I wrote this when I was 15, and it's not bad!
He looks at me, and I look at him. He sees me for who I am, beautiful, full of life. The other girls, they are all jealous, they too can see the look in his eyes. As he spins me around the dance floor the looks of jealousy heading my way turn to looks of derision, and I awake in a cold sweat again. The same dream. It is 5:45, I can tell because the overly large alarm clock glows red although my eyes can see well. They are the one part of me that works.
I struggle out of bed, and spend half an hour preparing for the trials to come. I slowly walk to the bathroom, and push the lever to the shower as best I can. Stepping under the warm water pulls my mind from my body, allowing it to flow free, and I remember the greatest point in my young life.
Once, last year, I loved a boy. I thought it was love, he was kind, and not the way my family is. He treated me as a human being. One day, after months of deliberations, I told him my feelings. He laughed, but a moment later, replied he felt the same. My heart has never soared so high. I was lost for words, it was rapture. I ask for his number, maybe I can call him, he can come to my house for dinner, He pauses a moment then writes a number on my hand. That night, I memorized it, but I didnít know how to speak to a boy, I was nervous. I waited three days to call him, but when I called, another answered the phone. He laughed out loud, a big, bellowing laugh. I shall never forget it, how he cursed me and my family then hung up the phone, swearing revenge on the object of my recent affections.
I could never look either of them in the eye again.
After standing in the shower for twenty minutes, my legs become tired, I cannot wash my hair, my body. I cannot control fine motor skills. The only time I feel clean is at my once a week sponge bath, when soap finally cleanses my skin. It has been four days. Even I can smell the rot of my skin, see the oil on my face, the pores filled with grease. I step from the shower and sit on the toilet, waiting. My mother comes in, after a brief knock. She once waited for my response, but sometimes I lay silent, and so now she comes in when she pleases. Wearing a smile, she helps to pull a soft shirt over my head, baggy, to hide my body. I cannot dress myself; my hands are lumps of flesh, large toes jutting out at odd angles with varied functionality. I try to ask my mother for my shoes, but I can not form the words, and so I am forced to point my stub of an arm towards them and grunt. There was a time when my mother told me I was beautiful; a time when she said the world would serve me if I served it. But as I aged, a sense of resignation grew within me; I would never be like normal kids.
I wait outside my house for the bus. It is cold, but I donít mind. The wind caresses me, brushes my hair, rustles my clothes. It is autumn and the leaves fill the air with the musty scent of earth.
A T-bus rolls to a stop and I climb onto it. The driver glances at me, a look of pity in her eyes and waves me past: my visage grants me free passage. I select a seat near the front; the driver will protect me from comments, but not from stares. I stare out the window, watching the grass, the hold summer held over the land beginning to sway with the colors of fall. A man with gray hair is smiling while he rakes. I idly wonder about his life for the remainder of the ride. We pull up to the high school, I stand to go but wait for the others to get off first: a boy with a basketball, a girl wearing a skirt, a teacher with a briefcase, a freshman with his lunch in a brown paper bag. After, I stumble down the steps, no one offers a hand, no one even glances at me. I walk to the stone steps leading to the front door, brace myself, and walk inside.
A young man calls my name; I force a smile and look at him. He makes comments to me, he makes his friendís smile by what he says, but guilt holds the laughter down. I try to laugh as well, to jest about it too, but I merely moan a high whine, and say a few words, causing their little restrained laughter to come forth in snickers, and causing some of them to turn so they can laugh without my notice. I smile again, my breath fills my nose, putrid, and my teeth hurt my curled lips, so I close my mouth. I walk up stairs, most people avoid my eyes so hard they may have well been staring, but I hold my head high anyway, back straight, the best I can that is, for my spine is twisted into knots. My four foot six inch frame ambles to the last step and I trot into a small classroom. I am early again.
I know that this is my only refuge. The teacher looks at me with a bored look and merely motions to a seat next to the boy with severe terets. I cannot move fast enough so the teacher yells to stop interrupting her teaching. I merely nod and mumble an apology before taking my seat, while the teacher continues to read her book on divorce.
I wait in the room for several hours, trying to do something of use. Finally the teacher rises, and goes over the same thing we do every morning at 10 am, the pledge of allegiance. Afterwards, we work on counting to one hundred and then our ABCís. Instead, as the teacher drones on, I imagine being a writer, describing the raking man with gray hair in a grand story. It usually takes all week to complete one cycle before we start again to learn the same thing I have known for my entire life. Still, I try, and still, I am unnoticed by anyone but those who hate me for what I was born to. I look out the window, the resignation I have felt for years presses on the insides of my skull as it always has, and it always will. †