He said ‘No.’

He said it softly.

He said it with determination.

He said ‘No.’

Sometimes it’s the smallest miracles that reap the biggest joys. It may not seem much to others but to me, it fills my world with light.

Seeing someone used to simply capitulating, simply blending into the background, simply ceding his right to space and to time and to inclusion, say a word that brings him into focus.

‘No’ is a word that stops everything for a moment.

It’s a word that brings the focus of others on you.

Perhaps in anger. Perhaps in frustration. Perhaps in shock.

It’s a word that challenges authority and questions hierarchy.

It establishes self, and selfhood, and differentiates one from another. A firm No isn’t the opposite of  a freely given Yes, it’s it’s twin.

His tiny quiet No drew a circle around him. It’s the first time he drew a line in the sand and knew that he was on one side and that both his mother and his staff were on the other.

They were used to compliance.

Complete and utter control had been established.

No.

An end to compliance.

An end to control.

The staff rose from her seat ready to ‘assist’ him in his move from ‘No’ to ‘Yes.’

His mother, put her hand on the young woman’s arm and pulled her gently back to her seat.

The staff looked confused.

Because his mother was crying.