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Crippled Soul

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As I stepped into the carpeted hallway, I became painfully aware of the loud, raucous noise gradually subsiding into whispered comments and giggles. Rather like a huge ocean wave crashing toward me at the beach, only this was going in the opposite direction. The talking grew again after its first initial shock, but still the whispered gossiping spread out farther from me, like a row of dominos roughly pushed over. My eyes were still adjusting to the dimmer room, but I could still see several heads turning toward me. Sigh. Here we go again.

I shoved my throbbing hand into my pocket, and let the other strangle my book bag strap with a death grip. It seems that my right hand would almost always beat with a more intense pain than normal anytime I would start to stress out. Dr. Marus said that this was a good sign, that it meant that my hand still had a few nerves working properly. That there was still hope left. But he said the surgery must wait until I stopped growing, because he didn’t want to add to the risk of hitting some growth plate bone in my wrist. Yeah, whatever. So as of right now, my crippled hand will be shoved into my pocket. And, as of right now, I will have to put up with the glances being aimed toward me.

I pointedly ignored the group of girls I was approaching and put on my “mean” face I reserved for these scenarios specifically in mind. I wouldn’t have gone this way anyways, except the dean I talked to yesterday had pointed to that water fountain, and told me my locker was directly to the right of it. I fumbled for the paper again. Where was it, anyways? Oh, shoot. It was in my right jeans pocket. I couldn’t even begin to fathom why I was stupid enough to put it there, but no time for that now. Concentrating on nothing but the difficult task now before me, I half-closed my eyes and tried to wriggle my right hands’ fingers. Nothing. No movement. Just like that dead bird I found once coming home from my old school, my hand was small and fragile. And very much dead. Unless you wanted to count those small nerves that wouldn’t help me with anything, except for blessing me with more pain. As if I didn’t have enough of that already. Inwardly I gave a frustrated sigh. I wouldn’t even bother a second time, because some of those laughing girls were beginning to “wander” over to where I was. Only feeling slightly panicked, I dumped my bag to the ground, used my arm to drag my hand out of the tight pocket, and left it dangling there for the world to see while my left hand snatched for that stupid paper.

Now kneeling on the ground, I squinted at it. Why was this hallway so dark anyways? But I shouldn’t worry about it. Worries only made my quivering stomach more upset, and my already throbbing hand increased its tempo, matching my heartbeat. I guessed at the locker number I could barely see so I could just get of here. But it was too late.

I saw some little black boots with heels planted firmly in front of the pathway I so badly wanted. Why was this happening to me? The thought randomly occurred to me that I could pretend I did not know English. I considered that further when I realized that this blond-haired, blue-eyed, and slightly ditzy-looking girl wouldn’t know that my gibberish wasn’t Spanish. A bubble of laughter swelling up in my chest surprised me. I know it certainly surprised the girl when it burst out of my lips a few seconds later. She squinted at me and did the one-eyebrow look, then focused her gaze at my hand. I suddenly realized I forgot to hide it, but didn’t bother to move it. Besides, she had already seen it. Surprisingly, she hadn’t tried to speak to me yet, so I took the God-given opportunity to brush past her. The group of girls she had withdrawn from earlier all giggled and turned away from me. Marching past them resolutely with a farce show of bravado, I told myself that I still had hope when Blue-Eyes’ tinkling laugh joined theirs to make an obnoxious sound similar to wind chimes rusted over. I winked back the solitary tear, and found locker number 563. I still had hope.




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