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I have a secret to tell you.
You are not the most important person in the world, there I said it.
Though this may be hard to believe, I can prove this to you very easily. Right now, imagine you are sitting in a car stuck in traffic with many cars around you.There might be 80 cars stuck in this traffic but you have no idea what any other person is thinking about. This creates an illusion in a person’s head telling them that they are the center of the world.
People also think that they know exactly what everyone else is around them is thinking, which is also false.
Once when I was in the third grade, I had a fight with a friend because she wouldn't show me what she was writing in her notebook so I thought she was writing something about me. The very next day I brought a notebook to school and did the same thing to her so I can get even. We both remembered this moment and years later and it came up in a conversation. Turns out she wasn't writing in her notebook, she was drawing burgers and I couldn't come up with anything, so I just had a photo of my dogs in my book.
We laughed this moment off but it proves my point. No one knows what anyone else is thinking, we always assume. Nevertheless, I don't want you to assume, I want you to have all the facts. This is the reason I'm writing this story the way every story should be written, from two point of views.
School, something that many people hate, I am no exception.
Don't get me wrong, I understand why school is important, but seriously 7:00 wake up?!
What are you trying to do teach me something new or get punched in the face.
So yeah, guess what I do,
Until it is 7:20 and my mom tells me I’m going to be late, again.
And this is when I finally get my head off my pillow and my legs finally have the will to bend and I race to get ready for school.
My school starts at 8:00 and I usually get there at 8:15.
To be honest, I am the worst actor ever, but when it comes time to tell my teacher why I’m late I somehow become an A lister.
“Oh, there was traffic…”
“My mom got a flat tire so I had to take the bus…”
“Well you see I’m going through something with my family so…”
Seriously, I have been late over 50 times this year but haven't gotten one detention, that has to be a new record.
After my usual performance, school just goes on like usual, do I really need to explain it? Anyway, school moves along quite normally, until Mrs.Ryan gets a call from the school phone hanging by the door.
At this very moment everyone looks up, that phone hasn't rang in all the 2 years I went to this high school.
After Mrs.Ryan hangs up the phone she turns to us, “Class I have an announcement…”
But before she can finish, a barely audible knock is played on the door.
I just couldn't stop staring at the letter that is now about to be ripped apart because of how tightly I’ve been holding it for the past week. Only two years ago I was not able to read a word of any book and couldn't let a single word escape my lips, but today I was reading the letter over and over again without a single hiccup.
Dear Gabrielle Ross,
Due to your fast learning abilities you are now at an average sophomore level. Starting next week, the school board is now allowing you to attend South Shore High School to complete your high school education. Hope you enjoy the rest of your school year.
School Board President
The week wait is finally over and it is finally my first day.
“ So I guess you are excited for your first day?” My mom says over my shoulder making me jump.
“ Yes,” I said unsurely.
My mom gives me a look
“ Okay fine, I’m te… terrified,” I sighed through my stutter
“But why?” My mom asked, “ You are a great student, hard worker, and your talking skills are better than anyone could have imagined.”
I rolled my eyes, “That's not the thing I'm worried about”
“Then what's bothering you?” My mom asked
“ Mom I might finally be on my o…original gr...grade level but that doesn't mean I’m normal,” I said pointing at my disfigured face.
At that my mom just rolled her eyes, “ Who cares about what you look, the only reason you are going to school is to learn and if the kids don't appreciate that they are not worth your time.”
I know what you are thinking, that is the most momish thing anyone could've said, and you are right.
But I don't have the energy for a fight right now so I just sigh, give my mom a hug, and go to my first day of school.
The 5 minute ride felt like it was 5 hours long and when we finally got there, it only felt like a few seconds have gone by.
“Good luck,” My mom said as I was getting out of the car.
“Th...thanks,” I mumbled as I closed the door.
Okay this is just like tutoring but with more people it's going to be fine I thought
Boy was I wrong.
As I entered the school I took out my schedule to look at where my classes are and headed towards my home room feeling like my legs have become noodles and that my stomach was full of butterflies.
Finally after about fifteen minutes of searching I found the right classroom and froze in front of the door.
What am I supposed to do walk right in and take my seat or just go straight to the teacher?
Will all the kids turn and look at my disfigured face that has brown eyes that are too narrow, lips thin as paper, mahogany red straight hair too short to hid my face in, and a button nose that has a bridge so flat it looks like it disappeared?
So I just do the most old fashion thing I can, I knock.
When the teacher opened the door she gave me a wide smile that didn't look genuine said her name in a sickly sweet voice, “ Welcome, my name is Mrs.Ryan.”
Everyone was staring at me as if I was an alien with six arms and eight eyes. I knew it, I should have stayed home.
“That's your seat right over the last seat in the third row, your textbook for my class is over on that shelf in the corner and during study hall Ms.Greyson will meet you back here and give you a tour of the whole school.”
Suddenly, a girl looked up alarmingly from what looked like a sketchbook. She had almond shaped sea blue eyes her, and oval face that is framed by wavy chestnut brown hair that looked as though it has never been brushed. Except for the scowl the girl always seems to wear, she is rather pretty.
“What?!” the girl exclaimed in confusion, “ No way sorry Mrs.Ryan but I can’t I have to…”
“Ms.Greyson you have been late every day for the past 2 years and haven't given in any of your homework on time, consider this extra credit.”
The girl sighed, rolled her eyes and slouched back into her seat.
This is going to be an interesting day.
So I guess I’m not an A-list actress after all. I can’t believe Mrs.Ryan, she could have done anything, given me detention, asked me to clean every trash can in the school, and yet she chose to give me the one task I hate doing.
Interacting with people.
And to make things better, this isn’t anyone normal, no, I have to babysit a girl who probably can't even count to ten without stuttering. Who am I kidding, she probably can't even count to 5.
As the day went on study hall got closer and closer. With that, my mind kept filling itself with false interactions that I believed were soon to come.
When it was time to meet up with Tweedledum I made sure to really enjoy my walk in the halls and take my time looking at all the trophies that appeared on every corner.
When I finally found my way back into Mrs.Ryan’s classroom the girl’s brown eyes immediately found me and her almost toothless smile spread from ear to ear.
“Hi, I’m Gabby what's your name?” She said with a voice full of hope and cheer.
“Rose,” I muttered, great the interacting has begun.
“ Wow that's… um… I mean… um… I like the name,” Gabby said stuttering almost after every word.
“ Uh, thanks, I guess, so anyway this is the cafeteria right across from it is the math classroom.” I muttered in the most monotoned voice ever.
This went on for about 15 minutes until we reached the biology lab and the unthinkable happened, Gabby started asking questions about me, great.
“ What’s that?” Gabby asked pointing to the only book I was holding.
“My sketchbook,” I answered grumpily
“Oh you’re an artist!” Gabby exclaimed excitedly, “How long have you been drawing for?”
“Since I was six,” I yawned
“Oh wo...wow you must be a…a…amazing,” Gabby stuttered in awe as she reach her hands toward the book expectantly.
“May I?” She asked giving me a hopefully look
“No!” I yelled angrily suddenly holding my sketchbook very tightly in my arms ,“ Stop okay, just because I have to show you around doesn’t mean we’re suddenly bffs okay!”
“No! I didn’t mean to… I was just trying to be friendly,” Gabby said quickly in a terrified squeaky voice.
“ Look,” I snapped, “I get it that you're new here but, I don’t do friends so find someone who does.”
And with that I left, leaving with my sketchbook still tightly in my arms and with no regrets.
Shadows. Everyone has one, a shadow is like a black hole that is only with you when the light hits you. It’s like when anything amazing happens to you, your shadow is alway there to remind you, no, whenever there is light, darkness is inevitable, like now.
This school is the light shining on me, making me feel like I can still be normal and have a future, just like everyone else. The people here are my shadow, They always follow me around making me feel like a freak, a nothing.
I feel I can’t do anything right anymore, I wasn’t trying to be rude, I thought that if I was interested in what other people were interested in they wouldn’t treat me like…
Whatever, it doesn’t matter anymore, I will always be… this.
I take back what I said earlier. The people aren’t my shadow, my down-syndrome is, and it always will be
After my little freak out, lunch was on it’s way.
Wait, before we get there, that explosion felt so good, it was like the biggest weight was released of of my shoulders, damn it felt good.
Who did Gabby think she was? Yeah yeah she’s new, but come on, a little common sense wouldn’t hurt anyone. Honestly, rule number one with all artist NEVER touch their sketchbook.
Sorry, a little off topic, anyway lunch was next period and I was sitting with one of my favorite people, myself.
As I was eating my bag of chips, I was drawing. My sketchbook is almost full and I need to get a new one soon. But this one will always be… special, I guess.
If my dad never gave me this sketchbook, I wouldn’t have started drawing and would have still felt incomplete, like a nothing.
Wow, when did I get so touchy-feely, ugh, it’s gross.
As I was drawing, our “favorite” person came into the room, you know the name. Whatever, there is no way she can drag me into having lunch with her so everything is fine.
So, I just go back to drawing, somehow it just calms me down. But then, a huge crash shatters my dome of peacefulness and I quickly turn around to see what happened.
And obviously, some how the freak’s on the floor covered in food.
“Oh my God,” a boy said that was also covered in food, “I am so sorry.” But then, he saw her face, “Oh it’s uh, you, um… I have to go.” And with that he ran away.
After he was gone, I, for some reason, wanted to help our little friend, hey I mean I might be a jerk but how low can a person go?
Right before I was about to go help her our eyes met and that’s when I knew I couldn’t help her. What the hell was I thinking, I don’t do these types of things. I’m Rose Greyson, I’m a loner, even if I wanted to help, there is nothing I could really do to help her. She needs a friend, I am not even close to one. With that thought in mind, I let go of her eyes and went back to my drawing as if nothing has happened
Well, that was the worst day of my life But you know what?
I don’t care.
I’m done with people like Rose,
I’m done with people treating me like garage just because my face is not like there’s
I’m done fighting it.
From now on, I’m embracing it.
This is me, this is my life, my story, and I am done fighting people who think it is there’s.
So when I came home, I opened my drawer that kept a small book with blank pages that I got for my ninth birthday but never used because I thought it was stupid.
However, today and for the rest of my high school education this book will be my freedom, a place that I write whatever I choose to get my mind off the haters at school. Nothing will bring me down.
About 15 years have past since I graduated from my high school. I am now 33 years old and am realizing how stupid I was in high school. Don’t get me wrong some things still stayed the same, for instance, my love for sleep, and my procrastination skills are still on point, but most of my other “amazing qualities” changed. Now I try not to be what other people call, a loner and now have close friends,a “steady” job as an artist, a loving husband, and a beautiful five year old daughter named Avery.
I am very happy with how my life has turned out, except for one detail that has been with me ever since that stupid phone rang in class for the first time.
Today is our high school reunion and the day I make amends with a Gabby. I honestly think that’s the first time I ever said her true name. Tonight I will make everything right, or close to decent, I don’t know how this night will turn out .
When the reunion finally started, I looked everywhere but couldn’t find Gabby anywhere. I spend about an hour looking for her and when I was just about to give up hope, a man with reddish-brown hair and blue eyes came up to me.
“Hello, is your name Rose by any chance?” He asked
“Yeah,” I answered, “But I honestly don’t have enough time right now so…”
“My name is Wilson,” He said anyway not letting me leave.
“And this is my son Joshua,”He said pointing at a boy not to far away
Joshua had Wilson’s blue eyes and I’m guessing his mom’s mahogany red hair that looked almost exactly like a person’s we know.
“By any chance is your wife’s name Gabby?” I asked
“ It was,” He answered
“She died two years ago,” He said sorrowly
I paused, suddenly getting away from this man wasn’t my biggest worry.
“What,” I croaked in a broken voice
“She had down syndrome, people with that disease usually live until sixty, at least, but she didn’t survive.”
And just like that I was shaking with fear and remorse unable to control my body that now felt numb and broken. No she is not dead, she can’t be. But the shattered look on Wilson’s face brings me back to reality. Gabby is dead.
I looked at Joshua “is he like her or…”
“No, my son was very luckily, he will live a long normal life,” He answered.
“Good,” I signed with my still broken voice
“However, Gabby left you this,” He said handing me a small book.
“Is this her…”
And that was it.
That night I didn’t sleep, I read the whole diary making sure not miss a single word.
I read all her stories about shadows and people and me.
The next morning I couldn’t get out of bed, I was aching with remorse.
All my work to improve have been for nothing because my life still reeks of guilt and
My husband and my daughter pleaded with me to get up and eat but I couldn’t. How I could I have been such a horrible person?
We could have been friends, I could have helped her that time at lunch, things could have been different. I was so stupid.
My dread continued on for three days. I read Gabby’s diary so many times I knew it by heart. If only others would not make the mistake I have just made.
And that’s how I got up to my desk flipped to page eight in Gabby’s diary and started typing.
“ I got a secret to tell you. You are not the most important person in the world, there I said it.”