The Girl in the Bathroom

By
The Girl in the Bathroom

Everyone hopes to experience something that, in some way, will change them. I had prayed and waited for that special encounter for seventeen years and when it came, I didn’t even realize it was important until much later. It may have only lasted a few minutes, a split second compared to the big picture of life, but it created a feeling of pure joy that overcame me. I felt so blessed to have it happen to me, and yet to scared to let the One who gave it to me down.

I had just finished an exam that I missed, due to a family vacation. Relieved that it was finally over, I headed to the bathroom to wash my hands; stained with careless pen marks. I allowed the lukewarm water to soak my hands, completely oblivious to the girl fiddling with her hair a few sinks over. Frantic thoughts ran through my head uncontrollably… “When would I have time to finish my creative writing portfolio…how would I do on my grade eight piano exam…when would I talk to the counselor about graduation…?”

Focused on the many tasks I had to complete, my mind wandered. Slipping my purity ring back onto my finger, a small quiet voice spoke out to me. She cautiously asked me if her hair looked okay. Confused and dazed, I told her it looked find and let my wind stray back to my worries. Unconvinced, she asked me again. A little annoyed, I answered her and told her that it looked great. She turned away from me and looked back into the mirror in front of us. She was a skinny girl, with a pale complexion. Braces framed her quivering lips, as puberty marked her face. She stood awkwardly in front of the shining glass, as if looking for something good in herself. With shoulders hunched forward, and arms hanging awkwardly she spoke again: “They told me it’s ugly…that I’m ugly. They made fun of me.” My eyes widened as sympathy ran through me.

Without thinking, I told her that I wanted to find these girls: the destroyers of confidence, the girls that love to meaninglessly put others down for their own sick and twisted pleasure. I was so outraged and upset. I remembered what it was like to feel lost and lonely in the jungle that is high school. I had experienced awkward years first hand, completed with judgmental monsters who lived to bring me down. I felt isolated as people boldly pointed our my flaws and personage. I knew what it felt like to look in the mirror and wonder why the person staring back was someone unexpected.

Motivated, I stormed out of the bathroom with her trailing beside me. As we walked, I silently observed her. She spoke quietly, as if she didn’t believe the words that came from her own mouth. I could tell that she had little self confidence as she walked: her eyes glued to the floor or scattered from place to place. I waved and greeted my friends as she stood there, gawky. The bell rang, suddenly. Her eyes fell as she turned to leave. I quickly stopped her and invited her to spend time with my friends and I the next day. I saw a hint of joy flash across her face as she agreed to meet me at my locker. Somehow as I walked to class, I knew that life could change for her. I wanted to put a stop to bulling, starting with her life. I was overwhelmed with a sense of purpose as I walked to Geography.
As the months of my last year of high school progressed, I decided to help as many people as I could. Instead of sitting with my group of friends in the cafeteria, I’d make my way over to someone sitting alone and spend time with them. My friends mocked me for it, telling me that it wasn’t smart of me to become acquaintances with people of such low status. I ignored them. Who were they to label who was cool and not? Pretty soon, I had a new group of friends to get to know, who didn’t care about name brands, parties, or popularity. People who, like me, just wanted to be accepted for who they were and not what people labeled them as. I realized that this was the place in my life that I had always wanted to be. My concerns and previous uncertainties seemed to fade away as the anticipation of making a difference conquered my thoughts. I wanted to give people the confidence they never thought they could have, to make them realize that they were just as important as anyone else. It was time to let go of the stressful reminders that seemed to worry me to wits end and, instead, open my eyes to see the potential change I could create for someone who is walking in the shoes that I had once lived in. I knew that from now on, I had a purpose in my last year of high school and I was determined to make it an experience that would impact these amazing people more than it would myself.





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