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When you spend half of your life as a shadow, you feel new to everyone that suddenly talks to you because you grew out of your chubby phase and stopped wearing pants that stopped four inches above your ankles and suspenders. That was me, my freshman year. No life.
At lunch, I’d sit with other losers and pick at the grimy food choices as my fellow comrades talked in nasally voices about mathematics and essay contests. I was quiet, but my mind was always busy. Didn’t these guys care about anything else other than school? I spent three years with the same conversations, never noticed by anyone popular or “worthy” of speaking to.
The summer before my senior year was when I decided to gain control of my life. I started going to the gym every day, and I went jogging in the morning with my dad. My dad was a physical training coach, so it hadn’t been a surprise when he’d agreed—and even got really happy that I wanted to work out—to help me exercise more. The beginning was tough. I was woken up at five in the morning every day to start my daily routine. Have a hearty breakfast, stretch out by doing sit-ups and push-ups, and then go for a three-mile jog. This went on for two months, and I started to see an improvement.
Then, just before the school year started, I’d asked my mom to throw out all of my old clothes and buy me new ones from brands like Hollister or Abercrombie and Fitch. She came back from the mall with four new hoodies, six pairs of jeans, five new T-shirts, and a pair Vans sneakers.
I stepped into the new school year with a better haircut and no more glasses. Almost instantly, I was pulled into the Popular group. Like a magnet. I was invited to a party or double dare game every Friday night, and I started sitting with guys who cared more about sports and cars and girls than grades.
Only after the first week of school did I see the envelope waiting on my desk when I got home that Friday. I opened it up and read the card: Congratulations! You are a contestant in “Spin the Bottle.”
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