As a child, she was told she was brilliant, and she believed it. She knew it. She was put in the “special” classes, and was the one all her peers turned to when they needed help with something academic. She befriended children with the same interests – computers, academics, standardized testing – yeah, she was more or less a nerd. All the relationships she formed, whether it was with other students, teachers, even her best friends, were based solely on academics. She was more or less a loner, but she didn’t mind, because she knew she was going somewhere with her life. Everyone told her so, so it had to be true. Sure, she was made fun of, more so as she grew older, for her appearance, her intelligence – anything her peers could make fun of, really. Kids can be so cruel, without even realizing it.
Junior high came along, and she was separated from her best friends. She was forced to socialize and form opinions, even though she didn’t want to. All of a sudden, she wasn’t brilliant anymore. Her friends and classmates never questioned her intelligence, but she did. And if she didn’t believe it, then it obviously wasn’t so. One might wonder where she could possibly pick up such a false image of herself, but insiders were able to pinpoint the source without even trying. She was told that she wasn’t anything special, and she believed it. Her father would often ask where the extra two, three, five percent went, when she came home with near perfect grades. So, needless to say, the relationship between this young girl and her father, was fragile, at best.
It was in this first year of junior high, that this girl developed a love and passion for instrumental performance music. She had a natural talent for it, and she was good. Exceptional, really. But she wasn’t that good. Or so she was told. Her music mark was the highest in her class, but if it wasn’t science or math, then it wasn’t applicable to her future, and it was useless. Or so she was told.
For her thirteenth birthday, she convinced her parents to buy her a clarinet – her first love. Pleading and promising that it would never be more than a hobby, and insisting that she knew she wasn’t all that good, it would just be cheaper than renting all the way through highschool, she obtained the beautiful woodwind all for herself.
Music became a release for this now fifteen year-old girl. She had become less shy with age, and had actual friends. But this wasn’t her. This was who everyone wanted her to be. She discovered that she had a particularly outstanding talent for art. She was also a pretty decent writer, and she enjoyed doing both. However, it had gotten to the point where she felt guilty in being good at something, and successfully managed to convince herself that she wasn’t anything special, she didn’t have any real talent, and she should stick to math and science. Her marks began to drop, much to the dismay and disappointment of her parents, and she no longer enjoyed going to school and being present in her classes. In short, she was certain she was talentless, fake, and stupid to boot. Or so she was told.
Needless to say, she wasn’t exactly her biggest fan. She woke up one morning, and, literally, knew she had changed overnight. Although most would see it as a negative change, it was one that she felt was necessary. She had always been an overly nice person, which, also meant that many took advantage of her. She didn’t mind, because she knew that as long as it was her being taken for granted, it was better than someone else. Besides, she was used to it. She had little to no self respect left for herself, and she became withdrawn, introverted, and destructive. She was fine, though. Or so she told everyone. Her marks slipped down to a level that no one who knew her would have believed possible, for the simple reason, that she didn’t care.
Her senior year of highschool, was probably the worst she had ever endured. She spent weeks on end crashing on a friends couch, and only ever went home because she desperately missed her little sister, her cats, and her dogs. A lot of things happened during that year, and nobody is entirely sure of the reasoning behind a lot of her actions. Including her. To this day, she blames temporary insanity. This incredibly talented, over-achieving prodigy of a child, failed her grade twelve year of highschool. And then she failed summer school. She was forced to repeat the entire year.
She fell into a slump for the next few years. Every time she decided a change was in order, she fell even harder and plummeted right back down to where she had started. Through a friend of a friend of a friend (yeah, one of those) she met this guy. An amazingly talented, confident, funny, quick-tempered, sweetheart of a boy. She befriended him quickly, as she often did with most people, and through a terrible situation they were forced to endure together, he quickly became her best friend. He didn’t realize it, and she never told him, but he was there for her, when it felt like she was doing it alone. He hugged her at all the right times, and endured the fact that she was an overly guarded introvert. The two became inseparable, and spent more or less every waking moment in her car. Driving, drinking coffee, sitting in parking lots, even sleeping.
Until very recently, she never really understood how they could be so close. He was funny, outgoing, popular, an athlete, loved by everyone, and gorgeous on top of that. As opposed to her. She was boring, annoying, talentless, didn’t really have many friends, and was quite the opposite of pretty. Or so she was told. Regardless, it was what she believed, and therefore, it was true. All that aside, he loved her. Or so he said. Growing up, she knew that those were just words said to her out of obligation.
One day, he had apparently had enough. He had mentioned it before that he didn’t like it when she was self-deprecating, but she always thought it bothered him in an annoying sort of way. People didn’t care about her, her friends used her for her car, so it couldn’t possibly bother him on a deeper level. Or so she was told. But where all the others had run, he stayed. Though he was upset, he eventually convinced her that she was wrong. She was wrong on so many levels. When it came to tempers, the two differed drastically, because his was short-fused, and she simply didn’t have one. He got upset to a degree that couldn’t possibly have just been over the loss of a personal taxi. And while she remained calm, she realized that he was right. She was wrong.
This boy; this incredible, sweet, talented boy, made this girl see that they have more in common than she realized. She’s talented. She’s very talented. She possesses a musical ability that can’t be learned in school. She’s an accomplished artist. Her most prized possession is actually a pencil drawing she did of the two of them together. A very good pencil drawing, at that. Her level of self-worth has gone from zero, to recognizable. And while it’s not much, it’s a start. Some of her best attributes are in her personality. She’s funny, sarcastic, loyal, one of the best listeners out there, and a very very good friend, to a lot of people. The kind that can be called over at four in the morning, because a loved one needs a hug. This girl has reached a level of self-acceptance she had never thought possible, and she has nobody to thank, but this one boy. Her best friend, her partner in crime. The only person with which outsiders can sum up their friendship with the sentence “only you two would do something like that.” He doesn’t realize it, but she owes him more than he’ll ever know. She knows he loves her, and still would even if she was carless, jobless, and broke.
She’s a somebody, and she means a lot, to a lot of people. So she’s told. So she knows. And while I still maintain that the 2002-2003 school year happened because I was temporarily insane, it’s now something I can look back on, and marvel at how far I’ve come. Largely in part to this one boy. Thanks, Lo-ver. I owe you one.