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Plastic

The bell rang and I exited my class chattering along with everyone else.  I placed my books and my locker and checked my mirror.  My hair and makeup still looked like I they did this morning due to my meticulous care, but my blue eyes were empty.  Perfection was too much to ask of anyone.  Even though I was surrounded by cheery babble, I felt cold and oblivious; I just wanted to sit huddled and alone in the corner.  No, I wanted someone to care, someone who would love me no matter how I acted or what I looked like; a person who knew how to comfort me when I was hurting.

I sat in my usual seat at the lunch table, quiet and alone.  That’s all I could feel -- loneliness.  There were a couple hundred teenagers around me, laughing, yelling, and flinging peas at each other, but I still felt completely and utterly alone.  Tears welled up in my eyes.  I blinked them back before anyone could see and forced my perfect smile.  My “friends” soon crowded around me at our usual table, talking and laughing.  I joined in, but it was plastic. 

“Everything in my life is plastic.  Everything is fake, even me.  Nothing is real, and nothing ever lasts!”  I screamed in my head.

I hid my frustrations from the people around me.  They didn’t know what was happening, but I wanted to blame them; to yell at them for being so obsessed with their own lives to see that I was hurting.  I was always hurting.  But maybe they couldn’t tell the difference between the real me and the fake me….

The bell rang and I scurried off to my next class.  The overcast sky only dampened my mood even more.  I walked around with a smile on.  I had to be cheerful.  I was the cheerful one, that’s what everybody expected and wanted, that’s what I had to show them.

I checked my watch when I reached my classroom.  It read 12:45.  Only three more hours and I could get out of here!  I could bury my head in my pillow and cry my eyes out.  I didn’t have to be plastic when I was alone.  I didn’t have to keep up this fake smile or laugh my phony laugh.  I didn’t have to pretend I loved people I hated.  A sharp hurt panged in my chest.  I didn’t mean that!  …Or did I?  My emotions confused me. 

“Why do I have to walk this dark road alone?”  I whispered to no one in particular.

The girl in front of me turned around.  I looked down at my paper, looking studious to hide my tears.

“You don’t have to,” she whispered softly and sweetly.  After a pause, she continued, “I will stick with you,”

“You don’t know me!  You don’t know what I’ve been through!  You don’t understand!  I’m fine!”  I hissed at her

She grabbed my hand gently and said, “I’m here for you.”

Tears glistened in my eyes, but I looked up.  Her face was sweet and sincere.  Maybe I could trust her.  Everything about her seemed different from anyone I knew.  She seemed real, not posed.  I smiled back cautiously, maybe this friendship would be different.





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