I couldn’t help but stare. Just stare. I was looking at a mirror. That was my reflection...that was me. What was I doing? No, that’s not me. Who are you?
It was like a wave of numbness. Like when you close your heart and the world turns grey on you, like everything dies. You begin to walk backwards, to the beginning. Why was I wearing trashy makeup? Why was I all alone in my best friend's bathroom crying? Why were their cuts all over my arm? Why did I like how it felt to bleed? Why? It all added up to one answer, one continuous answer.
"You’re an ugly useless little slut." I finally had nothing. I was nothing.
Being in a private school is like...well...being in a bubble. You have a uniform, you have a dress code, there are no drug peddlers or alcoholics in school, there was no way you could get alcohol, drugs or a smoke, the "hardest" thing you've ever tried are steroids, and the most scandalous thing you can find is a couple of hormonally challenged kids shaking up in the toilet, so...why was I so broken?
Meek shy small and innocent, I entered High school. The "big playground". I was still a "Middle schooler" in heart. She was not. She was perfect. Tatianna Sanches. My best friend. Tall, slim, the very personification of graceful, with immaculate features, and the attitude that came with it. I was her "puppy" in middle school, or perhaps more accurately, her "bich"Over the years, I had learned to be invisible, I had learned to blend in with her shadow, I had learned that if she was there to over shadow me and tell me what to do, I'd be fine. After all, I was an "embarrassment". This was high school, being "myself" was a sin. I was weird, chirpy, bouncy, strange little girl, who still believed in fairies, and could make up a debate to support her belief. I was a misfit. I did not belong.
She did. She would keep me safe. She took pity on me. She had a large shadow easy to hide in. So I hid. And I got lost.
"Why Xara?" My mother moaned at home. "Is there something wrong with you?! Look at your sisters! They could do all this on their own by the time they were your age, why do you always harass me!!" She rubbed her head with her forefinger, as she hissed at me.
"I ...." I never had an answer. When it came to "academics" I was about as smart as a green pea. I just didn't understand things. Why what when how...it made as much sense as a rubix cube to a common monkey! But my sisters, oh wow! Everyone knew them. They were "those" kids. The ones everyone envies and all teachers love. They were the most perfect people I had met.
"Anya!" My mom called my sister. "I’m sorry, I’m going to beat this girl if I have to listen to her garbage any more, you take it up." She said throwing the Chemistry book in my face. "Useless child...I don’t know what to do with you...sits for three hours staring at the book and nothing goes in that brain!"
My sister sighed, "Why Xara, just study it!"
"I ...did...I really did"
"Brainless woman." She said, shaking her head.
You know what it’s like to have no voice? To have no say in the matter? I counseled them, I had their secrets, that immaculate beauty, Tatianna, I held her court and confidence, I was her safe guard, so...who would be mine? If she was in trouble, I was there. When her boyfriend was caught making out with his ex, I was there. When she'd come to school with her eyes puffed from crying, I was there. So when I began to slit my arms and wish myself dead, I wanted her to be there. But she wasn’t that sort of person, she was a companion, not a friend. Either way, our lovely little bubble of a private school had other plans.
In a private school, we sit 24 hours in the same class, while the teachers come to us. We cannot skip, even if we want to, we will be expelled. So when I was taken out of my little circle and put in a whle new class as my grade changed, my life ended.
Everyone knew me as "Anya's little sister...the failure" The teachers gave me funny looks in the corridors, the children sniggered about how much of a freak I was, with the frizzy long hair, tied in a plait, and the big brown eyes, always on the floor. Every teacher had gone up to my sister and asked "Is she ... well...why is she....like she is?" They thought I was retarded. One of the teachers even thought I had a learning difficulty and thought my brain was dead somewhere.
But I took it, bottled it, and kept my lips sealed.
I had no voice, after all, I was just an object on someone’s mantel piece, to be looked at and criticized.