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
I saw her on the subway. She was ordinarily leaning against the railing; she had given up her seat for a little boy. She was absolutely ordinary- invisible almost. To most. But the second I saw her, I knew who she was.
Her face told all; her laugh lines, her bright, vulnerable, liquid green eyes; her thick mass of streaky honey hair and her modest posture. I instantly knew how she would act if I were to slip in a casual “hi”. She would blink repeatedly, smile gingerly, and give me a puzzled, yet friendly, “hi” back.
This was my gift.
I was a people person. Or, that’s how I describe it. After years of studying me, all the doctors deemed me as “inhumanly talented”. I begged to differ, wanting to be like every other boy my age. But, after my diagnosis, what did my mother do but ship me off to more labs so that more doctors there could “examine me”? I guess the word “talented” was not enough for her. I often wonder if she just wanted to know if my gift was genetic or rather, if I had inherited it from her.
In all my years, there has not been one loophole to my gift. Not one. Until I met her.
I was sitting in Central Park when I first saw her. A young girl, maybe 9, 10, years old? But something about her intrigued me. Maybe it was her posture- so mature for such a young girl. Maybe it was the way she was vigorously licking her ice cream, or the flavor of her ice cream. Maybe it was just her whole, enticing package. I cautiously walked up to her. She was alone… why?
“Excuse me?” I asked politely. She looked up at me, and her ponytail bobbed on the back of her head. “I couldn’t help but notice- is that coffee ice cream? May I have a lick?”
Judging on her antics, I would expect her to say, “No sir. Mom tells me not to talk to strangers. Please, get your own.” But she surprised me by replying with:
“Sure. Screw the rules.” So I gently licked a small part on the side. There was something in this girl that didn’t fit. She was 9 (give or take), and she let me lick her ice cream! Coffee ice cream! Was she trying to grow up too fast? Or was she forced into a situation beyond her years? I pondered the possibilities. Typically, I would know her situation by merely glancing at her! But the reasons above in addition to her girly clothing, her blotchy face, her tangled hair…
But her posture was perfect! Times of turmoil equal bad manners… correct? I knew I had to leave. A grown man speaking to a little girl- neither one knowing the other… it doesn’t look good. But curiosity got the better of me.
“Are you… anxious, unsure, befuddled- if you will- about something? Angry?” I asked, curiosity seeping into my simple question. I was just guessing. It took her a while to answer back.
“You’re very perceptive,” She said simply. I was taken aback.
“That’s a very large word for a girl your age.” I said in wonder.
“I’m in advanced reading,” She stated. No tone of pride what-so-ever. I stood up. I had to go.
“Nice talking to you…” I barely whispered. I walked away I was in utter astonishment.
For months I thought about this girl. A mere child defied years of skill… and instinct. Even the best make mistakes. I kept telling myself. But for once in my life, I felt human. That remarkable girl made me realize how good I have it. How every other person in the world has to work to uncover something as trivial as a little girl’s feelings. Life throws you so many unexpected twists and just when you think you’ve figured something out… you’re thrown off again.