Exclusion

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Gym should be banned. It’s excruciating. It’s the same routine day after day. You’re more likely to be analyzed on your body type than your smile or other ‘unimportant’ features. Now I understand why most girls scramble for the bathroom stalls.

The bell rings after gym and I’m already out the door. My vision blurs as the distance to my locker mocks me. I shove headphones into my ears and aim my gaze towards the floor. It’s my best defense. I only look up to avoid a collision. A girl with high heels and a short skirt laughs at an insult thrown at me by her stereotypical jock boyfriend.

The school I walk in is no school. It’s almost as if God decided to test my limits by replacing it with Hell. The insult from Mr. Athlete there is the least of my worries. This school doesn’t accept people like me. No one says a word to me, no one acknowledges my presence, no one asks me to hang out on a Friday night, and no one helps me when I’m upset. I am just me in a sea of many.

I knew the move here would be a big mistake. But my harebrained mother insisted otherwise. She always told me that having a few close friends was better than many. Try no friends, Mom.

After school, I don’t bother getting my books from my locker. I can’t stand another minute in this place. I decide to take the long way home, taking in the scenery and the serenity when the lyric I can hear you in a whisper, but you can’t even hear me screaming floods my ear. You can say that again.

My house is dark when I arrive. I throw down my backpack and check the phone for messages--nothing. In the kitchen, a small post-it note with the words HELP YOURSELF TO DINNER is placed on the table. I don’t bother heating up the pizza from the night before. I grab myself a soda and plop down on the couch, saying ‘thank you’ to the mother that is nearly non-existent. When the TV wakes, a reality show replaces the black screen. Sometimes I wish my life was a reality show. Then my classmates can know how I really feel. Would everything be different then?

Suddenly, I’m starting to feel sick to my stomach, so I rush up the stairs to the bathroom. After seeing my pizza for the second time, I lay down on the cold linoleum floor to soothe my head. When the pain subsides, I open the cabinet to find something to make it stay that way. Instead, I’m staring straight into the face of a silver blade.

I remember feeling a sharp pain tingling across my forearm. I ran the water to drown out my thoughts. The water turned a deep red, letting the thoughts flood in even more. It was the same pattern over and over again. Pain, red, pain, red. I fell to the floor, my eyes losing focus. Images filled my mind as my body went numb. I saw my mom reading her favorite books, I saw my dad flashing his handsome grin, and then I saw my school. I saw all of their distorted faces, laughing down on me and pointing down on me from above. The last image wouldn’t let me go. It was the reason I was here now. If only they could see me now. Me, broken on the floor, just screaming that it’s their fault. Could a simple greeting really hurt that much? Could a slight change in appearance really disgust one so much? Too bad, guys--you missed out.

My anger settled as regret replaced it. I didn’t say goodbye. I didn’t tell anyone anything. I could have changed things. It could have gotten better. Now, I’ll never know. Then again, maybe I’m going to a better place. It’s a place where I’ll be loved unconditionally without question.

As my surroundings faded to black, I could’ve sworn I saw the word “Sorry” scratched across my arm—being my final message to the world.





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