All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
The watching girl
I saw the girl first at school. She stood looking out the window, out over the schoolyard. It was before class started and everyone stood around in groups talking. I was with my friends too, but I wasn't really listening to what they were saying. Because I was focused on the girl. She was
the only one in the hallway to stand alone. I wondered why she was alone. Didn't she have any friends?
My friends noticed I wasn't paying attention, and asked what I was looking at. "Nothing," I replied, taking my eyes off the girl, "just daydreaming. Sorry, what were we talking about?" When I got the chance to look up again, the girl had disappeared.
The next time I saw the girl was at the mall. She stood at the railing near the food court, looking down at all the people scuttling around the fast food places and kiosks. She was leaning on her elbow, and I was about to go over to her when I remembered that my mom wanted me home by noon and, looking at my phone, I realized it was already 12:30. I gave the girl one more look before I headed off to the parking lot.
When I finally saw her again, it was months later. We were at school again. I could see her more clearly now, as it was lunch time and she was watching over the entire cafeteria on a balcony thing. Her hair was long and mud brown, and the girl herself was shorter than average. She was wearing a red sweatshirt, unzipped and showing a grey t-shirt. I wondered why she didn't eat with the rest of the students.
Pointing her out to my friend Kami, I asked, "Have you seen that girl around school before?"
"What girl?" Kami asked. I looked back up at the balcony where the girl had been standing, but no one was there anymore.
"She was standing up there on that balcony near the stairs," I said, and then continued to describe the girl to my friend. Kami shook her head.
"I don't think I've ever seen that girl before. Is she new?"
"Not as far as I know. I saw her here a couple months ago here at school and once at the mall too."
After that Kami promised to keep an eye out for the girl and find out who she was. Meanwhile, the topic was dropped and we went back to the topic of Kami's new converse shoes.
Several weeks later the first semester ended and the second started. The watching girl, as I had come to think of her, was in my new math class. She sat in the back of the room and never asked questions or did homework with friends during work time. I decided one day to go talk to her and see if she would do the work with me. When I walked over to her desk I smiled warmly.
"Hey, what's your name?" I asked. She just looked up at me and stared. She blinked and didn't say a word. I tried again. "Do you want to work on homework with me?" Still she said nothing. I sighed and went back to my seat to work alone.
After school that day I called Kami and told her about the watching girl in my math class.
"Well did you find out her name?" Kami asked excitedly.
"She didn't really say anything to me at all," I replied. The conversation afterwards was short until she told me she had to do her homework and we hung up. I sat on my bed a while and wondered who the girl was. Maybe she was a mute. Maybe that was why she had no friends and didn't talk. Or maybe she was deaf. But there wasn't an interpreter in the class, so that couldn't be it. I decided I'd just have to get to know her to find out.
Day after day I tried to get her to talk to me in math during work time. But the watching girl never talked, no matter what I tried. All I wanted was to be her friend! Did she have something against me? No, she didn't talk to anyone else either. I didn't know how to figure this out. Just as I was thinking this, my math teacher declared work time and called me over to his desk.
"Jezza, after this period the guidance counselor would like to meet with you. Here's a slip out of your next class, and you can go right to the counselor's office. Now you can go back to work." Curious, I nodded and headed back to my seat, wondering what in the world the guidance counselor would want me for. It seemed like seconds later when the end-of-class bell rang.
I made my way through the crowded hallway, feeling watched as I entered the door to the counselor's room. She smiled at me as I cautiously walked in and sat down.
"Hello there Jezza. I assume you know why you're here?"
I had no clue, so I shook my head.
"You're here because your math teacher noticed you...talking to yourself in his class. He informed me that you sounded as if you were talking to someone else. Is this true?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," I objected. "I've never talked to myself in any place."
"Really?" She looked interested. "Your teacher said that you went over to a desk in the back of the classroom and started talking to it as if someone was sitting there."
I shook my head stubbornly. "There was a girl there. She had long brown hair and blue eyes and she didn't talk at all. I've seen her around for months now."
Now the counselor looked concerned. "You've been seeing this girl for months? And you never told anyone?"
"I told my friend Kami about her a while back."
"And she didn't say anything?"
"The girl had gone away by the time she looked."
There was a long pause. The guidance counselor nodded and wrote something down.
"You're free to go to your next class. I'm going to call your parents."
When I got home that day my mom told me that we would be going to the doctor.
"Why?" I asked.
"We just need to get you checked out to see if you're alright, honey," she replied.
They checked my head. They gave me tests that took hours. They poked me and prodded me and did all kinds of things to me until they had finally come to a verdict.
"You. Are. Schizophrenic."
"What does that mean?"
"You see people who aren't really there."
And this is what I have to live with. The watching girl.