Sometimes I don't why I am here. When I think about it, I know that I am not much different than the people around me. I am made up of the same materials, I have the same shape, the same thoughts. But somehow, I am still unwelcome in this world. Perhaps I am just an outcast by nature, shunned from society by some kind of predecided whim. Maybe they see something that I don't.
But I still feel as if there is somewhere out there, somewhere I belong. Somewhere out there is some one who will love me for who I am no matter what I say or do. But not here. And here is where I must stay, trapped in this bitter room where the heavy air is suffocating and the darkness in the corner swallows up anything near it. And that is where I stay, in the corner of my mind, hoping that one day it might swallow me up. It never does.
Every day I have to go through the motion of living. It's cowardly, I know, to pretend that everything is going right when the total opposite is taking control of my life. My parents don't suspect a thing. Every morning I wake up and shower, brush my teeth, brush my choppy blue hair, glance at my pale skin and green eyes in the mirror, and go downstairs for breakfast. A daily routine that leaves me feeling empty.
I go to school where I am invisible, where I follow through the motions of being a straight-A student. Where it is all a routine. Every day is the same, and nothing happens.
Until today. I walk into my home room class, which is 11th grade English, and find that a girl is sitting in my seat. I've never seen her before. She had long, black hair down to her waist, and dark eyes and skin. She had a pair of silver-rimmed rectangular glasses perched on the bridge of her thin nose, and asmall moleon her left earlobe. She wore a long-sleeve white t-shirt and muddy bell-bottoms. On her slim feet were a pair of brown flip-flops. At first glance I thought she was African-American, but it then occured to me that she must Native American. Her skin was too light -- her lips too thin.
After a moment of staring at her, I walked over to her. "Excuse me," I muttered quietly, staring at my sneakers.
She turned and looked up at me. Her eyes were brown. "Hn?"
"Um. That's actually...my seat," I said, my eyes still averted. I shuffled my feet uncomfortably and awkwardly.
"Oh," she said in her smooth voice. "Then is there an empty seat I can sit in?"
I glanced up at the front of the classroom. "The seat in front of Mrs. Aligen's desk is always empty," I replied.
"Thank you," she said with a smile. She shouldered her blue bag and started for the desk. Then she stopped suddenly and turned back to me. "Hey, my name is Keme. It means 'secret' from the Algonquin indians. What's yours?"
"Um," I blushed. No one's talked to me this much throughout the whole school year. Didn't anyone give her the memo that no one talks to me unless it's absolutely necessary? "Um. I'm Athanasios. It's Greek for 'immortal'." Maybe I'm shunned because of my name....
"...ool," Keme said something I missed while I had that thought.
"What?" I asked, panicking because I missed what she said.
"I said that your name is cool," she repeated, still smiling.
"Oh," I sighed.
"Athanasios?" she said.
"Yes," I replied. She was the first person to ever say my name right on the first try. She's pretty smart to be able to that."
"Ah, what?" I snapped back to attention. She gave a look. "Sorry. I zone out a lot..."
"That's okay," she laughed. A beautiful laugh, like water running down the rocks. "I asked if it was all right if I could hang out with you at lunch."
"Oh. Uh," I frowned. How should I put this? She was looking at me expectantly, waiting for an answer. I said the first thing that came to my mind, the first thing that would drive some one away: "I'm an Untouchable."
"What?" she frowned in confusion. Her nose wrinkled as her eyebrows knotted together.
Well, that would drive some one away in India. "Uh, what I mean is, no one is really supposed to hang out with me."
"That -- is a good question," I replied. Mrs.Aligen walked into the room. I quickly plopped down into my chair along with the rest of the class and I hissed at Keme to go sit down, too. She did, just before Mrs. Aligen turned around to overlook us students.
"Ah, I see we have a new student today," Mrs. Aligen stated in her bold, loud voice. She was dressed in her slate grey business suit as always, her permed blonde hair was tied up in a bun. Her watery brown eyes took hold of Keme. "You must be the governor's daughter," she mused.
"Yes, ma'am," replied Keme quickly, her hands folded neatly on her desk in front of her.
"Well," droned Mrs. Aligen, "I should warn you that I expect a lot from you, Miss Burns. I expect you to do much better than most of the students in this class, with the exception of Mr. Hallow. I doubt even I could surpass him asa student." She turned back to the board to write the day's assignment on it. I felt everyone but Keme's eyes bore into my skull with hate and jealousy. It's not my fault I have a lot of free time to study.