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Look At Me
I wasn’t sure if it was my hair, my big cheeked face, my short stature or just my sheer existence that seemed to bother every kid in my class, I wasn’t sure if it was because of all that, that everybody hated me. I never thought about being a loser, a nobody, a “fake”, until I got to kindergarten.
” kids can be so cruel at such an early age?” why? Why to me anyway!? I tried to make friends but that just seemed to get me hated more so I stopped, what was the point? Nobody was ever going to love me. Sometimes I sit here dazing off wondering when I learned to let people in to let people love me and to love. I have lived with insults ever since I was little. I wonder and ask myself: What do I do to make them stop? What can I do to make everybody like me? What can I do to be normal? My life has been full of pain and disappointment but along the way of becoming that I am today there was always these small glimmers of hope that helped me get through everything that was happening. Every little glimmer of hope I had throughout the years have made my life just a little brighter. I have learned to try and do my best and live with whatever I have and that is the best way to live life, for me.
Ever since kindergarten I have been bullied by many it became just another thing of my everyday life. Kids constantly pecking their giant beaks at me there was nothing I could do to stop it. Their voice and their laughter carried on throughout the whole day. I was not much for revenge so I tried and tried to just ignore it to just shrug it off like the teacher said. I could not tell my parents what was happening but they noticed I wasn’t happy and switched me schools.
When I got to the other school I thought everything would change and I would be happy for once to be around kids but it did not turn out that way, I came down from that cloud very quickly. When I got there the little kids seemed to hate me already, just because the teacher introduced me as the “gringa” born in the states. The kids thought I would get special treatment I suppose. Ha it seemed to tick them off “how the heck is that my fault?!” I didn’t think it mattered. The parents of these kids liked gossip quite a bit their kids told them about me and my parents and the parents very quickly turned on my whole family because they thought we were “acting” superior to them that we thought we were better than them. How could a parent just sit there, talk about a little girl and her family and be so disrespectful as to judge us before they had even met us. I hated that school. Until one day this boy came up to me and introduced himself.
“Carlos,” he said with a warm, sweet smile. “Would you like to play with us?”
With a wild look in my eyes “yes” I said.
I felt like I was going to cry because I was so happy that somebody did not want to talk to me to just be mean but to talk to me a little kid to play. It seemed like my heart was going to jump out of my chest. Finally somebody to play with, we went outside and he introduced me to his friends, all of them were wearing the same uniform, with sweat washing away the dirt on their face and smiles from ear to ear that is what I liked most about every one of those boys their smiles seemed to bright up anyone’s day. Carlos told his friends that I was going to be playing with them today. Without a pause they smiled and agreed they did not even think about it. We spent all recess running around and playing all sorts of games I loved that say I felt normal.
I enjoyed every recess after. I finally found friends, yes they were small scruffy looking guys but they were the nicest and kindest kids there. They were amazing. They would always play tag and we would put obstacles up. We would go through the colored tires the rain bowed Color Bridge and past the tall green trees off in a corner every single day we would play the same things over and over but we never got tired. One day something happened these cute tiny looking girls came toward me while I was going out for recess and they started to talk to me and asked me if I wanted to play.
“Of course,” I said very quickly and excited. I was thinking finally girls want to play with me.
“Let’s play hide and seek,” one of them said.
I turned to look at who was talking and I see a short haired, brown eyed girl missing a tooth but still smiling brightly at me she looked excited which made me want to play even more.
“Okay!” I said.
There were five girls and one of them counting and four of us hiding. One of those girls said she wanted to hide with me so I agreed. Then the countdown started she was going to count to ten.
“Uno, dos, tres, cuatro..” she called out.
Me and the other girl twisting our heads around and scrambling ran off and while we ran we saw it our hiding spot. There was a little house off in the distance. It was pale pink with a pale blue roof there was two little windows and the door was a bright yellow. Surrounding the house were tires, tires of all colors, red, yellow, green, blue, pink and more fun colors it drew us in and we went to hide in the door, she ducked her head and went in I went in next and we sat next to each other in a corner. We smiled at each other and ducked our heads on our knees.
About a minute later in a whisper she says, “I’ll be back I’m going to see if they are close by, ‘kay?”
“Alright,” I responded.
I watched her as she left dirt in her legs and hands. She walked out. I waited and waited, I was wondering where she was so I looked out that pale yellow window and saw her, her scrawny little friends cackling at the fact that “I fell for it,” laughing hysterically.
“Ha yeah as if we would ever want to be her friend,” she turned t look at her friend.
“She actually though we wanted to play with her,” she turns and looks over at the house.
I heard everything I am sure they said it that loud to piss me off they knew I was listening. Their faces seemed to grow they were ugly taunting little girls with a laugh so loud it will stay with me forever.
They pointed at the house and went on to play. My smile was long gone by then my eyes were full of tears, tears I was trying to hold in. My breath was uncontrollable my face was turning red my heart was faltering, my hand fell from the window to the ground I could not control anything. I looked down crawled back to the corner, crouched down.. I couldn’t hold it anymore I cried and cried my blue pants had little puddles my shirt had the dirt from my face that had been washed off by my tears. I tried and tried to stop but I just couldn’t. My eyes hurt my cheeks hurt my stomach, my chest, everything! I couldn’t take it I stayed in that house for a long time. I remember the smell of tires and candy being dragged in by the afternoon breeze it was warm and calming but I felt cold. I cried ‘till I couldn’t anymore and just sat there until the bell rang. Slowly I got up ducked my head, cleaned my butt off and my shirt from all the dirt. Slowly I walked back to class. Maybe it was all my fault maybe I did something wrong maybe I wasn’t meant to be a kid maybe I wasn’t meant to be alive I just wanted to be normal.
The only thing I heard all day was giggling and bickering. The room got smaller and smaller more asphyxiating as the minutes passed.
Carlos came up to me as the room was about to collapse on me, and he tells me,” Just ignore them don’t talk to them again just stay with us,” and smiles.
I became a little tomboy hanging out with all the boys and not with any of the girls. Of course as the months went by the girls found ways to prank me and make fun of me but thankfully Carlos was always there to back me up he never left my side same in elementary school always being protected by that little munchkin until 3rd grade at least because that’s when I came to Tucson. I never got to say goodbye or thanks. I never saw him again and I am sure he has never thought of me again but that’s okay because I owe him so much he made all the hurt go away.
It would have been nice if the hurt had not come back when I arrived to my new school at Tully. Here I was not the spoiled, American brat, but the poor Mexican chick who can’t even say hello because “I am too dumb to think,” like one of them said on my first day of school. Third grade in Tully was not as bad as elementary school in Mexico but it wasn’t good either I got the roll of the eyes. The “stay the heck away from me” stares and everything a new kid would get. What was I suppose to do? How was I going to make new friends if they didn’t want to talk to me? Somehow I managed to make a few friends Yuriet, Fernando, and Maria. The only real friends I made in that class the other kids could have cared less. They were my little glimmer of hope that year made me feel a little bit more normal and it was the first time I had made girlfriends. Of course I never told them about the bullying from my other schools and the school we were currently in I didn’t want it to get out I didn’t want kids to have something else against me. I got to 4th grade and that’s when I started to go downhill again a new girl in class came and “took” my friends away per say bottom line she got them to go against me a lot of the times and they would listen she was the pretty new girl. I wonder why they had not done the same thing they did to me to her not that I wished it on her or anything but why? Why me and not her? 4th grade everyone seemed to hate me, my “friends” included. The bullying began again but this time I had no one. Girls were daring boys to make fun of me to tease me.
Some girls would go to the bathroom and they knew I was in there but they didn’t care they would always look over the stalls and make fun of me “As if they didn’t have the same things down there!”
What could I have done nothing? I hated people so much but I would still try and fit in because I didn’t want to be the loner anymore or “teachers’ pet”
“Who else was I suppose to talk to a rock?!” yeah, whatever.
I talked to the teacher and helped out as much as I could.
One day she told me “Do spirit week and I am sure people will want to make friends with you,” she looked down to me and smiled.
Spirit week was coming up so I thought it’d be a great opportunity to try and fit in. it was pajama day and I dressed up for it. Too bad I didn’t know what was going to happen that day. I came in to my orchestra class and the first thing they did when they saw me was point and laugh. I was supposed to be having some fun.. My body felt weak my face was red I could feel their stares they were almost physically painful. I walked in through the back of the room so I could not see their faces while they laughed away into a state of oblivion. I remember they were my Barbie pajamas I never liked Barbie but those were the only pjs I had they were pink I had slippers and pigtails. Those pjs were pink I wonder if that’s the reason why I had always hated pink so much.. I sat down and unpacked my violin there was not anything could do so I tried to shrug it off. I wanted to cry it felt like my heart had been torn out but I knew that if I cried I would just get more c#$p from them. Later that day I tried to stay away from people. These kids found a way to get everyone against me. At lunch they came up to me and laughed some even spit at me some were just telling me to not even try because it is not worth it they would never be friends with me. I walked away..
I got home good thing there was no one there, there never was anyway so I cried my eyes out. My little brother came in asking what was wrong but he was too small to understand I told him nothing got up and went to make him lunch. I somehow managed to make it through elementary school. It was time for middle school now. They did so many bad things to me there the same people that were in elementary school with me were in middle school so nothing really changed. They got the boys to touch me it disgusted me it was a stupid dare they said don’t get any ideas they said. Everyone was so disgusted by me they didn’t want me talking or being near them at any point. Many made my life hell insults, shoves, stares, laughs, everything. In the bus nobody wanted to be near me I would try and sit next to someone but they would either push me off the seat or tell me to sit somewhere else because I was disgusting. Everyone laughed the bus driver didn’t even care she couldn’t control them. A lot of the times I would just walk home so I wouldn’t have to hear their laughter anymore. I just wanted to end it just like they all reminded me every day.
“It’s not worth it, just kill yourself nobody here wants you anyway,” they said it with such seriousness not an ounce of sarcasm.
“Just kill yourself.”
“Nobody wants you here anyway!”
Is that what I was supposed to do? End it? I left that school that is all I could do runaway I felt shame I didn’t want to be there. I was used to crying myself to sleep every night that’s something nobody should get used to so I left. Even though I had some friends but they never saw what would happen to me and I of course didn’t tell them. I left without saying goodbye even though they were human enough to see past my imperfections. I never thank them either.
I left and came to Flowing Wells but by then I was so nervous, shy and scared that no matter how one looked at it I was not going to fit in. The rest of 7th grade six months I spent lunch alone class alone everything alone. I didn’t know what was better being ignored like I am not even there or acknowledged and getting a hard time it seemed pretty even to me. I got used to just being alone and quiet that’s who I became just a loner that thought about her heck of a life every minute of the day. 8th grade was a miracle to me I had finally found some friends and I got to talk and laugh I was normal. It was on the first day of school I was waiting to get lunch and the girl in front of me turns and starts talking to me and she invites me to sit with her.
I turn to look around to see if they were talking to me as soon as I look forward again I see Mitzy standing there of course at the time I did not know that was her name.
“Uhh hey,” I replied.
“What is your schedule like?”
“I don’t really know,” I tried to smile.
“Ok well sit with me so we can look at it,” she smiles at me.
“Alright,” I said with a smile on my face.
I go to admit I pretended to know her name but I truly didn’t until her friends said it, Mitzy and now I had a friend. I now had friends but I still felt empty. All 9th grade, empty. Finally 10th grade I met someone I heard that person play the violin and I fell in love not with the boy because I didn’t know him but his music and his way of being able to bear his soul so easily. I never thought the violin could make such tender, sweet, and beautiful sounds. It amazed me I had been playing for years and I didn’t know it could be so beautiful to play the violin. It’s as if it allows me to pour my soul out, all my feelings all the despair, the emptiness gone because of that one boy that was able to carry himself through his violin, that wonderful boy I will never forget him. He brought meaning to my life. I discovered that my violin was a part of me whenever I felt anything I would play and I would forget everything. I was finally happy and no one could take that away from me I found love.. Somehow I have a feeling I will not be able to say thanks to that boy either, he was my glimmer of hope that year and I am eternally grateful because of him I found love.
Life is painful but we have to learn and live with it we have to be able to stay pure to our hearts and everything we do. I know I am one of the least qualified because I can’t even put my feelings into words but I look around and life is so beautiful. A piece of music can make you cry it can make you laugh it can make you picture your dreams. My art reflects who I am completely my music is shy, quiet and a little painful at times but when I sit there playing all alone in my room my music is pretty, loud and joyful I put so much energy into it and that’s what makes it beautiful it’s what makes it unique it makes it mine. One day I want to be able to play like that one boy in front of everyone and just be able to be me not just in my room anymore but in front of everyone. Maybe then will I be able to talk about my life with people I am a hypocrite I tell my friends do this and do that even when I can’t even follow my own advice almost all of my friends and even family don’t know this about me some know parts and bits but not one knows more than just the surface. I wonder when and if they are ever going to know. Will me telling them make me, me? Will letting myself become approachable soul wise be a new beginning? I guess that’s what I have to look forward to now.