Where Did My Confidence Go?

“Where did my confidence go?” asked the little girl. 

She looked under the bed, but only saw monsters. 

She looked inside her closet, but only found insecurity. 

She looked at her bookshelf, but only saw absence. 

She got out and looked around. 

She asked the milkman and the milkman replied: “I’ll show you some confidence”, but he only gave her dairy products. 

She asked the businessman and the businessman replied: “I’ll show you some confidence” but he only made a business out of her. 

She asked the boogieman and the boogieman replied: “I’ll show you some confidence”, but he only filled her with terror.

Her confidence was still nowhere to be seen. 

A flash, she looked inside of her. 

She opened her mouth, but no sound came. 

She unbuttoned her belly, but no food could fill her. 

She checked her heart, but it was beating blue. 

So, she kept asking. 

She asked her mama. Her mama replied “I lost mine ages ago. Also, my glasses — could you fetch my glasses?”. 

She asked her sister. Her sister replied: “If I knew, why would I tell you?”. 

She asked her auntie. Her auntie said: “Oh honey”. 

The little girl had no idea what honey had got to do with it, so she kept wandering wondering. 

She thought: “No one knows where my confidence is. No one saw it, no one found it. I have nowhere left to look. I cannot go on without it”. 

And there. 

She saw. 

Crossing the street was a man with a brown felt hat and a dark green coat and a red woolen scarf and brown suede shoes and thick corduroy trousers. The man had it! He had her confidence! He was carrying it under his armpit like a vulgar baguette. 

‘Hey! That’s my confidence!’ yelled the little girl, her eyebrows swaying in wrath. 

Everybody stopped. People turned around to stare at the little girl yelling at the man with the brown felt hat and the dark green coat and the red woolen scarf and the brown suede shoes and the thick corduroy trousers. 

‘That’s my confidence!’ she cried as she ran after the man with the brown felt hat. 

‘That’s my confidence!’ she repeated as she grabbed the man’s dark green coat. 

The man felt something, paused, turned around, did not see anyone, did not see anything, so he kept walking in his brown suede shoes. 

The little girl pulled him again. It had not occurred to the man with the red woolen scarf to look down. Why would he? He had so much confidence. 

‘That’s my confidence, give it back!’ fumed the little girl her jaw clutching her lips. 

The man with thick corduroy trousers looked at her. Raised an eyebrow. Started thinking. Raised the other eyebrow. Tightened his lips. Raised both eyebrows. Made a reverse U with his mouth. Looked up to the left. Looked up to the right. Looked down to the little girl. He said nothing. Kept walking. 

“Hey! Stop! Stop him” the little girl begged the crowd, her voice resounding in her mouth, a tear burgeoning in her left eye, her heart pounding grey: “He took my confidence away!”. 

“Are you sure little girl?” asked a voice near her. 

She had no confidence. How could she be sure of anything? 

“Do you know who he is little girl?” asked another. 

“Are you sure it is yours?” came up yet another. 

“That confidence is not yours” asserted someone. 

“Little thief” spat somebody. 

The voices around her became more insistent, the stares more persistent. The tear got bigger, the heart dropped, her stomach was a knot. She was surrounded by the invading crowd. She had no escape. 

“Are you sure?” 

“How could you know?”

“What do you know?”

“Who are you?”

“Where is your confidence, little girl?” 

“Do you even exist little girl?” 

The voices got louder and louder, the bodies closer and closer. All she wanted to do was cry. 

“Oh, drop it!” exclaimed a woman, “She’s just a little girl. Keep walking!” 

The crowd dissipated as soon as it had appeared. The man was nowhere to be seen. 

“Did I invent all this?” she asked herself. 

She looked at passersby: busy busy walking by. 

She looked closer. 

She saw. 


She saw men with her confidence clasped under their arms. Men in dresses, men in trousers. Men with hair, men with height, men with skin, men with fat. Men with sight, men with fright, men who fight. All men. They had it. Not just her confidence, but her mum’s, her auntie’s and her sister’s. 

And the world was spinning round and round as she fell onto the ground.

I would like to thank women from the FiLiA’s writing group for their more than valuable input and encouragement and editresses of the Rain and Thunder magazine who have agreed to publish this story in the latest issue (Issue #80, January 2023) (and provided precious feedback too!). Please consider buying the paper version if you can.

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