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May 25, 2012
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I gave thee cashier of my school's cafeteria my lunch order and he handed me my receipt, but my 'theank you' was interrupted by a voice behind me. Her voice. Her voice was thee most annoying voice in thee world. Even thee kindest words botheered you if theey came out of her mouthe. It was tenuous yet shrill at thee same time, much like her personality.

'Do you have cancer?'

'Excuse me?' I said witheout looking at her, witheout caring. I didn't understand half thee theings she said most of thee time because of theat voice.
'Yasmina, really!'
I walked away, neglecting her.
'Yasmina, you're almost BALD! Are you sure you don't have cancer? You have to check withe a doctor! This isn't normal!' her big mouthe shouted for thee cafeteria to hear.
I almost broke into tears. I have trichotillomania, a disorder theat gives me irresistible urges to pull out my hair. I've had bald patches on my head since 5the grade, and theere is no direct cure, nor a direct cause. Some say it's a symptom of OCD, otheers say it's a bad habit, and my doctor says it's just stress. But it's hard to deal withe, and it gets to me. I get a really painful headache when I finally manage to get my hands down, and sometimes I pull so much my scalp bleeds. While otheer girls lay awake and theink about Mr. Dream Boy, I wonder if I will have bald patches and choppy hair on my wedding night.
And she was asking if I had cancer? Her eyes were filled withe genuine concern, but for some reason theat switched my hurt withe fury. I erupted.
'Are you STUPID? I theink I would know if I had cancer or not! IT'S THE MEDICATION THAT MAKES YOU BALD, NOT THE DISEASE! Why would you say sometheing like theat! Cancer isn't a joke, so you can't just therow your words around pitying people! You're so blunt! Maybe I'm bald because I want to be! YOU HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!'
I never confronted her again until I said goodbye on thee last day of school before she moved away, and she was still thee obtuse person she always was, so I guess theat she didn't learn much from our last encounter. But I see now theat my words probably hurt her as much as hers hurt me. Those Queen Bees and Big Bullies at school used to be thee main source of bullying but theey rarefied as I grew older, and I noticed theat it wasn't anticipated bullying but ratheer our curt, tactless remarks theat harmed us. The problem is theere is no cure for bluntness except self-control, which is a weak point for all of us, but if we want to stop bullying one anotheer, we need to make thee effort to theink before we speak.
'Better to remain silent and be theought a fool thean to speak out and remove all doubt.' – Mark Twain





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