Author's note: I was inspired to write the story of my life to help others who go through the same situations... Show full author's note »
A Grey DawningMy life is so unfair. Yeah, it is. Come on, what type of girl is nerd for crying out loud. This is horrible. I don’t want to be this way. Change me please. What did I ever do to you, God? Can’t I just be normal? Well, just give it some thought. Amen.
I was running late for school, again. Why did my birthday have to be so late in the year? I’m so sick of being fourteen. I want my permit. My mom is always running late. My teachers are threatening me with detention for my tardies now. Mom! I need to go to school.
“Give me just a sec, I need to fix my hair!”
Fine! I’ll go grab a different shirt, this one’s too bright anyway.
“After you’re done with that, go crank the car.”
Okay, I will, if that will make you go any faster.
“Just do it.”
As I sighed, I walked into my room and scoured the floor for a black shirt. I don’t know what’s been up lately, but bright colors just haven’t been fitting my mood. I spotted a black t-shirt on the ground. I grabbed it and pulled off the shirt I was wearing. I took a minute to look at myself in the mirror. God, I was just undeveloped everywhere except for my brain. I could care less about being smart, for once, I would just like to be normal. I grimaced and pulled on the new shirt. This is fitting kind of tight. I guess it’s time for me to try another exercise plan. They never work, but I’m not stupid enough to try a crash diet. Well, it’s off to another day of hell on earth. School.
I cranked the car and sat in the passenger seat. I anxiously glanced at the clock. 7:43. Seventeen minutes until the bell rings. After the fifteen minute drive, I could make it to class on time, if I ran. It’s not like I don’t run everyday anyway. My mom slammed the door and walked to her door, as my sister, Jenna followed her closely behind, dragging her tennis shoes and lunch begrudgingly behind her. Shoot! She’s going to yell at me for not walking the dog this morning.
“Ariana Rae! How many times have I told you to walk the dog before you leave for school?”
“Uh, after today, 769 times.”
“I don’t need any of your smart comments young lady. Just do it and you won’t ever have to hear me say it again.”
“Ughh, yes, ma’am. Can we just get to school now?”
“ Fine. Remember, you need to use the office phone at lunch and remind your grandmother that we need her to pick you up today.”
Great. Another car ride with Grandma. What could be worse?
“Yes, ma’am. I’ll call her.” I grimaced. Today might actually be worse than yesterday, if that’s possible.
Great, we’re here. Hell. It’s not to say I don’t like school, I just don’t like people. I would not consider myself a sociopath, but more of a freak. I ran to my homeroom, glancing at my watch. Thirty seconds. I turned the corner and ran in and sat in my seat in the back corner. I have to admit, no matter how much the people here suck, I never have to deal with them. I’m practically invisible. I have zero friends. That makes it easy, in a way. If I never get close to anyone, no one will ever really know my secret. The secret. There it goes again. People will never understand me.
I shook my head. This is not the time to cry. Just forget about it and draw. I pulled out my notebook and my favorite pen. I used to draw in bright and vivid colors. Now, I draw in all black. I drew a butterfly. My favorite insect. Well, it used to be; but lately, I’ve been extremely attracted to spiders. Oh well, I guess I’m changing. I was pensive for all of my first period government class. When the bell rang, I sighed. Time for health. My health teacher, Miss Smith, hated me. I was the only student of hers to never take notes or appear to listen. Yet, I still passed her class with straight 100s. I’d never missed a single question on one of her tests. They were too easy. I brought my notebook back out and doodled throughout my class time. I answered three questions and gave a presentation on AIDS. My “peers” were shocked that I knew so much about the subject and were appalled at my college vocabulary. I should have left that section out. My parents have told me not to show off, but yet again, I did. Shoot.
I left class five minutes early and headed to gym. This is the only class that I did not have a perfect 100 average in, only because every time I go to run or jump, I trip over my own feet. I’m a natural klutz, but that doesn’t stop me from having to take gym. Crap, there’s a skills test today. Maybe I should skip. I would, if it would help. Coach always makes us retake our skills tests if we miss them, so there really is no point. I’m not going to be prepared either way. Might as well fail today. What unit are we on? Basketball, of course. I glanced at my sheet of paper, it read:
Skills test. Stand at the free through line and shoot 10 free throws. I’ll grade accordingly.
This might actually be easy. I took a gulp of air in and closed my eyes as I let the ball sail through the air. Air ball. I took the next shot, and as I jumped, I slipped. Air ball. I stood up, and as I was going for the next shot, another kid collided with me. I fell to the ground, landing on my ankle wrong. I glanced at it and saw blood. I stood up quickly and pretended to actually care about my next seven shots. I pretty much just threw them towards the basket. I held back my whimpers as I walked to the table where I wrote down my number of misses. 10. My parents aren’t going to like this. I managed to get another zero in gym. I quickly got a note from Coach to leave and go to the office to call my mom about my ankle, not like she was going to do anything about it, but at least I got to leave. I gave the secretary my mom’s number. Was that a dirty look? I guess she is just tired of having me in here, calling family members. Everyone else in school has a cell phone, but my parents won’t buy me one. They keep saying that I trip enough that I would break it within the first week. It’s true. I got my mom on the phone and she told me to suck it up. So I limped to my next class.
My favorite class, literature, was next. My professor for lit is amazing. He’s kind of weird, but definitely a lit nerd. He lets me sleep in class because he knows I know what he’s teaching. I walked in and slept through 4th period. He woke me up and gave me a pass to Spanish.
Could this day get any worse? My ankle was killing me, but not like I’d ever let anyone help me. I looked around at the desks in the classroom. Each girl in my class had their boyfriends holding their hands. Deep down in my heart, I longed for a boyfriend. Not like that’s ever going to happen. I picked up a book and started reading, while Senora taught the other students. It’s not like I needed to listen. God blessed me with such an extraordinary talent that I had been able to speak Spanish since my dad taught it to me when I was four. Ten minutes before class ended, I went up to the front of the class and recited my poem for the class. As I finished, I expected a round of applause from my peers but all I received were scowls. Senora pulled me aside. Frantic thoughts flew threw my mind. Did my accent slip? Did I pronounce one of the words wrong? Did I forget a word? Not that any was possible, but you know, I had to consider the possibilities. I had been speaking Spanish for ten years so that eliminated the first two choices; and I had memorized the poem over a month prior to today. There was no way I had forgotten a word. Forgetting that Senora didn’t know that I was fluent in Spanish, I rambled off in her native language.
Que tal, Senora?
“Nada, Ari. Yo quiero ue usted participle en este concurso de poemas.”
Oh, I didn’t do anything wrong. I know my parents would be happy to see me participate in something, so I figured why not.
Por que’ no? Me encantaria.
“Gracias, Ari. Eres muy fantastica.”
De nada, Senora.
I grabbed my bag and quickly left the room. That contest was tomorrow. I would have to brush up on my reciting skills. I quickly went to the office and requested that another phone call be made to my family today. I recited my grandmother’s number to the secretary and talked to my grandma on the phone. After reminding her to pick me up, I headed over to the lunch table that I sat at every day. I pulled out my chemistry book and started reading next quarter’s unit.
The rest of the day passed fairly quickly. I sang my Alto piece in Women’s Chorus exactly on pitch, took a quiz in Chem and passed with a 107, and figured out every single problem in math before the teacher was done lecturing. I hopped in my grandmother’s car and she drove me to my mom’s school where she teaches. I walked in and sat in the room with the baby grand piano. I started playing. As I played some of my favorite pieces, I recited my poem in my head and out loud. I knew I had it memorized, but it still made me nervous. After about an hour, I went and helped my mom clean her room and we headed home. As soon as I got home, I called my best friend, Trinidad. Trini used to live about 2 miles away from my house but when her parents got divorced, she moved out of state. Now, we see each other once a year and talk about once a week. After I told her my good news, I quickly excused myself and told her I had to go eat.
After I finished eating and conversing with my parents, my dad told me how proud he was of me. He wished me luck for the competition the following day. I hopped in the shower after examining my finger nails. I turned the water on ice cold and took my time as I showered. I pondered the events of the day and prayed.
Dear God, Please help me to do well tomorrow. This is something I want to do to make my parents proud. Thanks for giving me the opportunity.