The Road

Their eyes were cold and judging, a thousand knives thrust into the soft tissue of my heart. Scrutinizing every move, correcting every thought before I had it. They were all fourteen, some even fifteen. I was only twelve. Every eye traveled with me as I quietly moved to my seat. They didn't know me. They could only guess at my secrets. The only things they knew was my age difference, and my dyslexia. They didn't know anything different about me. The whispers buzzed in my ears, the flitting glances thrown my way in accopniament to the giggles that come as a girl says what she actually thinks. My teacher gave me a welcoming smile- the only one I had received upon arrival. New girl. I didn't even rank high enough to be called by my own name. A jock from across the room wolf-whistled at me. I glared at him, my heart sinking. Fitting in? Yeah, right.
English was utter hell for me. Seeing their hands easily move over the paper, the graphite forming into words I couldn't read was mocking. Freak. Freak. Freak. The word was a blow to me, hit every time the chalk scratched another sentance on the blackboard, erased too quickly for me to decipher the meaningless symbols.
"Ah, yes, new girl! You have an answer?" My German teacher called. Help! I pleaded with my eyes, searching for solace. None came.
"I can't read it," I whispered.
"Why not?"
"Because I'm dyslexic. They forgot about that when they moved me up a grade."
"Dyslexia is merely an obstacle, not the end of the road. We will overcome your handicap in this class, no? We are here to help, to learn."
Every sentance came with her help, her kind, correcting words on what I couldn't seem to understand. Though English seemed more promising than it had in previous years, I still saw the glares of my peers. Freak. Freak. Freak. They didn't understand what it was like to be different. To overcome a handicap and rise to the top of the class. To be smart and work my butt off to reach the top, no matter how many people told me I couldn't.

Years passed. I graduated collage two years early- mastering in English. The once-reluctant, patronizing glares of my peers softened into friendly smiles. Accepted. For the most part. The book I publishsed was a bestseller, flying off the shelves so fast Barnes and Noble couldn't keep it on the shelves.
It just goes to show, no matter how many obstacles are in your way, the road never ends.





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