in the past, we would find that we're merely robots; a cold shell functioning just because it has to. Our mistakes change us, but more often than not they change us for the better, because we're always learning. Every day - whether we're 8 or 80 - we're learning.

      Thank you again to both of you :)

    • CarlySullens profile image


      5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      oh, wow. You are a sensational writer. I felt every emotions and wanted to reach out and hug her myself. I like how you ended it too...

      Not leaving the reader with the stark heaviness of the shame, but not completely lifting it either. There is a beginning of an integration. And isn't that what is supposed to happen? We can't totally hid ourselves of the past or past traumas, but we can integrate them with other parts of ourselves. The do not have to be the whole of who we are. They are a part of who we are, but not the sum. For the sum is all our parts, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.

      This was beautiful.

    • The Urbanite profile image

      The Urbanite 

      5 years ago

      ...this is like a gorgeous abstract painting just hanging there and telling a different story to each one who gazes at it...


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)