Why Me?

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I laughed happily as I sat down and ate lunch with my friends. I don’t remember the topic but it didn’t matter, just like it never did. We laughed for half an hour none stop while we occasionally had a mouth full of apple crumble. We did this every day. It was routine. Just like everyone else in the dinner hall, we laughed, and then ate, then got a drink of water, then laughed, then laughed some more. This was how it went. No-one ever seemed to have something in particular to laugh at; nothing common. The conversations ranged from last week’s party to the new teacher to the fact that the Lasagna looked like slop. Nothing ever seemed to be connected. We liked it that way. It was like our own special secret joke. Each and every one of us 300 people in the dinner hall had something different to giggle at.
Just as we all calmed down it dawned on me. I had choir to get to in exactly one minute. My friends laughed and said I should run along. I stuck my tongue out and skipped down the hall with my tray in one hand as I dodged the people coming from every direction. I dropped my cutlery in the box, then put down my glass, scraped my tray, then left it on the trolley. Everything was normal, nothing different; until I reached the doors that led out of the hall. I should have realized but I was in such a hurry that I didn’t even pay attention to where I was going.
I glanced down when it was too late. My foot slipped right from under me. I tried to grab for something to hold onto but it was no use. I just wavered by hands in the air like a fool. With nothing to steady me I fell face down on the dinner hall floor. It hit me only a second later. The uproar was deafening. I slowly lifted my head, only to see pointing fingers and smiling faces. I didn’t wait any longer. I struggled up and stalked out of the hall with my head hanging down. The shame that filled me up was surely flowing all around me as I walked away. As the doors closed behind me I could still hear the hysterical laughter irrupting from where I had just left. A small pitiful tear slid down my cheek. Finally, for the first time; everyone was laughing at the same thing. Me.





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