Revising constituted most of my free time that term. With important GCSE exams looming in the fast-approaching distance, I could feel the fulminous torrents of rain and wind from my lookout point, and they were whipping my certain incompetence into despair.

I’m not the most literary or academic of people. I hate English and maths and all the sciences. In fact the only subjects for which I can claim exception are swimming and technology, but even then I am ever beaten by those annoying personages who are just naturally the best at everything—and how I sting for the injustice of it.

Not that they’re nasty people, mostly, but why do they always have to be so modest about it all? With their vast intelligence and all that, why don’t they see that their modesty doesn’t help us non-academics? We’d rather see them all pomp and bravura—well of course we would, because then we’d feel more content to be our incompetent selves; we’d feel self-worth and enthusiasm and assurance that we were not undermined by those petty snobs.

So we’d hate the clever ones if they were as blind as we wished, for who likes a boaster with something to boast about? Who likes an adult who ruffles children’s hair as if they felt some kind of affection for their inferiors?

Either way you don’t win, if you’re clever. Which I’m not, so I don’t know why I’m worrying about it.

I don’t know why I even decided to rant about such a thing as school. It’s all to do with images, I suppose. A master of creating exciting images will be the popular one, whereas the more temperate character, who will always be optimistic but lack the inducing-pleasure factor, may be pushed aside by a craving for the thrill of spending time with the confident. It’s difficult to find a balance, I admit, and retain seeming ever-goodness at the same time, but I think, despite my non-existent talents for academia, that I am well-liked on the whole.

Though stressing about my grades next month. I know my results sheet will be covered in Ds, and it depresses me to know that Jill Gates’ card will be shining with ‘A*-A*-A*’. She is not worrying about her results. Why would she need to? She hasn’t revised; she hasn’t written notes or read her textbook. But she’ll get every single mark that’s going, because she’s been blessed with that kind of gift.

And I haven’t. And I’m jealous. I say I don’t care. But I do. I wish I were good at more than just dolphin kick. I wish I was powerful in more than just backstroke. And I wish that people recognised that I am actually not bad at that backstroke or dolphin kick in any case. Tony and Colton are oblivious to the fact that I might maybe possess a talent. Jean and Elspeth are oblivious to the fact that I require praise even for my meagreness, just to keep my self-esteem puffing and chugging away down the line.

Because I do need it. Or else I’ll become the train without steam, the dysfunctional machine on its sorry way to a lonely and destitute fate on the scrapheap. I'll just collapse in a heap, a broken body, hopeless, useless.

The End

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