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Veteran

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The sky hangs low like a drooping sheet in a blanket fort; the sun seems to be straining to reach me through the thick fibers of my anxiety. I’m not scared of the campus itself. I’m not worried about my classmates’ reactions to my summer haircut or recently freed teeth. I am frightened of what I know I can expect.



Teachers, parents, gather ‘round. I have news for you. NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, A SCHOOL IS NOT A SAFE, FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR STUDENTS. It is like a small scale version of the Earth. Students are divided into cliques like countries. It is not possible to attain peace without taking away people’s opinions and free speech. Just as in the real world, it is practically impossible to find the middle ground. At the moment, the war is not good.

They outnumber us 4 to 1. Their armies march up and down campus, Their high heels setting the pace like war drums. The Resistance is weakened more everyday by the conformity that They force upon us. Double agents pick off our forces one at a time; my comrades slump to the ground with a knife sticking out of their back, depression bleeding form the wound like blood. They lie in it and wallow. As we grow fewer, They multiply like clones.

I choose not to fight, though my loyalties lie with the Resistance. A target since the age of 5, I have learned not to draw attention to myself; that is hard, for my opinions and confidence are difficult to suppress. I am a veteran at the age of 13. I have seen it all. I have been harassed to the point of tears, only to be followed to the bathroom when I retreat. I have had rumors spread about me to the point that even I believed them. I have had my crushes found out and then auctioned off to one of Their posse. I have lost friends to Them. I have been pummeled to near death by pixeled words hurled at me by my own best friend. I was one of Them once; for a day. Then I abandoned Them once I saw what was beneath their sparkly war paint: an ugly cult dedicated to bringing down all that was different. I have been called hairy, smelly, fat, ugly, annoying, freak, weird, desperate, and crybaby.

Not anymore. I am calloused and weary and angry. Though They may steal my calculator, tease, and push, I am strong. I am strong and I will live through it, because I have certainly seen worse. I will continue to cling to my individuality like it’s my life raft, no matter how the waves pummel me. I want the violence to stop. I want peace.



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SecretNonConformist said...
Jun. 4, 2010 at 5:40 pm:
I fell out of favor with most everyone at my tiny old school last year and i know exactly how you feel. by the time i got to summer i felt like i'd been fighting a war instead of going to school. thankfully i'm doing better at my new school and i hope you get through this ok.
 
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