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We all know her.
The quiet girl who is always there,
The one who always smiles
A smile that anyone would travel for miles to see.
She is the one you always came to for advice
And she would try her best to help because that’s just who she was.
Everyday her payback for her kindness is judgment and ridicule.
In one world she is too thin,
In another she is obese.
She wants to follow her dream
But all of her “friends” seem
To want to tear it down.
Snide remarks and comments,
Then they didn’t hang out with her,
And soon she didn’t talk at all.
They didn’t notice how her ribs poked through her dress
Or when she started to skip breakfast… and dinner…
And only had an apple at school.
She couldn’t see how cruel her friends really were
Until they switched seats and left her even more incomplete.
They finally noticed when she broke down crying
And was pulled out of the cafeteria lying
That everything was okay.
She knows she should have got away
But they had made her recede even further into herself
So there was no way for her to branch out at all.
Her only friends were music, books and the comforting walls of her room.
The quiet, nice girl who always smiled.
Now her insecurities are her own personal gravity,
Adding more and more weight to her frail shoulders
Until one day she just might snap.
No one realizes and no one cares.
That’s how it is in this twisted world we live in.
This was 7th grade.
She was 13.
13 years old.
I realize now why that number is the most unlucky number
Because of everything the quiet girl and countless others had to go through.
At 13 she was three lbs away from being hospitalized,
At 13 she had no more light in her eyes,
At 13 she stopped looking in mirrors
Because she couldn’t even face what she saw there.
But what does it matter?
Same old middle school sob story right?
People have gone through far worse.
That’s the problem though.
People have gone through worse.
Kids who have cut so much until they have lost feeling in their arms
People who have taken so many pills just to end it all with no success
Teens who have taken solace in the bottom of the third bottle
To keep the nightmares and demons at bay.
The point is that we do nothing about it.
We turn away and say “oh he will be fine”
Or “she’ll get over it”
We never do.
Words and rumors cling to our minds like bitter poison
Snaking our way into our thoughts and wiring our heart to think again.
We judge each other like we judge a book by its cover
All by appearance before we even try to look inside to see what lies there.
We all say that we don’t judge, but let’s be honest.
We are all hypocrites, weather we realize it or not.
So maybe we should stop lying to ourselves because that doesn’t seem to be helping anyone.
Maybe if we do we can save the quiet girl at 13 with cuts crisscrossing up and down her arms
And the boy with bruises that was his father’s harm.
So the kids at 13 can see 14 and 15 and 20, 40, 80.
So maybe we can actually make a difference in this twisted world we live in.