Marissa

April 18, 2009
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Marissa was ugly. It was a fact, it was not negotiable. From the day she started school, she was ugly. In truth, she wasn’t completely unfortunate looking. Her hair was pretty if you saw it when it was pulled up in a bun. And her skin didn’t look at puce in the dark. The crumpled mass that was her nose looked like the letter ‘w’ if you stared at it long enough.

Marissa was used to this. She had theorized, that when life throws you lemons, you could either squirt them in your eyes, or make lemonade. She entered the New Haven School in a ‘dead man’s year. It was eighth grade, the school only went to ninth, and most of the students had known each other since they were illiterate. It was practically pointless to enter at such a time, she would only be here for a maximum of two years- and most of the children left to go to boarding school and other private schools for ninth grade.

The first week, people stared and whispered, some of the more bold students would come and ask her questions. The second week, they talked less, and the questions became infrequent, until they stopped completely. By the third week, Marissa knew that her chance was over. Every single girl knows that the first three weeks of school are the most crucial in the year. Every school has its cliques, most of the more prominent of the cliques are the female cliques. In a grade of thirty girls, there were about four cliques. During the first three weeks of school, they would talk, discuss whether the new girls were worth adopting, were they nice, did they have nice clothes, were they smart. The first week was meeting the prospects, and if they liked you, the second week they would talk to you.

By the third week, if they don’t call your name to come hang out during recess or offer to work with you in class, you are done for. For the first ten weeks of school, Marissa was miserable. Most people ignored her, and if she wasn’t ignored, they were just catty and rude. ‘Why do I have to sit with her’ or ‘ Can I not be in Marissa’s group’, were things she was hearing from her female classmates. Some teachers were ignorant, allowing them to make our own work groups, and not even making any effort to push her into someone else’s group. Marissa had once been beautiful, her parents would chronically tell her she was a beautiful child. But she was a teenager now, and what little beauty remained was minute.

When she would ask to join, the girls would laugh, and stare at Marissa until she left to sit alone. So she did, she sat alone, and got the good grades and comments because she didn’t talk in class. Her teachers would give her the minimal attention, feeling the want for privacy. But secretly, Marissa wanted to share. She wanted to voice her opinions, her ideas, her feelings, but she remained silent. None of the teachers picked up on anything because this was the only side of her they ever saw.


Devastated as Marissa was, she came to realize that it was just school, eight hours a day, five-days a week, four weeks a month, eight months a year. Life moves onward because of an uncontrollable fate.


And this was what Marissa had been convinced of, until June. As she sat in class, listening to the girls chatter, she looked up at the clock, as usual. She walked from one class, to another, waiting for the day to end. And as she walked down the hallways, up the stairs, she heard a voice.


You dropped your pencil, he said, and smiled. She smiled back, not really knowing how too. But it was like riding a bike, you never really forget.





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Laughternchoclate said...
Mar. 24, 2010 at 4:19 pm
Wow, Sam, this is really cool. I must live like near you, haha :)
 
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