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I wrote this story as an allegory inspired by a real-life event.
The plot of this story is located on a spacious meadow surrounded by dense forest, full of all kinds of flowers of different colors and sizes, from lilies and violets to daffodils. Lirio was a lily. While he was small and had only buds, he never doubted that he was beautiful and worth as much as any other flower. He grew and flourished in peace until one day that will forever remain etched in his memory. Next to Lirio grew his acquaintance and peer Narciso, the daffodil flower, who, like Lirio, was confident and happy. That day, Narciso noticed that Lirio had begun to bloom before him and drawn by jealousy, decided to say to him, “Lirio, just look at how big your petals are. No one likes flowers with such large and awkward petals.” Lirio didn’t say anything back, but at that moment he felt ashamed and sad. The next day Narciso already forgot he had ever told him that, but Lirio couldn’t stop thinking about it. In the following days, Lirio did not want to stand up to be better illuminated by the sun. Instead, he bent down to make it harder for other flowers to see him, because if Narciso noticed that he was not beautiful and had “strange” petals, then all other flowers must have thought the same. He felt like everyone was watching and judging him because he wasn’t pretty enough. In the following years of his life, even in moments when another flower would tell him that he had beautiful petals, Lirio would immediately dismiss it as untrue. Each time the sentence Narciso had told him long ago would come back to his mind. Lirio was more and more hunched over and sad every day, trying to remain invisible to the other flowers. He was getting less and less light, and other flowers began to grow above him. One chilly morning he leaned against the grass covered with the night frost, remembered the sentence that had been etched in his memory since that fateful day, and feeling worthlessly, sunk into eternal sleep. Narciso lived his whole life not knowing his words ruined the life of one beautiful flower.
Imaginary audience is the belief of adolescents that others are constantly focusing attention on them, scrutinizing behaviors, appearance, and the like. The adolescent feels as though he or she is continually the central topic of interest to a group of spectators (an audience) when in fact this is not the case. It is an early adolescent construct reflective of acute self-consciousness and is considered an expression of adolescent egocentrism. It was first described by U.S. developmental psychologist David Elkind.
Ema Krčadinac, XV. gimnazija