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I stared out the window. I wished more than ever to be free. To race out of that courtyard and go home, with the safe shelter of my parents. The clock moved as slow as a tortoise, struggling to even move a centimeter.
I spaced out; I didn’t care what the teacher said. Tears were about to stream down my face. I hated the world, my parents, all the girls, and my stupid accent.
She was having a discussion. I didn’t want to participate. No one would understand me anyway.
I looked at the clock. Ten more minutes.
“Vinamrata, can you please answer this question?” Ms. Parker, my teacher, asked with a smile.
I was sick of that smile.
“Yeah. I think that the author conveys the main idea nicely,” I replied.
“Thank you,” she said, scribbling on the board.
I continued my musing and spaced out.
I hated myself for that stupid accent. Why did I have to move from the comforts of my Saudi Arabian home to a place where people were total strangers and people so completely mean they never even tried to include me in their activities?
I was the main protagonist in my book, and my antagonists were those girls. Those girls who made fun of me secretly, who excluded me, who were shocked at my lack of knowledge of common stuff.
Immediately, the clock struck three. I packed up my stuff quickly and raced out the door.
I didn’t care. That second was my moment to be free, to fly free, and to be happy. No one could take it away from me.
As soon as I walked out, a smile crept on my face. I felt happy as anything. I wanted to sing. I wanted to dance like an idiot.
“Hey, Vinamrata,” Megan said, pronouncing my name Veenamrata, when it really was Vinamrata.
“Hi,” I said, rushing away.
“You know, we were wondering if you could, like, join us for a little meeting. I mean, we’d love to know you better,” Megan said smiling.
“Yeah, we’d love to,” Tyne chimed in.
“Of course,” I said.
“Pardon me?” Megan said, smiling.
I struggled to keep the tears from coming back. “Yes, please,” I said.
Megan and Tyne nodded and hurried to the other side of the school building.
I followed them.
“We always start our meetings with a surprise for the new girl. So close your eyes and count from one to ten,” Tyne said, giggling.
I nodded happily and closed my eyes.
I counted from one to ten. I had never felt happier. Wait until my mother heard about it!
When I was done counting, I opened my eyes. I didn’t know where I was, but all the girls were gone.
“See you later,” they yelled.
“Loser,” one of them yelled back, and they all laughed.
“Freak,” a passer-by yelled.
I was confused. What had I lost? I looked around to see if I was missing anything.
I hadn’t realized that they were talking about me. I didn’t know the real meaning of the word, “loser.”
I leaned against a nearby tree and sniffed.
Then I cried; I didn’t care if I made a noise. I cried as if there was no care in the world. I hated my baggy and unfashionable clothes, my un-cool accent, my un-cool self, and my ugly self; I was a low underachiever, I was a stupid girl who thought that she was perfect.
I cried in the rain and the sky cried with me.
But no one helped me get up.
I was all alone.