Good poems don’t need titles to explain what they’re about. The message should be clear.
Most kids need an invisibility cloak to disappear, but I’ve never had to bother. It seems I have to do nothing but walk down the halls or into a room and I’m instantly a jellyfish in a bunch of barnacles – see through and vulnerable.
But no matter how opaque I evidently am, I’m not unknown and in my mind, that’s a bad thing. People don’t know me because of the things I do. Oh, no.
I am “that girl that skipped eighth grade, oh yeah, that one chick. I hate her. You don’t wanna know her. Don’t talk to her, no one likes her.” People don’t talk to me because they want to hear what I have to say, but because they don’t have a choice. A teacher told the class to split into partners and they didn’t find a friend fast enough. When a group project comes around, I’m in high demand. No, no. People don’t like me. I know all the answers.
I have no real use – I’m simply the girl whose tests you cheat off, whose homework you ask to copy. I am the arrogant girl, the snobby girl, the girl who thinks she’s better than everyone else. All because my IQ is triple theirs.
I told myself I didn’t care what they thought, that I didn’t need friends. That if they were stupid enough to be prejudiced against me, I didn’t need them. But it’s harder than you think, going it alone. Humans are meant to be social, to be loved.
And then sophomore year I saw people I’d gone to middle school with and they didn’t recognize me. Looking in the mirror, I saw why. I’d been kicked one too many times in soccer and had discarded my glasses. My hair’d grown out and I’d begun to wear it down. I was in good shape. I thought I could start over.
But I was too innocent. I’d never experienced open hostility. I didn’t know I was hated, that people who’d never spoken to me had already decided they never would. This year I saw it all and came to a realization: people, as a general rule, are ugly. Not physically. In here.
Most teenagers don’t have filter and they hide it when they’re in front of adults. But I am not an adult, and when they have opinions about me they think it’s their right to make those opinions known. If I want to know why you don’t like me I’ll ask you myself. I don’t need to feel the slices your sharp words make on my back. I don’t want the scars.
It’s not understood that in the real world, having an intelligence level above that of a brick is a good thing. That looks are not the deciding factor for college admission. Somehow, varsity soccer placement doesn’t even get through to these people, this generation of physical prowess and attractiveness. Of course, I’m a nerd and thus I’m weak. Computer obsessed. Unathletic. Ugly.
But the real me, the one who sings alone to Wicked showtunes and the Lion King and Mulan, and every other freaking Disney song ever, the one who makes cookies every Sunday and gets up at hours no teenager should be awake at on Saturdays to coach the soccer games of the sweetest girls in the world? That’s the me that will shine through if you’d halt the creation of the one that’s slowly going mute because she doesn’t want to talk anymore cause it’s just not worth it. It’s your loss, but I’m alone. And there’s nothing worse to be.