Ella & I

"I wonder if anyone would miss me if I wasn't here? I don't really think they would. At home I'm invisible until I od something wrong and at school I'm not cool enough for anyone to recognise that I even exist.
There are distinct groups at school and everyone fits into at least one of them. There are the cool kids who have everything and then there are the academics who are cool by default because it's always good to have a nerd as a firend and to copy coursework from. The academics are the ones who are good in all subjects but excel in things like Science, History and Maths. A third group is one that comprises those who are in a class of their own in subjects like Drama, Art, Music or PE. And last of all there are the few stragglers who don't belong anywhere. The ones who get by but aren't really good at anything. We don't cause trouble or get 97% on tests so the teachers don't notice us and walking through the corridors; well the ohtre girls might as well be walking straight through you"

Ella and I met at secondary school but didn't really know each other until we found ourselves taking French and Spanish lessons together when we finally made it to year 12 and the delights of A Levels. Although we'd never spoken or taken any classes together I knew who she was and if I'm being honest then I'll admit that I always found her to be a little intimidating. She was so stunningly beautiful and walked around as if she didn't have a care in the world, as if she didn't really care what anyone thought of her but not in the arrogant "look at me, I'm so great" way that so many of the other girls did.

10 years later I'm discovering that I was so wrong about her. Far from being the confident, funnny and beautiful girl most of us saw her as, Ella had been haunted by more than the normal insecurities since before I even knew her name. I often heard her laugh off compliments, criticise her appearance or downplay her achievements but I always took it at face value. What young woman doesn't go through phases of self doubt and self confidence crises?
But now? Well now I wonder if I'd listened a little harder or looked a little closer, would I; could I have seen the unbearable pain she must have been in?

The End

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