My True Talent

Hi there, my name is Melanie Cane, but most people prefers calling me Melly, or Mel. I'm 13 years old currently living with my mom, dad and a 16 year old sister, also, I'm. Well, let's just say, I'm a pretty good student, a little too good.

You must be wondering why am I here blabbering about nothing and wasting your precious time right? Well, I have a problem, and I was hoping maybe you could help me. You see, it happened like this.

"Wow! Another perfect mark! How do you stuff all that knowledge in your brain? You're so totally amazing you know that? I've never met anyone as good at math as you, you really are a natural mathematician!" My friend Sherry complimented.

I blushed slightly and looked at her through the top of my eyelids. "Hey come on, this was a really easy test, probably everybody got perfect." I protested.

"First of all, this was not an easy test, second of all, you're the only one who got perfect, and third of all, you've been getting perfect in math for all the tests we had, and that's about 5 tests and 3 exams! How can you possibly keep this up?"

I smiled appreciatively at her. Yep, I liked the last part in her first comment, I'm a natural mathematician, my talent, I thought proudly.

After 30 minutes, the bell rang and I picked up all my stuff and headed for my next class, art.

I sat down beside Ricky and dug out my art assignment. What did the art teacher give us for homework again? Oh yah, finish painting the first layer of that silly tree. I pulled out the painting, which was painted on a huge piece of paper; I stared lamely at it and sighed. This picture is absolutely disgusting! Darn, I knew I should've worked harder on it.

Ricky took a quick glance at my picture and gasped.

I was so embarrassed, covering my burning cheeks in my hands while biting my bottom lip nervously. "Please don't say anything, I know it looks horrible ok? I don't need you to tell me. Just, just don't say anything, I'm embarrassed enough already!" I said quickly half yelling. I removed my hands from my cheek to cover up my painting as best as I can while burying my face in my arms.

"No, no, no, no, no!" Ricky defended. "What are you talking about Melly? That picture you painted is brilliant! I'm actually really impressed by it, that's why I gasped. You are a very talented artist."

I stared at him for a while before frowning. I didn't frown because I thought he wasn't telling the truth, it's what he said that disturbs me. He said I was a talented artist? But wasn't I a talented mathematician? So which is my real-

"Hey Melly!" Mimi did a little twirl and stopped in front of my desk smiling with something behind her back. She was always cheerful, and constantly disrupting my thoughts, but she still is, my best friend. Oh yah, did I mention, I'm a hopeless daydreamer who can't live a day without daydreaming half the time?

"Hey Mimi." I greeted plainly not even half as cheerful as her.

"Mimi stacked a huge pile of paper on my desk and grinned. "This story you wrote was the most fabulous story I've ever read! Where do you get all these ideas? I wish I could be a fantastic writer like you! If you ever enter a talent show Mel, be sure to enter your stories, after all, you are a very talented writer."

My frown deepened. Is she doing this on purpose? Does she want to torture me to death or something? I screamed inside my skull. Stop confusing me!

"Are you ok?" Mimi asked peering down at me.

"Yes. I mean no. I mean I don't know." I replied confusingly playing with a strand of my amber hair. "I think I'm a little confused, that's all."

"Why are you so confused?"

"I. I." I hesitated.

"I won't tell anybody." Mimi promised.

"I don't really care if you tell anybody, but you see, you told me I had a talent in writing, Ricky told me I had a talent in art, and Sherry told me I had a talent in math!"

"So. What's so confusing about that?" She asked raising an eyebrow at me.

"Don't you get it? I can't figure out what my true talent it!"

Mimi stared at me for a couple of seconds before she burst out laughing. "You silly girl! We have so much other important stuff to worry about when you're wondering about a meaningless question like this? Melly, get a life, I mean who really cares? But if you really must know, it's actually quite simple, they're all your true talent!" She said emphasizing the word 'all'.

"No," I replied firmly. "There must be an answer to this, and it's not like you don't know me, I question myself about everything and I'm also very determined. Remember before when I wondered about why my name is Melly?"

"Stop torturing yourself, even if you don't find the answer to this question, life still goes on, time won't wait for you, so just forget about it alright? I mean, what's so bad about having multi-talents? If I were you, I'd enjoy myself with all my wonderful talents and have some fun with them. Some people are still trying to figure out what their one talent is and you've already discovered 3 in less than an hour, consider yourself lucky girlfriend! Cheer up, after all it's only 3 talents, and that's not a lot."

"Maybe you're right, maybe it's-" Before I finished, someone interrupted me, again.

"Melly!" Candy bounced toward me and gave me a big hug. Candy is Sally's other's name, I'm not sure who gave her that nickname, but we got used to calling her that.

"Hey Candy." I said hugging her back. "You seem happy today." I commented.

"Yah, I am, I'm so happy I found you and that I'm considered as one of your closest friends!"

"Really? Why?"

Candy giggled. "Guess what? I just saw the science project you made that won the 1st place for the science fair, it's so like, totally awesome! You've got a real talent in science Mel!"

I glared at Mimi. "You were saying?"

"Oh come on! It's only four talents!" She defended.

"First only 3, now only 4, before you know it, you're going to be saying, 'oh come on! It's only 20 talents!" I mocked her voice while rolling my eyes.

Candy blinked. "Guys. What's going on here? What only three? Only four? Only twenty?"

Mimi looked at me. "So, can I tell her about your so-called problem?" She asked.

"No." I replied simply. "I don't want too many people getting involved in this, I'm different from all of you, and you guy can never share my opinions or even understand me, so what's the point of telling her?" I sure hope I didn't offend Candy!

"Class, may I have your attention please? This class, we're going to try and finish up the painting as we started last class." My art teacher's sharp voice boomed though the classroom as Mimi and Candy scurried off to their seats. And so, art class begins.

After 40 minutes of painting the details onto the 'tree', the bell finally rang; I stuffed away my art supplies, collected my books and headed for my next class. Social studies, just thinking about it makes me shudder.

Sitting at my desk, I hummed quietly to myself waiting for my ancient teacher to enter the classroom and start the lesson. We - people in my class - call her the ancient teacher because she teaches history and she's very old.

After 5 minutes of waiting. She finally arrived. Walking slowly and shaking slightly, she sat down at her desk and coughed loudly. "Class," She squeaked. "Today, we're going to have our history and geography tests handed out, and then, we'll take it up." The class groaned inwardly. Ignoring their groans, she continued, "I want you to write the correct answer on the test beside the wrong answer in a different coloured pen, any questions?"

"No." We replied obediently.

The tests were handed back; I looked at mine and nearly choked to death. I flipped both my test over so the score is facing down on the table. Not again! I thought silently to myself.

"I was very disappointed with the results." Mrs. Ancient continued. "The class average for geography is 59%, and average for history is 62%. Although, I am very impressed with one student, she's gotten 100% on both tests!" I prayed she would not say my name as mutters were heard around the room. "And she is, Melanie Cane!"

Oh how I hated her for saying my name in front of the whole class embarrassing me like that! If she wasn't my teacher, I probably would've strangled her so badly until she's at my feet begging for mercy.

I buried my face in my hands while everyone else around me smiled and clapped congratulating me.

"Wow! She's good!"

"I know! I can't believe it, another 100%!"

"She must be born with the talent get-100-on-all-social study-test!"

"I would want a talent like that! After all, social studies in the hardest subject to ace!"

Comments after comments, my head was throbbing with pain, why won't they mind their own business and stop confusing me? They might think I'm lucky, but I'm really not, with all these talents, how am I ever going to figure out my true talent?

I walked home after school, deep in thoughts, "Bunch of immature infant." I muttered to myself. 'No, you're the immature infant, you wonder about stupid question while others don't, you think others think different from you, yet you're the one different from them!' A voice in my head argued back. I decided to ignore that.

Taking out my keys, I unlocked the finely decorated door before me and entered my house.

"Hi Melly, how are you? Did you have fun in school today? I saved a piece of ice-cream cake for you, would you like to have it now or would you rather devour it later?" My mother greeted me with a bright smile. I hate to ruin her cheerful mood but I couldn't help it.

"Oh, I'm fine, everything's great, and yah, I'll have my cake now." I replied dully.

My mother stared at me smiling while I ate my cake, when she saw my not-so-happy expression, she became worried, "Melly, you seem a little depressed about something, what's wrong honey?"

I stopped eating immediately and look at her. "I'm fine," I replied softly. Hmm. I wonder if she would be able to answer my question. I decided to give it a shot. "Mom," I began slowly, "What's your true talent?" I asked.

"Oh, well I have many talents, for example-" before she could finish, I interrupted.

"No, that's not what I meant, what I meant is, well, you know, what's your true talent?" I questioned emphasizing 'true'.

My mom looked at me confusingly and answered carefully knowing the type of strange girl I am. "Sweetie, there is no true talent, I was equally good at all of them."

"Ok, and what are they?"

"Well, your dad always said I was an incredible writer and my art works have won many awards so I guess you could count that as a talent."

I listened carefully trying to digest everything she told me. Ok, so I got my art and writing talent from mom, which means I must've gotten my other talents from dad. I'd better ask him about it later, it might not answer my question, but at least I'll know where my talents came from.

"Thanks a lot mom, I'll go upstairs to do my homework now." I forced a smile and headed upstairs leaving the half eaten cake on the table.

Instead of doing my homework like I told my mom, I fell on top of my baby blue bed sheets and stared at the ceiling, doing my favourite hobby, daydreaming.

This time however, is quite different. I usually daydream about a story or something funny or interesting to crack myself up, but this time, I saw myself falling into an endless pit, screaming soundlessly while at least 20 dozen people crowded around, smirking wickedly at me, then, all of sudden, I felt a pillow on my face.

I snapped back to reality and throw the fuzzy multi-coloured pillow on the ground. I glared at my 16 years old sister who was currently leaning at my doorway. "Get out of my sight, you idiot." I shot at her angrily.

She raised an eyebrow at me and ducked when two pillows came flying toward her face. "You're grumpy today, Melly, even for a grouch like you."

I gritted my teeth while shooting daggers at her through my eyes. "I said get out of my sight didn't' I? So do it if you're still planning to leave my room in one piece." I threatened.

"Chill out Mel, I'm not going to do anything mean to you, don't worry." She said as she walked over to my bed sitting down beside me. "Hate to admit this, but I'm actually worried about you, you must've had a really, really bad day because I've never seen you this frustrated about anything before. What happened? Would you care to talk to me about it?"
I looked deep into her sincere sapphire eyes, knowing she meant every word she said, I sighed and let my grudge against her escape. "Ok, answer me this, what is your true talent?" I asked.

She looked at me strangely before answering. "My true talents huh? Well, I'll have to say art, science, and writing." She answered shrugging carelessly.

"Notice I said talent, not talents."

"Well then. Uh. I don't know, I'm good at all three, and I can't choose between them. What's your point anyways? You still haven't told me what your real problem is, how am I suppose to help you without knowing? I promise you baby sis, what you tell me today, will not be known by anyone or anything.

I looked at her more closely. I knew for a fact that she'll keep her promise, but I'm not sure what she'll think of my abnormal question. Would she think it's stupid like what Mimi had thought? Even is she did understand me, would she actually know the answer or bother to help me with it? Would she be a big help or just make things worse for me?

"Alright Lisa, if you insist, here I go." I cleared my throat before continuing. "I've been told by many friends in school that I have a talent in math, art, writing, geography, history and science." I waited to see her reactions.

She sat there, still looking at me waiting for me to go on. After three minutes of silence, she spoke. "So. Continues your problem." Definitely not the kind of reaction I had hoped for.

I watched her in disbelief. "Doesn't that make you wonder about something?" I asked. "Doesn't a questions immediately pop up in your mind?"

She blinked and thought for a while before answering. "Um. Is 'no' the right answer?" I slapped my forehead and groan. What made me think a spoiled brat, ms. I'm-too-popular, makeup freak, snobby princess, and an air head like her would possibly understand a plain, smart, normal, not-so- cool, outgoing, and a bookworm like me? "Just tell me the questions already, stop stalling Mel, I'm a very busy girl you know?"

I sighed and once again turned my gaze toward her. "If you're realizing nothing so far, then my guess is that you aren't going to be much of a help for me."

"Cut the crap Mel, I'm getting really irritated, are you going to tell me or not? Because if you aren't planning to, I might as well go, we're wasting precious time here.

"Alright, I'll tell you." I said sighing heavily. "You see, after they told me all that about my talents, I was just asking myself, what is my true talent?" I looked over my sister carefully.

She raised an eyebrow at me. "That's your problem?" I nodded sheepishly as she burst out laughing. "This is some kind of a joke right? You call that a problem?"

"Well, yah." I said immediately wishing I hadn't told her about this.

"Foolish girl, all of them are your true talent, isn't that kind of obvious?"

I fell back and lied on my bed and shot her a death glare. "I told you, you would never understand me!"

"Whatever kid." My sister said as she stood up and walked out of my room stretching. "I was only trying to help, if you can't accept the truth, then that's your problem." She reasoned.

I buried my head in the pillow, which Lisa had hit me with earlier and closed my eyes. Breathing softly, I drifted off into an unexpected, deep sleep.

After I'm not sure how long, I was woken up by a hideous scream downstairs; I could've sworn the whole house shook. I rubbed my eyes sleepily and stumbled down the stairs and into the dining room. I looked around expecting to see a burglar or a quickly spreading fire licking the air and eating away my house, only to be disappointed by seeing my parents covering their ears and Lisa panicking. "What's going on?" I asked still feeling tired. "Who screamed? What time is it? Where's the big emergency? Is everyone all right?"

"It's eight o clock dear." My mother replied soothingly. "There's no emergency and everyone's fine-"

"No, everyone is not fine!" My sister interrupted with her horrid screech. "I can't believe this!" She exclaimed. Her gaze slowly shifted to me, I suddenly felt very uncomfortable, especially when she pointed her index finger at me with her eyes flashing dangerously. "Did you take it Melly? Well? Did you?" She accused.

I looked at her, trembling before answering her question. "Did I take what?" I questioned. "And it's not nice to point, Lisa." I said with all the courage I had.

"Whatever, just answer my question you little monster, did you take it or not? Because you'd better give it back to me before I murder you little sis!"

I shuddered at that thought. "Ok. How am I suppose to know what I took if I don't even know what you're referring to?" I informed trying to calm her down.

"You know better than that you little rat, it's my favourite, beautiful, special, strawberry-scented, glittery, elegant, expensive, wonderful, marvelous, favored, superb, fancy, fragile, gleaming, shimmering, smooth, attractive, unique, flashy, attention-catcher, enchanting pink lip gloss!"

I almost fell. All those descriptive words plus all that trouble just for a lip-gloss? My lips twitched looking at my sister making a fool out of herself. "I seem to remember, Lisa, that you've left it in your blue jean jacket, the one with patterns on the sleeves." I bellowed.

"Oh really? I did?" Lisa laughed hysterically and walked away with her head high.

I ignored her idiotic annoyance and turned to my dad who is sitting on a chair by the dining table. "Dad," I drop down on a chair beside him.

"Yes Mel?"

"I was wondering, can a person have more than one true talent?" I spoke trying a different approach this time. "I mean as in more than one, you know," I said trying to find the right words to use. "And I mean a true talent, not just any talent or anything you're simply good at, but a 'real' talent."

"Why sure Melly, I don't see why not, most people have more than one, uh. True talent. Why do you ask?" He questioned looking at me oddly.

I sighed. So even dad agrees with everyone else, and I though he's the only person in the world who can understand me? "Oh nothing." I replied. "I'm going to bed now ok dad? Goodnight!"

"Goodnight Melly."

So that was my story. And here I am, in my room trying hard to sleep, but it seems I'm too tensed to be sleeping right now.

Well, do you have any suggestions? No? What? You think my question is stupid as well? Darn, I shouldn't have told you. Oh well, let the story continue anyways.

I stared at the ceiling and thought of nothing but confusion. It would've been a lot easier if I could just simply accept the fact that having multi-talents is normal, then, my problems will be all over.

That's it! I jumped out of my bed from excitement and turned on the lights. I've been trying to figure out the wrong problem! All this time, I was looking for someone who can tell me what my true talent is when my real problem should've been trying to accept the simple little fact, 'having multi-talents is not a crime'. How stupid of me!

Ok, so far so good, now all I need is some kind of inspiration for me to accept that fact. But how?

I entered the school grumpily the next morning, hardly saying 'hi' to everyone who greeted me happily although with slight envy in their voice.

I sighed heavily while continuing to stare at the ground. I then, felt myself bumping into someone, "sorry", I spoke lamely before walking away not even bothering to see whom that person was. All of a sudden, that person grabbed my wrist pulling me to a halt. I turned around to see Mimi looking at me sadly.

"Melly, are you alright? You've never ignored me before." She murmured quietly frowning.

"Uh, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings," I apologize quickly, "I just didn't know it was you, that's all."

She loosened her grasp around my wrist as her frown deepens. "That's ok." She replied softly not really meaning it. "But I need to speak to you at lunch time today alright?"

I nodded before walking away leaving her standing alone in the middle of the hallway, I felt so bad.

Morning passed painfully and slowly, when the bell finally rang, I walked happily out the classroom waiting patiently for Mimi by her locker.

"You want to talk to me?" I asked when Mimi came skipping towards me.

She forced a little smile. "Yah, I'm. a little worried about you." She replied carefully.

"Sure, let's talk outside."

We each put away our stuff and walked out the school building into the schoolyard. Sitting India-style on the grass around the soccer field, we looked at each other feeling awkward.

"So, what's up?" I asked trying to start a conversation.

"What's up? You're asking me what's up? Mel, listen, if it's about that stupid talent thing yesterday, then fine, I'll pick one, your true talent is writing, happy?"

"No, no, no, no, no!" I protested shaking my head violently. "It's not that, really. I found out it's possible to have more than one talent last night, my problem now is trying to force myself to accept that fact."

Mimi shook her head disapprovingly at me. "Melly, you're hopeless."

"Hey!" I cried. "What's that suppose to mean?"

She giggled. "Nothing, but I'll help you to accept your little fact, ok?"

"Yep." I nodded happily giving her one of my brightest smiles to show my appreciation for her help.

"It's actually not as complicated as you think it is." She began while looking into the clear sky. "For example, a cat."

I looked at her and blinked innocently. What does a cat have to do with talents? Hmm. I wonder.

"You can have more than one cat right?" She continued. "And that's when you call them cats. Think of your talents that way, you found a 'talent' on the street and adopted it, but on the same day, you found more 'talents' and loved them all, so you took all of them with you. You had one talent before, now you have four talents." She struggled trying to find the right word to use. "The word talent itself is only a 'thing', but the quantity is for you to decide."

My eyes sparkled. "Yah. You're right!" I stood up and danced around. "Thank you so much Mimi!" I exclaimed pulling her into a tight hug. "I'll see you in the afternoon!" I cried waving to her and ran all the way home with a smile plastered on my face.

My mood changed drastically in the afternoon, I ran into the school and yelled out loud, "Hello everybody!" I felt so relieved my problems are solved! I can enjoy my life again! I thought happily.

"Hey Melly." A few people replied while the others looked at me like I'm some kind of a wacko.

I walked down the hall still grinning, out of nowhere, Candy appeared and walked beside me eyeing me suspiciously. "You over that?" She questioned shifting her gaze to glance at the ceiling and the floor.

My grin spread even wider. "Duh! What do you think? Wait a minute, how did you know about it anyways? I thought the only person I told was Mimi?"

"Mimi was the only person you told." She answered. "But Mimi told me."

"What?" My eyes widened. "I told her not to tell anyone!" I whined.

"Chill out." Candy looked at me though the top of her eyelids while brushing her bangs aside. It's not like I'm going to tell anyone, you should trust me more, we have been friend for over 5 years.

I blushed crimson. "I'm sorry." I apologized.

She smiled evilly. "No problem, but did I ever mention to you that you have a real talent in acting? You're an unbelievably amazing actress."

I smirked with the same evil knowing what she's up to. "Why thank you."

She was shocked. "You really are over that, you weren't lying." She stated. "No more confusion and misunderstanding about the meaning of 'true talent'?"

I shook my head. "Nope, thanks to Mimi."

Candy smiled. "Thank goodness! I though you'd never get over it!"

"What made you say that?"

"Well, knowing you Melly, anything's possible."

I grinned mysteriously. "Maybe." I replied as we headed to our next class.

By: Jun Zhang 7B