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I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t want to sit and listen to the meaningless small talk on the school dance or the volley team.
Instinctively, I pulled my arms and legs closer to myself. I wanted to seem as insignificant as possible. I stared down at the paper before me. My cheeks flushed red and a dull throb in my head foretold of a coming headache. Suddenly, I want to be noticed. I didn’t want to be treated like an outsider simply because I didn’t go to the same school.
But I was an intruder. I treaded an unseen line of teenage etiquette by coming here. Furthermore, I wasn’t like them. I knew they weren’t evil, but mere victims of greed and higher social status.
I pushed myself more as the self-proclaimed pariah by actually working and trying to get thing done. To them this was a social hour. Not a structured meeting like the adults’ pathetically insisted. I might have talked to them, yet I knew that they understood my role as the outsider. I could get things done, but my status did not change.
The girls were whispering. They knew I was different. I had no phone to talk on or text rudely as I ignored them. My clothes looked as though I’d pulled them from a dumpster in their eye. I knew they were clean and the best I had, but still, the girls did not find them adequate. My twenty dollar Mp3 player held soundtracks to movies that were not your average chickfilck of the year and songs with words they could pronounce.
And there was the notebook. An ordinary notebook. I brought it to every meeting in hopes that there might be work to plan for. There never really was. I still brought it to write in. There was another thing they couldn’t understand. The girls weren’t writers and didn’t see the happiness I eared by setting my pencil to the page.
In fairness, it my have been because I never really wrote anything. I could concentrate here. The bland yellow walls and white tiling may have been beyond a girl’s notice when talking about Jimmy’s break-up with Christen, but as a writer the conditions seemed harsh. There wasn’t room more imagination here. So I scribbled meandering lifeless doodles in the margins.
I didn’t know what I wanted anymore. I wanted to be noticed, but not mocked for being to out of place. At the same time I didn’t want to be ignored. Maybe, I just wished to be treated as an equal, but it seemed too much to ask. I wasn’t normal. I knew that. I’d be blinding myself if I asked for the girls to treat me as if I were.
I tried to shut out the gossip and noise. I clenched my eyes shut but the florescent lighting clawed it’s way past my closed eyelids.
My eyes snapped open. I didn’t care anymore how the girls treated me. I didn’t want to be here. I didn’t want to sit at the non-descript table and listen to the hushed whispers of school ongoing and rules to popularity that I could never achieve turn into a dull roar and grade against my patience like nails on a chalkboard.
I didn’t want to sit in the chair hope they didn’t notice me in my decade old hand-me-downs or see the clumsy bulky jacket that never kept me more. I didn’t want to sit and stare at the page wishing for quiet that would never come to I could write. I didn’t want to tap more foot and stare at the clock feeling wasted moments of my life blow away like dandelion seeds in the wind.
I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself. Sorry for something I could fix if I het the courage to fix it. Most of all, I didn’t want them to feel sorry for me.
I ripped the paper of scattered drawings –a trivial page in my seemingly trivial life- got up and tossed it in the trash.
I had sat through so many of those meetings never feeling like I belonged and always either stared at or ignored. I wanted to started a new chapter of my life where I only did thing that matter or thing I liked.
I walked out the door. I wasn’t smiling but I would be soon. I wasn’t coming back. I’d be somewhere else having fun when my mother came to pick me up.
They never knew I left.