You know those nights where the thoughts begin to rush to your brain and you’re stuck listening to the relentless beating of your own heart, and your chest keeps growing and growing but you can’t inhale, only exhale; and the air keeps escaping from your body while your mind twists and turns from the flashbacks you can’t control; and you’re gasping and aching for another chance, but you can barely find the strength to hug your pillow tight and wish yourself to sleep, hoping that tomorrow will be better; and you wake up two hours later and it’s 2:52 am, and even as you slept, the thoughts became stitched to your subconscious, and even as you tried to dream away the pain, the memories just played over and over again until you woke up the next day, only to replay them from the beginning.
You know this girl.
Her hair is neither long nor short nor light nor dark. She parts it precisely in the middle.
She sits precisely in the middle of the classroom, and when she used to ride the school bus, she sat precisely in the middle of that, too.
She joins clubs, but is never the president of them. Sometimes she is the secretary; usually, just a member. When asked, she has been known to paints sets for the school play.
She always has a date to the dance, but is never anyone’s first choice. In point of fact, she’s nobody’s first choice for anything. Her best friend became her best friend when another girl moved away.
She has a group of girls she eats lunch with every day, but God, how they bore her. Sometimes, when she can’t stand it anymore, she eats in the library instead. Truth be told, she prefers books to people, and the librarian always seems happy to see her.
She knows there are other people who have it worse—she isn’t poor or ugly or friendless or teased. Of course, she’s also aware that the reason no one teases is because no one ever notices her.
This isn’t to say she doesn’t have qualities.
She is pretty, maybe, if anyone would bother to look. And she gets good enough grades. And she doesn’t drink and drive. And she says NO to drugs. And she is always where she says she will be. And she calls when she’s going to be late. And she feels a little, just a little, dead inside.
She thinks, You think you know me, but you don’t.
She thinks, None of you has any idea about all the things in my heart.
She thinks, None of you has any idea how really and truly beautiful I am.
She thinks, See me. See me. See me.
Sometimes she thinks she will scream.
Sometimes she imagines sticking her head in an oven.
But she doesn’t.
She just writes it all down in her journal and waits.
She is waiting for someone to see.