The Truth Can Hurt This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   It was a normal summer day in fourth grade. I rode my bike down the street to my best friend's house. She and I were playing and having fun, until the unspeakable happened: she pulled my braids. Little did I know that because of that, my whole life would be altered, and for the worse. We started to argue and I was getting on my bike to go home, figuring in an hour we would be best friends again. As I began to peddle furiously up the hill, she yelled, "Well, at least I'm not adopted!" I thought she was crazy and went home. When I walked in the door, it was obvious that I had been crying. My dad asked what was wrong and I told him Susan and I had gotten into a fight and I hated her. I told him she had said I was adopted, and how stupid I thought she was, not even contemplating that it might be true.

The next day I woke up, put on a new dress and my new shoes because I was going to the bank to open an account. I was extremely excited. As usual, my parents sat on the loveseat with coffee in their left hand and their right holding the newspaper. I asked my mother if she was ready to go to the bank. When she put the paper down, it looked as if she had been crying. She told me we needed to talk. I immediately asked, "What did I do now?" They laughed and looked at each other, but their faces grew sad.

The next words would change me forever. I still remember; it was Saturday, July 15, 1988 at 10:30 in morning, the day that began my hell.

"We're not your parents, Nikki. At least not your real parents. We adopted you when you were three. We are really your grandparents." I stared in astonishment. I couldn't say anything. I ran outside crying. I ran for 15 minutes not knowing where I was going. First I was angry, then confused, then sad, then happy, and then confused again.

I went home to straighten out my confusion. I learned that my mother gave birth to me when she was 16. All my brothers and sisters were really my aunts and uncles. I began to think that all I grew up with was a lie. I became a recluse with no friends. Worst of all, I hated my family. I told anyone who would listen. After a while the "story" got too good - it ended up that my mother was famous and lost me in New York City; that's sixth grade for you.

My parents felt it was time for a change, so I and attended a Catholic school. It was a chance for a new beginning. At first it went well, but I constantly reminded myself I was hated and unwanted, which was untrue. I thought my family was a joke, and that the only way I could get through it was to ignore them and play up on the fact that I had friends and was becoming a "happy" girl.

The novelty of being the new girl wore off fast, so I had to come up with something quick. The old stories came in handy, but this time it didn't work as well. I started to be made fun of. I was being ignored, pushed down stairs, kicked and laughed at. I was becoming depressed, and defensive, which resulted in my suspension from school.

Life got so bad that, I started coming to school early to ask my teacher for help in algebra. Let's just say by the end of the year I was an expert in the subject. I found excuses to leave school early, or would run the two miles home so I would not have to wait for the bus. However, that was not good enough. I started not going to school at all, which was easy because both of my parents worked. After the fourth time, the school caught on and I was suspended for truancy. I needed help, and I knew it, as did the other twenty-eight kids in my eighth-grade class.

Then it came: a new high school!! My last chance to help myself, and finally make friends. There was a downside though, two girls from my old school were attending this high school. I was afraid that they would talk. They must have matured, because to this day I have not heard my terrible past being repeated to my classmates. Since then, I have met both my biological mother and father. We have relationships with each other but not one of a parent/child.

I'm finally on track, and I don't have to lie anymore because I accept and understand that I cannot change the past. I have many friends now, and I pray every day saying thank you to God for letting me be who I am. I say thank you for everyone in this school, including teachers, everyone who has touched my life in some way. My parents certainly deserve credit too, for taking care of me when they didn't have to, and so does my biological mother who knew it would be best to leave me with them, knowing I would have a better life. So after a long, perplexing story, I have one final thought: The truth can hurt, but in the end it is best that it be known. c

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jan. 11 at 11:59 am
i love this so much!
Bbb4313 said...
Aug. 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm
this story was amazing...
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