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Chin Up

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Unheard sobs; because they are forced down before they erupt.
But erasing the evidence does not remove the truth.
The truth is, I dread everyone’s opinion.
Dread: an understatement.
But instead of revealing my deepest pain distributer, I act like your words were merely thoughts, probably secrets, only lies.
“What’s wrong with your hair today?” Concern masked by snickers which reveal your real thought: Your hair looks awful.
You think I can’t see through your false innocence. But I forgot to tell you, I’m psychic.
I can read your mind. I can read your mind. But you don’t mind.
Because that was truly your intention anyway.
I look away and try to act normal, as if my heart didn’t just explode within me but still left me alive so I could endure the agony of this moment.
I hear laughter behind me and immediately I know that I’m their source of entertainment, even if they were too busy fan-girling last night’s Teen Wolf to have overheard our conversation. Her conversation—for I just wanted her to leave.
She’s staring at me now, her eyes looking in on my broken heart, wondering what boyfriend of six months had offered it a knife.
“Are you okay?” she asks me, hand on my shoulder.
I want to shrug her hand off, but I don’t. I’m just fine, I say in my thoughts. And I nod once not caring if she sees or not. I wipe away a tear and try to sniff as softly as I could manage.
“Alana you’re not okay,”
Obviously.
Her composure says it all. The constant tapping of her foot reveals her lack of interest, her impatience, her time to go. I’ve kept her here far too long I guess.
Nobody’s fault but hers—she just had to look out for the hurt and broken hearted.
Manipulative snob.
She glances at the red banded watch on her wrist and then acts as if she didn’t.
I look down at her hand, still on my shoulder.
Still on my shoulder in vain.
Leave, my mind hisses.
But I seem to be the only psychic around.
She shifts her weight unto her other leg and sighs, “Well Alana, feel better …” she pats my shoulder before walking away …before I could even reply—if I had felt like joining her meaningless chatter.
I watch her leave. Her previous empathetic demeanour flips instantly as she joins hands with another snob of the century. I watch them laugh. I watch them turn and glance at me. I watch them laugh.
The remains of my heart melted into a loose liquid and ran away. I wish I could run away.
I keep my eyes glued to the concrete floor as I walk to the bathroom. The nearest bathroom—and I hoped it was empty.
It was.
I slowly approach the huge mirror I knew awaited my eyes. A tiny mirror would’ve been more than enough though.
Chin up, eyes closed. Not exactly fearing what I was really about to see, but dreading the possibility that maybe their critique would have convinced my vision to show me what they saw.
What their ignorance saw.
Slowly, I saw light again through the holes in my head. As well as the beautiful curls I had made this morning; the curls that took over my entire head and hung across my face.
The gorgeous curls they failed to appreciate.
The lovely curls that weren’t lovely anymore as soon as they hit another’s sight.
I smiled though, in the safety of the enclosed rest room, where no one could see my curls.
Unless they walked in …
I ran my fingers through them and made sure that they were perfect. Perfect enough to head back outside.
Somewhat pleased, I stepped away from the huge mirror—chin up.
I stepped into the hallway—chin up.
I began walking to Literature—chin up.
My confidence level grew with each new step I made, then it sank when eyes turned.
Grew, with each bounce my body created, then sank as soon as wind penetrated.
Grew.
Sank. Sank. Sank, as I approached my immediate peers again. I began to walk slower, much slower as I turned into the classroom.
Chin down.
I took my seat in the back—chin down.
The teacher was late.
I took out my books—chin down.
Saw feet approaching me from the position of my chin down.
“Alana?”
My liquid heart ran back into place and raced all around.
“Yeah?”—chin down. I closed my eyes to stop the tears from coming. I knew what was coming next, another snobby opinion! I ran my palms over my eyes and rubbed them as I snuck a peek at the girl at my desk.
Brooke Grant.
I was surprised; I removed my palms and glared at her in disbelief.
My heart molded and hardened. The knife fell to the ground and magically disappeared.
I stared at her curls. Beautiful curls like mine. But hers were golden, as golden as the morning
Sky.
And then I knew, I finally knew what confidence was.
It wasn’t me in the secrecy of the bathrooms, nor was it those snobs with long silky hair.
It was Brooke. Brooke was confidence.
I smiled up at her and decided to do what I knew was the right thing. Maybe she was a psychic too and could read my mind.
But it wouldn’t have mattered—and I didn’t mind.
“Pretty curls.” I complimented.
Her response made my day. “Thanks. Don’t be angry, but I stole it from you.”
She stole it from me, my mind repeated.
I wanted to steal her confidence.
So I did.
Chin up.



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