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It seemed at the time that I couldn’t control it. My lips simply slipped out the five-word sentence. “I wish I was perfect.” My 13-year-old thought process had led me to believe that a granted wish such as this was a panacea to all of my teenage problems. I still remember the night clearly because there was a small earthquake just a few seconds later. My mom screamed and I had to go make sure that she was okay. She had always been scared of earthquakes, no matter how small they were. It was really just my luck.
But either way, something strange and almost eerie happened that night, because when I woke up the nest morning, the freckles that had once been sprinkled across my nose had vanished and my frizzy brown hair was sleek, straight, and shiny. I looked like a model, even without any makeup on at all. I was scared for a second. “Who took my body and replaced it with some models?” was my immediate thought process. But, surprisingly and almost out of a miracle, I kept my cool. “Why should I start screaming? I just got the look that I have always wanted!”
After eating breakfast at a rather normal pace, unlike a typical morning for me, I walked to the bus stop with plenty of time to spare. When I got onto the bus, everyone started yelling my name.
“Allyson! Sit over here with me!” screamed at me. I decided to sit next to Tracy, who I normally sat next to on my ride to school. She stared at me for a moment, almost hesitantly, and then she turned to look out the window.
“Hey Tracy,” I said. My voice sounded like tinkling bells. I think I heard her mutter a soft hey back, but I couldn’t be sure.
I sat next to her quietly. Normally, her silent treatment would have put me in a melancholy mood, but today, she didn’t affect me at all.
At school, everyone stopped and stared as I walked down the hallway. Their eyes were all glued to me. Normally, with this kind of attention, I would trip on the front of my shoe and everyone would laugh at me, but I stayed on my feet. My gait was graceful. I glided through the halls.
When I arrived in my first class, it wasn’t the art class that I would normally arrive to. It was in a chemistry class.
“Why am I here?” I thought. “I’m horrible at science.”
Class began. The teacher mumbled on, and I didn’t pay attention to what she was saying, except when she asked questions. When a question in any shape or form left her lips, my hand shot up. She called on me every time, and I got the answer correct every time. Some other students were turning around to look at me with irritated expressions. I decided that I should stop answering questions for a while, but I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t stop raising my hand.
“What’s wrong with me!” I thought in panic. I couldn’t control myself anymore. My thoughts were completely controllable, but I had no control of anything else. I was starting to get scared. I wanted to go the nurse’s office and go home, but my body wouldn’t let me. My body was perfect, but it seemed to be consuming me.
The rest of the day, I attended all advanced classes. I did not have a single elective class. I hated it. It was boring. I had always wanted to become an artist or graphic designer when I grew up. Without art class, I had no chance of following my dream. I felt miserable, but my body didn’t show it.
I rode the bus home, did my homework, and had dinner with my family. From that day forward, my day was exactly the same. It went in this order: wake up, go to school, go home from school, do homework, eat dinner, and go to sleep. It made me feel horrible.
My popularity at the beginning wasn’t too bad. I had an entirely new circle of friends, but Tracy and I never talked again. She had never displayed much liking to the popular people at our school. I tried to make friends with Tracy again, but my body wouldn’t talk or sit next to her after the first day on the bus.
At times, I tried to change my schedule and my actions. I came close to missing the bus one day, but my body made it out just in time to catch a ride. Eventually, I started going to libraries everyday just hoping that I could find a book about a subject that I didn’t know about, but there was not a single book in any of the libraries that I went to that had any new information for me. I finally took it to the extremes. Well, the extremes in my standards anyway. I tried to purposefully trip down the stairs or sprain my ankle. I tried desperately several times, but my hands would grab the railing at the last second or I would regain my balance instantly.
As I began to think about the night that my wish had been granted even more, I remembered the earthquake that had occurred right after I made my wish. Every night, I would wish that I wasn’t perfect anymore, but there were not any earthquakes or bursts of magical fairy dust after I made my wishes.
When I was in English class, I remembered the old saying that my mom used to always say to me, “Nobody is perfect.”
It was at that moment that I remembered how much I messed up before, and I realized that not being perfect is a gift to humans. It was not possible in the beginning for me to be perfect, so by wishing that I was perfect, I had made a mistake. Then, in the middle of class, I stood up and announced, “I am not perfect, and I made a mistake when I wished that I was perfect!”
At that moment, the earth began to shake. All of the students in the room got under their desks, but I remained standing up. Within seconds, I was back in my bed. It was the morning after I had made my first wish. I got up and looked in the mirror. My freckles were back. I got back in bed. I decided that I should run to catch the bus today.