LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING
The room began to spin, my head became heavy, it felt like it had sunk down into my neck. I couldn’t speak, my mouth open yet it felt as though it had been glued shut, stapled together. I was stumped, this one simple question and I couldn’t answer it, my mind craving help, yet I couldn’t ask. I lower my head, staring at the ground thinking maybe if I stay this way they’ll forget I exist, forget I am here, after all, I’m not special.
A hand slams down on the table, making me feel as though it had broken through my skull. All I can hear is the harsh, deafening, abusive voice of the girl in front of me. I lift my head to see her slowly turn into my worst nightmare, I feel my feet become weak, and my heart drop. I had to say something now, the terrifying voice still echoing through my mind, the abusive language burning into my brain as if she had lit a match and threw it at my mind, my memories. Her hand reached forward, inching closer to my neck, the flames in her eyes spreading like a wildfire. Then…. It stopped, the harsh words disappeared and her hand lowered. She stood there, survey in one hand and I realised, I’ve seen her beauty before, I’ve seen her elegance walk down the hallways of my school. The soft sound of her voice came back and the words, “please, just answer the question.” I felt safe again, imagined I was at home in bed, in the dark. With no light, no trouble, and nothing to do with society. I open my mouth and a faint mumble comes out, a language unknown to man, but known to me. The anger begins to remerge in her eyes and I see my world come crashing down, her handheld in a fist, yet I still couldn’t think about the way she was glaring at me, I could only think of the way her eyes sparkled in the sunlight, the way her hair blew in the wind and the unbearable fact that I wouldn’t ever be as good as her.
A click near my face makes me come back to reality, she’s standing there, in front of my face and I’m sat staring at the dimples in her cheeks. One tear gracefully caresses my cheek like a majestic waterfall. I use the back of my hand to wipe it away as if my sadness was nothing more than a mere speck of dust floating in the air. She noticed the stream of water gracing my cheeks and took a step back, her question may have been simple but I was the one who wasn’t good enough to answer it. I stood up and looked her in the eyes, and by then she knew, knew my fear, my weakness. Her delicate arms stretched out and embraced my body, at first I was surprised, but this kind act gave me such a shock and I smiled. My worries stopped and I liked it, the first time in my life I wasn’t afraid and it was all thanks to this one girl. This one girl whose smile can brighten the dark, this one girl whose eyes are a deeper blue than the ocean, this one girl who I think I’m falling in love with.
We stood, embraced in each other’s company for a while, until we weren’t, a long slender arm reached between us, separating our bodies. The safe place I was longing for, gone from my reach, it felt as though she was miles away even though she was no more than a couple of inches from my petrified, motionless body. Two hands strap across her as if she’s chained away from me, she struggles for a moment trying to inch closer, and then… the struggle stops. A piece of my heart breaks the moment I see her turn away, the boy that had stolen my love began to speak. “Do you really think she’d like you back? You’re a loser, you don’t even talk. No one likes you.” “Are you even going to say anything?” I can’t explain my fear at this moment in time, but the pain I feel is like a tidal wave, crashing into my heart over and over and over and over and over UNTIL… I’ve had enough, the anger running through my body makes my eyes light on fire, my hands began to tense with the veins pulsing down my wrists. Without thinking, I lift my fist, raising it closer to the sun, in a matter of seconds, it would all be over, the bullying, the teasing, the pain.
She moved, my fist still in the air but she moved, I could have hit her, she stood in front of him, why, why him? She speaks, her angelic voice replaying through my head and my fist lowers. “STOP, don’t do this.” She shouts but every word sounds like a feather in the wind and I realise, she cares, someone in the world cares, I’m not alone. My disability has caused me all this time to be afraid of everyone, to be afraid of myself, yet… I don’t have to be. Some may not understand my disability but others do, and I don’t have to be frightened. I look her in the eyes, and she stares back, I see comfort feel shielded from the fear in her eyes. They never would have believed that I could take back my emotions enough to have the power to frighten someone. My hand unclenches from its struggle and goes to caress her paper skin face, her tousled hair and I let my eyes slowly drown into hers, and I feel her tension ease and her comfort rise. The fear we both felt has disappeared and now all I felt was power, I finally had control of my sentiments and it felt extraordinary.