“Can someone please explain this problem,” said Ms. Crampton. I looked up from my book and looked back down. Everyone else raised there hands. I knew she’d call on me. “Kadija Blake” Ms. Crampton said.
I hate going to the board. It’s not that I don’t know the answer; it’s just that I don’t like to walk in front of the whole class. Especially now. I’m wearing a black leather skirt, a black t-shirt, black stockings, black clogs, silver jewelry, and a black scrunch in my black hair. I’d probably wear black lipstick, but that has to wait until my 13th birthday. You’re probably wondering why I’m so hung up on the color black. Well, it all started two years ago, when my father died. I remember being so devastated that I trashed my room. Afterwards, I tried to hide my feelings by cleaning up. Then I wanted to make a change in life. I remember before my dad died I always wore bright colors. I took out all my bright colored clothes, and put it in a big bag. My mom asked what I was planning to do with it. I told her I was getting rid of some old stuff. She talked to me later that day and told me that maybe I’ll need to start seeing a psychiatrist from now on to help me sort out my problems. I told her I didn’t have any problems. She looked at me as if I was a pathetic helpless child. She said that it wasn’t abnormal to go to a shrink. When she saw I wasn’t convinced she told me that I could go once and if I didn’t like it, she wouldn’t make me go. So I went. I tried to hate it, but there was nothing to hate. The psychiatrist didn’t put me under any pressure to talk so I didn’t and we spent the whole time sitting there while she told me about her cat. I told my mom I didn’t like psychiatry so she just told me that it might be better if I kept a journal instead. I figured that was okay. So ever since, I keep to myself and try to be different.
Being different isn’t very hard. I’ve always been different; this is just the first time I’ve tried. I’m the youngest in my class. My father skipped me up a grade, because I’m so smart, so now I’m eleven in the 8th grade. My birthday is next month. October 31st. I don’t celebrate Halloween though. I never have because my mom works at night and my father used to be too tired to take me trick-or-treating so he’d stop off at the store and get me some candy on his way home from work. I didn’t mind because I’d just watch scary movies on TV. The best ones come on on Halloween night. I’ve always been a sucker for scary movies or books.
As I worked the algebra problem out on the board, I heard some snickering from the class. No doubt it was a joke at my expense. I finished the problem and turned to Ms. Crampton.
“Any questions?” Ms. Crampton asked the class.
Dominique raised his hand. You can always count on Dominique to have a question. He never understood anything. He always had a question to ask.
“Yes?” Ms. Crampton asked perched atop her desk.
“Where did she get that 16 from?”
“Care to explain?” Ms. Crampton turned towards me.
“First, I multiplied x times x and got x-squared, then I multiplied x times 4 an got 4-x, then 4 times x which is 4-x again, and finally 4 times 4 which is where I got 16. Then I combined like terms and got the answer. Any more questions?” I raised an eyebrow to the class and got no response so I went back to my seat. When I went back to my seat there was a note on it. I opened it and saw a picture of a witch. I smiled because I knew it was me. Although it was supposed to be a joke I kept it. This was the second week of school and also the second note I got like this. The first one was a witch on a broomstick flying through the sky on a moonlit night. I kept that one in my notebook. This one was a witch stirring a potion in a cauldron. On top, it said, Kadija “The Witch” Black. I noticed that they deliberately misspelled my last name and that made my smile widen. I’m not sure who leaves these notes on my desk and I don’t really care, but I always keep them.