I am constantly being looked down upon. I rushed down the hallway, three textbooks in hand. I staggered from the weight. No one offered to help me. Most averted their eyes, although they have seen me before. I felt like a dead sapling in the middle of a field of cherry blossoms in spring. They will grow, shed their flowers and be reborn anew. I was dead. Stuck. In second grade I started to look different. People started judging me. They ripped off the leaves that made me strong. That had protected me. They killed who I was inside. With every insult, every snicker, every embarrassed glance, a leaf fell the ground blackened, never to grow again. I was a shell of who I had once been. Devoid of hope.
I sharp stinging on my back brought me out of my trance. He didn’t mean it I thought. The cool steel of the locker brought me to my senses. Who was I kidding? When had someone not meant it? Even to the nice ones I was not someone to befriend. I was never thought of as an equal. I was just someone to feel sorry for. I rested there in thought until the bell rang. Only then was it safe for me to retrieve my textbooks from the once deadly river. I had been trampled before. My hands trembled as I picked up the third. It slid to the side and I wasn’t able to hold on. I wasn’t able to keep my balance; I fell, head in my lap, textbooks beside me. I lay there crying for the longest time. If anyone else noticed they didn’t seem to care. I stood up tall. This time I wouldn’t fail.
I was methodical in my work. I first stacked the books on top of each other, making sure the edges aligned. I then bent my knees and firmly placed my hands beneath them. With a grunt I lifted them up. I few moments later I reached the Promised Land. The Library. I sat down in the comfiest armchair I could find and listened to the final bell of the year ring.
Hurray! Now I get to spend the rest of the summer pretending I have something to life for.
No! I didn’t have to succumb. I would rise taller than the greatest oak. I wouldn’t let anyone look down on me again. The smallest sapling germinates to the tallest tree. The world had nothing left for me. I had grown out of it. Broke through its outer constraining atmosphere of social hierarchies. I looked down on humanity, for judging, for not loving. I floated into the clouds and rose higher than my bullies had ever been. For the first time in my life a smile lingered on my lips. I was free.
I was gone.
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