Why? Why Me?

January 10, 2018
By gracedellapietra BRONZE, Wyckoff, New Jersey
gracedellapietra BRONZE, Wyckoff, New Jersey
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“Oh sorry, I didn’t mean to step on the back of your shoe,” I apologized in response to my own clumsiness. She, whose name is irrelevant, immediately shot me a look of disapproval that was not accompanied by an “it’s okay” or “don’t worry about it”,  leaving me with unnecessary guilt. Despite the lack of space in the bustling hallway, there was enough room for me to walk next to the group in front of me. The group I thought I was in.  But, for some unknown reason, they spread out as if to block me, forcing me to walk behind them. Forcing me to tail the person in front of me in hopes of hearing their conversation. Forcing me to step on the back of one of their shoes. Forcing me to feel worse about myself when the response was not what I expected it to be.
   

 Half of the day was already gone when I noticed I was walking to lunch. I held my books close to my chest as others hurried past me ensuring a good seat at their respective lunch tables. I envied those who rushed by excited for the meal they would soon devour because I would rather be walking to any other class, even math, to avoid the obvious exclusion I knew I was about to face. Nearing the cafeteria I watched as two of my “friends” ran by me hoping to get a “good” spot at our table. But what makes a spot “good”? Is it determined by location? By who you’re sitting next to or across from? Or by how far you are from the next table? Whatever the answer may be, I already knew I would have the worst spot at the table because no one ever saved a seat for me. I’d like to think they forgot about me because even though that's upsetting enough, it’s less heartbreaking than the truth. They wanted to exclude me. Feeling even worse about myself, I walked into the bathroom to “wash my hands” or in other words, waste time. After being viciously sprayed with the faulty faucet that I had forgotten about, I just stood there staring at my reflection while my books wallowed at my feet. The one overhead light lacked a sense of purpose and refused to light up the room creating a dismal and daunting atmosphere. I placed my hands on the rim of the sink in hopes of releasing the pressure on my back caused by my backpack, or the burden of my life… whatever helps you sleep at night. I immediately removed my now damp hands from the dripping countertop realizing that they were wet with the mixture of liquids that had built up all day on the sink. I sluggishly walked over to the useless hand dryer desperately wishing it would magically become paper towels. As I attempted to dry my hands, I watched the water drip from them onto the floor adding to the preexisting puddle. I noticed that the water dripping from my hands was not the first to contribute to the puddle. I noticed that I was not the only person to ever use that faulty sink…it didn’t break on its own after all. I noticed that I was not the only person to use that bathroom. I noticed that I was just like everyone else. We all have similar habits. We all use the same bathrooms. We all go to the same school. We all live in the same town. We all share the earth! So why? Why am I treated differently than everyone else? Why me?
                                             


     

I deserve better. I swiftly pick up my books and walk out of the bathroom and right into the lunch room. Being a little late due to my bathroom procrastination, everyone at my table was already sitting. I watched as they loudly munched on their obnoxiously crunchy lunches and blurted out pieces of conversations in between bites. I, still holding my books close to my chest as if they were some type of shield, walked up to the head of the table and stood over the group. Not one person looked up to acknowledge my presence. In fact, it seemed as if they looked even father into their sandwiches and salads as if to avoid eye contact. “Ahem,” I called out like they do in the movies, hoping it would be effective. When there was no response, the weird sound came out of my mouth for the second time. This time I got a couple of rubberneckers who looked at me and then elbowed the person next to them signaling them to look in my direction. After a couple of awkward seconds, I realized my hands needed to be dried again and now maybe my back as well. “Umm… I… I… I have something to say to you guys,” the words slowly hung out my of mouth and filled the air like fog on a gloomy day. Not one person blinked. They just stared and now quietly munched on their respective lunches. Then came the word vomit, “I am so done with all the little cliques and exclusion in this group.” My hand gestures matching my every word. “I am never invited to anything and you guys pretend like I am not even here. How hard is it to invite one more person? And you know what makes it even worse? You guys post about it on Instagram and send me snaps of all you guys hanging out and I know it’s to make me feel worse. And then you guys come to lunch and talk about what you did yesterday or what you’re going to do tomorrow. I am sitting right here. I hear you guys and I feel so left out! And why me? Did I do something wrong? Did I do something to offend any of you?” I stared them all down as they looked at each other with disapproving looks that were again not accompanied by soothing or apologetic words. My confidence level skyrocketed and I continued, “Huh? Huh? Does anyone have an answer to my question? Why do you guys exclude me from everything?” More looks were shared. I straightened out my back, sighed and started to walk away. I could feel their eyes on my back. Wait, no… I could feel the daggers in my back. But when I opened my eyes….
                                               …


I could still feel the hand dryer softly pushing the water through my fingers. That’s when I realized… I would never be strong enough to do something like that.



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