Can You See Me?

By , Fishers, IN
There is nothing wrong with the way I look.
I have golden blond hair and bright blue eyes,
not the black/purple/blue hair,
and the thick eyeliner
that would mark me for who I am.

I smile and laugh a lot,
I have spent years working on that smile,
that laugh, so that now, no one can suspect
that it is all fake.

It is seventh period: math class.
Today we get our tests back.
I look to my side, and the girl there is biting her lip,
worried about the test score.
I have no such worries.
I know I got an A+,
just like I have for the past few years
on every test.

Straight A student,
except for gym class.
I have never once dressed for gym.
I have a solid 0 in that class,
because of the shorts and shirts,
the shorts and gym shirt we have to wear,
that would reveal my closely-kept secret.

But this is math class.
The 85 out of 85 and the circled “Awesome!” at the top
prove once again that I have won.
Won with the struggle to look normal,
that no one would look to with suspicion.
Because that is the last thing I want.
That look in the peoples’ eyes,
at Church, the hypocrites.
They only care when I am hurting,
pretending to comfort me, and then
running back to their friends,
whispering with excitement at the tale,
“Did you SEE her?!?”
Oh no, I don’t want that.

Watching me on the bus ride home,
you would never believe the scene to come.
I smile, that fake smile,
and I laugh, that fake laugh.
I am laughing at the other kids,
screaming in my brain, a tormented forest of sadness and pain,
don’t you SEE? Can you not see ME?
No. Of course not.

I take a deep breath and walk through the front door,
I don’t even have to look to know where my mom is:
on the computer,
doing who-knows-what.
Or organizing a “date” at some club tonight
with one of her many boyfriends.

It’s the phone today.
She scowls at me,
as if I am the source of all her problems,
that started when SHE broke up with dad.

My brother, the only one who loves me,
a bright ray of sunshine in my dark, dark world,
runs up to me, and gives me a big hug.
His eyes barely conceal the torture he goes through,
Spending the days with mom.
At least I escape to school.

I hug him back, knowing this will be the only one
I get for the day.
Then I go up to my room.
I shut the door. And lock it.
My mom won’t come in,
she doesn’t care,
But I don’t want my brother to see,
he is too young.
Four years old is too young for all the trials
he endures already.

So I lock the door.

Then I go and sit on the floor, in my favorite corner,
roll into a ball,
sinking into the depth of my misery,
just below my skin of illusion,
the skin I wear to school.

I have cried all my tears long ago,
there are none left.
Then, slowly, I pull out my secret,
my knife I stash under my bed.
It has blood stains on it, many,
from many cuts.
Others may look at it with disgust,
but I love it,
because all those stains mean
a deep pain released
from within.

I roll up my sleeve, may arm also marked with many
tales of pain, torture, and release.
The blood flows freely now,
this, like many other things,
I have perfected this.
I lean over the toilet, and let my pain ease away.
And then, stumbling back to my room,
having washed up, to clear the evidence,
I fall into the deep and dreamless sleep
of a girl burdened with this Illusion.





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