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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.