Insecure or just arrogant?.

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
A teenager in its high school years wonders what is best for his future. He considers him to be the best, most brilliant, but he is nothing more than a loser. As the time passes, he starts realizing that.

Submitted: June 23, 2015

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Submitted: June 23, 2015

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Juriore Cheng, an average Asian in United States. Born in Guatemala and moving to Brazil at age of 1, he was already considered a experienced traveler. His parents, from China, seeked a better life, just like the rest of the immigrants out there. Poor in China, they moved to Guatemala. Still poor in Guatemala, they moved to Brazil. Juriore's father, Hemmy, sold cheap beer in the streets. He was slightly better than a beggar. His mom, Ji, always worried about what was going to happen next. Well, no one knew. Leaving their mother country to live in a TOTALLY unknown place was just insane. Why would they do that? No one is ever going to know.

Soon or later, Juriore was born. Hemmy and Ji barely had a single piece of bread for themselves. Just cruel as life can be, Juriore was born into this poor family. Hemmy, poor spirited and poor in properties, could care less about his son. Son? Who cares. That is how he spent his days- getting all the money he got from selling outdated beers, so he could get drunk in the poor, bad-conservated streets in Brazil. His spouse, Ji, fortunately, did not think the same way. How could her not care about a piece of meat that came off her? That wouldn't make any sense. At all. So, she spent her time growing her son, as a responsible mother would.

Miracle? I would somewhat I agree. Even in an atheist's perspective, something supernatural must have occurred there. Hemmy, Ji and Juriore were managing to survive. They had a house now, and they were not starving. Hemmy, transitioned from a drunk beggar to an actual worker, as civic duty suddenly hit him, in a specific day. Ji, always calm and so sincere, made sure that her son was actually having a good life. She gave him education, so Juriore would not behave just like his father, during his early-mid years.

Although Hemmy finally found a decent and actual job, he would often leave his family by itself, so he could earn the money for it. Juriore rarely saw his father, but that did not obstruct in admiring him. He could understand, at such an early age, why his father had to leave his family. Inside him, a deep and dark side of him though, he was just happy that he had food and a house to live, regardless of anything else.

Juriore was often a graceful, intelligent and highly brilliant kid. Not during his earliest years though. At the age of 5, he repeated Kindergarten, for no aparent reason. Maybe the teachers thought he was slightly mentally challenged? I don't know. But, he saw his friends, who belonged to the same grade as him, go up. Up and up. Always one level up, up him. He couldn't understand why, due to his young age.

Kindergarten's times were gone, and he didn't really mind about it. He was going to an actual school, for the ''grown-up'' (in his perspective). He did make friends in no time. He was highly sociable, and a really trusting friend. Most people liked to play with him, and so did him. Academically, however, he was just smart as a monkey offspring. Him, by himself, could never get good grades by himself. He would, blatantly, look at his best friend Valor's paper, checking for answers during the quiz. Of course, you know the results. The teacher would catch him, and ask '' Are you fishing or taking a quiz?'' Embarassed? Of course he was. Not that much though. His heart was still pure. Nothing would really make him sad.

The second grade was the power spike to his skills, and his intelligence. Juriore no longer needed to copy off his friend's paper. Somehow, he knew all the answers. Somehow, he felt smart. Somehow, he was the best and smartest student in his class. No one knows how it suddenly happened, but it did. Juriore wasn't recognized by his peers however, since he was still new.

I would love to tell that Juriore's intelligence flourishment made him even more successful during second grade, but that is not the case. As he grew smarter, and more aware, he became shy, and introverted. The outgoing, really social kid that talked to everyone, was talking less and less, as if his personality was fading away. He didn't notice though. Life was just being normal as it could be. Perhaps, maybe a certain person in his class made him shy? No one really knows. There was a girl, whom he hated, though. He hated her because she would mock her friend every day, and he thought it was desrespectul. He thought, '' I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE THIS GIRL, NEVER GONNA LIKE HER!''. That is what he thought.

As the years passed, he started to slowly get recognition from his friends, and whole class. In a huge standard test, his friend Valor, scored 90, and it was stupidly high compared to other students, whose grades were ranging from 50-70. For that cause, everyone would praise Valor for its excellent academic performance, with ego-boosting commentaries such as '' How are you so smart? You are the smartest in the class.'' That is what everyone thought- Valor is the smartest and brighest kid in the class. Juriore, however, knew his potential. Even though he could care less about the test, he checked his grade. 91. Yes, 91. Surprisingly, no one, yes, I said, NO ONE realized that, except for him. He checked his name using his index finger, and there was the 91. He was inert, and it really didn't have an impact on him. He decided to  tell Valor  though, since they were both friends. That is when people noticed him. SOMEONE SCORED HIGHER THAN VALOR? IS THAT POSSIBLE???? Was probably one of the reactions Juriore expected from his peers, but that did not happen. When people learned that JURIORE was the one that was superior to Valor, they acted like nothing happened. '' Ah,'' was all he heard. No one gave a fuck about him, and he started realizing that.

Time passed once more, and Juriore was now a shy, socially horrible kid. He did not talk to girls at all, because he was scared. Scared of something. He really liked to talk with girls during his first grade, but that didn't happen for such a long time. He would stare away whenever a girl saw him. Furthermore, the girl that he hated during his whole life, yes, he started to like her. Things couldn't go worse. He was still a smart ass, and he was recognized by a person that he really admired a lot, Kazou, whom was a really good friend and highly brilliant student. It was a chaos for him though. During his 7th grade, Valor was no longer his best friend. His best friend was now a guy called Jefferson, whose grades were not even worth talking about, let alone his behavior in class. He was the opposite of Juriore, but somehow they were friends. Jefferson claimed to be Juriore's best friend, but he always considered Kazou as his best friend. While he talked to his friends, Valor would take to the girls and be the awesome and cool guy that everyone in the class likes. Jealous? Probably not. He still remembered the old days where he would have fun with him. He didn't really care.

At the beginning of 8th grade, his father Hemmy managed to move his family to US. Reluctant was Juriore's first attitude. He really liked US, but he couldn't leave his friends. Not at all.  The idea of moving all out of sudden was too dynamic for him.'' How am I gonna speak English?  How am I going to interact with Americans? How am I supposed to deal with it?'' These were all thoughts that came to his mind...

After everything was explained carefully to him, he was slightly relieved. It would not be hopeless for him at all. Unlike in Brazil, the US public educational system had a program called ESOL, where students that came from other countries could learn English, and catch up to their American peers. And so, Juriore went to United States of America, along with his family.

Speechless, surprised, amazed, astonished. The list could go on forever. The vivid colors of leavess on the ground, the refreshing and chilly breeze touching his face, and the relaxing sound of slender trees moving as the wind softly blows it. Juriore really liked it. Everything. An unique experience to him. For the first time in his life, he thought to himself, '' This is what I can call calmness.''

During Juriore's arrival, the students were in their Winter Break period, so Juriore stayed at his home as well. He loved to play on his computer. He thought that nothing could be more fun. Nothing. '' Life? Who needs that? My computer is my best friend.''  His parents often tried to convince him that it was a bad idea, but in a teenager's mind, they were wrong. Totally wrong. Utterly wrong. They didn't live in Juriore's time, so what could they even know? So, he lived his life as he thought how it was the best way to, until the break was over.

First day of school finally arrived, and Juriore was rather scared- not of anything relevant, but scared of being embarassed. He was probably 1-2 years older than his peers in his class. He didn't go to school for a whole year, since his family was planning on go to US, which means that he wouldn't go to school in Brazil at all. Another factor for was that he repeated Kindergarten for no reason, as mentioned before.

His first class was math. Oh god, how he remembers it. It was horrible. The teacher welcomed him and everything, but he didn't know how to speak English. He would just freeze in front of his teacher, with his mouth open as he tried to shout out a single word. Nothing would come out. He wasn't prepared, at all. It was too much for him, he thought. I wanna go back to Brazil, he thought. Too late, he thought as well. So, he tried his best to guide himself, and he sat where the teacher indicated.  Finally, he had a chance to glance at his peers. He was, somewhat surprised. All he expected to see there was a bunch of white people with blue eyes and yellow hair. Instead, he saw a huge diversity- People with dark skin and curly hair, people with light brown skin, people with dark hair, and etc. But, in the middle of all that diversity, he wanted to see something else. Yes, the people with yellow skin, small eyes and straight hair. He wanted to see the Asians, his own race. Unfortunately, he saw none. It was somewhat traumatic to him. Nobody that could ressemble himself was there. No one.

And so, the class started. Juriore was attentively trying to recognize what was being taught in the board. It wasn't anything he knew though. Because of his one year delay ( nothing learned at all), he was really behind. He felt somewhat dissapointed with himself. ''How am I gonna do this now? I feel so retarded. I'm gonna fail. I'm such a failure.'' All these thoughts came up to him, as he struggled to understand the matter.

Once the class ended, the teacher was really kind to him, and asked where did he stop in his school. Juriore was uncertain. It has been one year since he didn't go school, and he couldn't remember. The teacher then took out a giant binder from her cabinet, and showed every activity that could possibly be where Juriore stopped at. He then finally managed to find something that was recognizable to him. Well, that is what he thought. When he got the paper to try the exercise, a color suddenly filled up his head. Yup, blank. '' UGH, how do I do this? I thought I knew how to do this !!!! The teacher is gonna think I'm retarded.'' He thought. It was in fact embarassing. He took such a long time to recognize where he stopped, and when he finally finds it, he barely know how to even start the exercise. Luckily, the teacher came to him, and seeing that he was stuck just like a man  is stuck in a tunnel because of a wombat's obstruction, she decided to kindly help him. That moment, he realized how different the customs were in US and Brazil. If he still were in Brazil, the teacher would have probably kicked his ass out.  But in US, his teacher kindly taught him how to do the exercise. And so, he did his exercise sheet in no time. The rest of the classes were about the same, and he was lucky enough to just sit and watch for the first day.

That was Juriore's early times in US for 1-3 months. Struggling with English while trying to learn all subjects, he was quite in trouble. Even though he knew how to write/read somewhat accurately, his speaking was horrible. Utterly horrible. He was the kind of person that couldn't even say Thank You in english. No one laughed at him though.His peers were always trying to chat with him, but he couldn't respond back. That made him melancholic, and somewhat regretful. So many people trying to be his friend, but... he could just not respond to them. He was creating an image of himself to others- An ignorant kid whose ego is so big that he doesn't have to talk to anyone. That wasn't him though. He really wanted to talk with them, but he was shy and couldn't speak English. Poor Juriore.

As few months passed again, and the end of the year was slowly coming. His English became reasonably decent. His ESOL teacher, Mr. Sailor, could see his potential. His English skills were increasing exponentially, and it surpassed any student's in his ESOL class. Juriore himself wasn't too worried about it. He did not have friends. No one talked to him anymore. It wouldn't change much. However, Mr. Sailor told him that he was really intelligent, and that he should consider Honor classes. Hm, Juriore thought to himself, '' Can I do it? I don't know. Probably not. I just came here for few months, and you want me to take Honor classes? Hell no.'' That is what he wanted to say as well, but he didn't have the guts to do so. His speaking was still horrible, and trying to explain why he shouldn't take a honor class was way too hard for him. So, he accepted by shaking his head vertically. The teacher had also moved him from ESOL 3 to ESOL 5  for next year, due to his rising English skill. Well, it was almost end of the year. ''ESOL 3? ESOL 5?  Honor classes? None of this matter! I will just enjoy my break, and that's it.'' And so he did. He didn't worry about anything else.

Summer break was finally over, and that time came. Yup, the time to face his Honor class in US History, and also ESOL 5 (last level of ESOL). It wasn't until the last day of Summer break that he realized how he should have thought about those things.

Proceeding, he went to the Honor US History class that he feared so much. It was intimidating for him. He was really unconfident in his English speaking skills. It wasn't because of nothing though. He really would freeze whenever talking in English, and nothing would come out of his mouth. And so, he entered the class. Most of the students that were in the class were non-hispanic white. That made him even more intimidated. Everyone was talking so happily and loudly, while he was just sitting in his corner alone, as he glanced through the students faces.

And so, the class started. The teacher started to talk about George Washington, the first president of US, and about British Colonies. Juriore's reaction was like, '' Okay, I like TOTALLY have no clue of what he is talking about. I even feel like he is talking a little bit way too fast. I'm screwed.'' Not bad enough, the teacher started to ask questions about the matter, which scared him even more. '' I don't know anything. How am I gonna answer???'' Everything came up to his mind so fast. He felt like a hatchling in a snake's nest. '' Don't ask me. Don't ask me. Don't ask me!'' was all he thought during the whole period.

'' Bliiinggg, bliiing!''  The sound of the bell. The class had ended. He survived. The teacher did not ask him any questions. He was relieved for two or three seconds, until he realized that he only survived his FIRST out of hundreds times that he would go into that classroom. Totally overwhelmed, he went to his next challenge- The ESOL 5 class.  After his experience with the US history class, his confidence in his English skills started to fade away even harder. He thought, '' Everyone will be speaking English with a good tone and diction, while I will quiet the whole class.'', and that is what happened. His peers could talk English without any problems, while he struggled to even understand what they were saying. ''That is way too much for me. I give up. I'm done.''

So, that was what happened pretty much during his whole 8th grade. Teachers speaking, students speaking, and Juriore asking '' Huh?''. Comprehending and writing were not  an issue for him though, so he passed the exams just like Einstein would pass a kindergarten assessment. Ok, that is exaggerating. He did get some 90s and 95s though. The teacher would often put all the students grades in the promethean board, and Juriore would proudly recognize his student ID#, with the highest score. Praise from others is for the weak. All it mattered for Juriore was self assurance, that he was in US for nothing.

A remarkable period in Juriore's 8th grade was when a certain student called Vansi sat near him. Vansi was known as the ''brightest of the brights'','' The Unquestionable Demon King'','' Human I7'', '' Academic God'', and etc. The list could go on forever. Every student knew him, and recognized his unquestionable intelligence. He was mostly known for his accelerated test completion, which was followed by usually an A. Juriore, smart himself, was interesting in Vansi. He did not have many friends that were actually intellectual, so having Vansi to talk with was a SUPERB experience for him. And hell, he did guess it right. They soon became friends due to the fact Juriore was always willing to listen to what Vansi said, since everything he said was fascinating. He would explain math problems that were college level, and Juriore would still hear it carefully, even though he couldn't understand. Imagine the biggest star in America trying to say something to a fan from Indonesia. Yep, something like that. That was only a partial reason of why it was so fun for Juriore though. The other part was because Vansi excelled in Mathematics, just like Juriore did. Juriore had finally found a worthy rival to compete with; just like when a highly skilled basketball player meets another one that can put on a tough challenge. And that was how it happened- Every test, they would compare each other's scores. ''Surprisingly'', when Juriore got a 100 on his test, Vansi also did. When Juriore got a 94, Vansi did as well. The list could go on forever. In majority, both had the same scores. Rumors even say that the teacher created a conspiracy club just to discuss if Juriore and Vansi were copying off each other. They sat to next to each other, so there could be some correlation. However, that wasn't the case. Both were just highly motivated and highly bright. Sometimes, though, Juriore would even manage to beat Vansi in terms of how fast one could solve the problems, due to the fact that his calculation on paper could take even less time than using a calculator. That relationship unfortunately wasn't like a friendship though. It was more like an epic rivalry where both would respect each other's skills, and that is why Vansi did not make any group work with Juriore when pair work was allowed. Juriore felt sad most of the times for not having the chance, but if there was no peer that could match his highly set up expectatives, working alone would be the best alternative for him. He would still have fun doing his math problems on his own, just like a mad scientist would have fun making its own experiments. It wasn't a big deal for him... Yes it wasn't... At least he thought... In conclusion, that was how his whole 8th grade experience was. Having fun with academics.

'' BING'' BINGG'' 'BBING''. Once Juriore heard it, he smiled. It was the sound of the noisy alarm, telling him to wake up. '' WAKE UP, WAKE UP, THIS IS THE DAY YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!'' is how he interpreted the noise of the alarm. Juriore was excited to go to high school. How he was. New buildings. New teachers. New title. New New. Everything excited him. He would meet his friends after a 2-month long break, in real life of course. For that year, he assigned as much honor classes he could; he was no longer scared of them; as he proved himself worthy of these classes. Honor Geometry, Honor US History, Honor Bio, English 9, PE, Arts and French 2. ''Jeez!!'' He thought. A mixture of thrill and excitement fullfilled him. He was getting used to it, and that was only the first day.

First class was Biology. The teacher spoke in a low pit volume, and since Juriore sat on the back, he couldn't hear her. That eventually made him hate the class and the teacher. '' This class is so boring! Mr. Monte is soooo annoying. I'd stare at a wall than pay attention in class.'' He said to his friend Aresou. Aresou would mostly agree on anything that Juriore said, so as predicted, he agreed. Rumors say that the class was so boring that it's even hard to describe any excitement from Juriore during that class time...

Other classes were about the same level. Nothing to be proud of. His English class, however, was quite interesting. The teacher was a really inspiring one, and as he talked, anyone could feel how inspired he was, and motivated. It was quite enjoyable.

 


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