The Mocking Bird

March 3, 2012
By , Mt. Vernon, TX
When I wake up in the morning, I look in the mirror and ask myself: Am I really me? I get dressed and go through the gauntlet I face everyday at my house: The beatings, the screaming, the blame and guilt piled up higher and higher until I just can’t stand it…! I wipe my eyes as a step onto the bus, feeding my change through the coin slot up front before taking my usual spot at Seat 22. Like a mocking bird, I am capable of putting on any façade needed to survive in this world, to find a mate, to flourish.

I get off the bus and walk up the hard, beaten pavement of West End High School, my raggedy, old, too broken in shoes slapping against it, creating a steady thump, as though it’s the drum warning me of things to come. As I step in the doors, I’m instantly bombarded with sights, smells, words, and friendly slugs on the arm. I put on my Strong Face, acting as though nothing at all is wrong, ignoring the hard stares I get from that one clique, the one that makes fun of my clothes and house where they think I can’t hear.

My shoulders sag with relief when I see my clique, the people I can put on my Normal Face, though they don’t realize that I’m still not me. I smile and trade easy banter, talking about what’s cool and what’s not, why my mascara is smeared and other mundane topics.

The bell rings and I walk into class, slouching down in my seat to avoid drawing attention to myself. The teacher calls on my anyway. With a sigh I pull a number out of the air and give it to her, to be rewarded with a severe glare and a loud, obnoxious chastisement. I put on my I Don’t Care face, even though I know that if I want to get anywhere, ever get out of the H*ll I live in now I have to get an education.

Finally, I can be myself. I let my all of my faces slid off and become who I really am when I enter the dark, shadow-filled alley. I smile as the shadows peel themselves from the brick walls and become my friends, or at least my dealers, each stepping forwards to offer me what I want…what I need. This is where I belong.

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