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Never Let Go

I could feel the pressure of eyes on the back of my neck as I turned into the school library. Their voices and comments about my short skirt lingered in my mind like little shadows as I sat down at an empty seat. This was where I felt most accepted. In the large room were stacks upon stacks of thick, dusty books filled with stories and imagination, things people at this school typically lacked, which is the reason the only other person in here was the librarian, Ms. Sweet. Before opening my book, I swiveled my head to look around for her. As I continued reading A Midsummer’s Night Dream, I froze, my heart beating loud. I stared into my own reflection, stamped into the dark window across from me. My knobby chin, my nauseating blue eyes, my orange skin, and my stringy dark hair that resembled snakes…my brain throbbed as it began replaying the excruciating melodies of gossip, in which all were about me. I stared at myself, coming up with words like ugly, fat, w****, until I could feel a steamy tear roll down my cheek. I watched as my lashes created dark, ugly streaks on my cheek and my face began turning red. The only thing that set my free from the trance was hearing Ms. Sweet’s footsteps click-clacking down the tile floor. “Annabelle,” She said, concerned. I turned and stared at her soft face, crinkling in distress. She sat down in the chair across from me. Her twinkling blue eyes stared into mine. I took a deep breath, feeling my lungs fill with cool air and escape through my nose. I stayed silent, and for a moment she was, too. “Be your own friend,” she said to me. “What?” I said, puzzled. “Be your own friend. Don’t bring yourself down, don’t turn on yourself.” I stared once again into the frosty window. “You will never be anybody else but yourself, so embrace it.” Words seemed to stir around in my head. I could barely think properly. “I am fat, ugly, my face is complicated, my arms are flabby, my legs and knees are too skinny,” I poured out as my eyes began to flood with water. “It’s complicated,” I said quietly. She nodded. She reached her arms for my arm, which was resting on the table. She turned it around slowly, revealing the red, stuffy scratches on my wrist. I suddenly felt disappointed in myself. To me, nothing quite made sense. She nodded to herself. Mrs. Sweet was so young, so beautiful. She was only years older than me, yet I respected her so much. She stood up abruptly and headed for the shelves. With one swift hand gesture, she pulled out a red book and laid it out on the table. On the cover, in scribbly, fainted letters was one phrase: Never let go of your own hand. I smiled, feeling the meaning of the words lift my spirits.

That day, I walked home in the Winter sunset. The orange sun was melting into the clouds as I began walking home. I didn’t wear a coat, but by habit took the long way home. There was actually many ways for me to get home, but this was the way I was most fond of. It was through the woods, and over some hills, and past a little stream, which of course led me through one neighborhood to the next, and finally, mine. There was no snow on the ground, so I could still hear the crunch of leaves under my leather boots as I walked through the woods. I listened to the beautiful bird calls echo through the woods, the scurry of squirrels as they leaped through tree branches, and the silence that was unlike any other. Soon I could hear the soft grumble of a car passing through the road. As I stepped onto this neighborhood, I looked up at the purple blue sky and creamy, fainting clouds. I continued walking, until I heard a familiar sound. It wasn’t a squirrel, or the sound of a bird call, no. This was the sound of a human. And I knew the voice. It was Brianna Fields, the girl with the blonde, sunshine-colored hair that always made me feel bad about my muddy brown locks. I whipped my head around, hearing the whimpers from Brianna and not knowing where it was coming from. I froze as I noticed her thin body curled over on her porch chair. Usually, at this time, I would look at her perfect little body, and then look at mine, and begin that process again I experienced that day. But suddenly, something overcame me. Something I knew would stay. I walked closer to her house, and without thinking, yelled her name as gentle as I could. “Brianna?” Her head popped up. For the first time, I noticed how thin she was. I could see every bone in her body. Black mascara was streaked across her wet face. “What?” She said under her sobs. “Never let go of your own hand,” I said proudly. Our eyes locked for a moment. The slightest smile grew on her face as the thought settled in. “Thanks,” She replied, still staring at me with a little confusion. And Right there, at that moment, when the sun was disappearing and the stars began appearing into view, she smiled at me, and I smiled at her, and I told myself inside that I was beautiful. Because even though I thought I had, I never let go.





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Hilidan said...
Feb. 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm
Cool!As you told me the best part is the end.You used the language in a good way and explained everything such detailed.Great!! Keep writing...
 
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