Hayle's Shoes

October 4, 2008
By Lindsey Zern, Pittsburgh, PA

She is the girl that no one talks to because they think that she is too weird or too smart to talk to. This is Hayle.

She is smarter than anyone I know, probably the smartest girl in our class. Her physical appearance isn't one that most people would like to have. Yes, her clothes look like they were picked out by her mother the day before, and her shoes are not-so-appropriate for her age, but I've been studying her.

I see her walking through the halls with no one around her, shuffling her feet with her head down. I want to say something, but the little voice inside me diverts me otherwise.

In class she has every answer, yet is too quiet to raise her hand, so she waits to be called on. If she is called on, she undeniably has the right answer. Every time she answers a groan is let out among the other students in the class.

Is it that Hayle is afraid that no one will be her friend? No, of course not. I've studied her. She hasn't done anything to anybody, but for some reason no one wants to have any sort of relationship with her.

It is us, everyone around her, who is too intimidated by her. No one wants to really step up and say that that is the real reason, but it is. No one likes anyone else who is smarter than them. I know I don't. Maybe we all think we're "too cool" for her. Sure, she dresses a little differently, but that gives no one the right to ostracise her.

And then one day, I heard a voice behind me that sounded unfamiliar. Here it was, Hayley, talking to Patrick. Turns out that some of us judge much to harshly, and much too soon.

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