Do you ever feel as if your life isn't reality? As if you're being watched by some unknown force just waiting for you to break? Do you ever feel the need to be strong all the time no matter how hard the problem is? Well, I did. And this is my story. A little hint for you. The unknown force isn't some alien space thing. It's a real thing that happens everyday. Do you know what it is?
So, it all started like this. My best friend Kellee was describing how horrible her day had gone in the second class period of the day. Talk about over exaggerating. I sighed and rolled my eyes while leaning on my locker. Oh, right. My name is Liz George. I'm fourteen and in my freshman year of high school. Anyway, back to my life. Kellee was still telling me about how Nick kept poking her and annoying her. I desperately wanted to tell her to shut up. Too bad that would surprise her too much. Finally she stopped ranting. "So what do you think I should do, Liz?"
"Huh?" My name struck me out of daydreaming. "Sorry, Kell, I wasn't listening. I didn't get a lot of sleep last night."
"Let me guess. Last minute homework?" Kellee asked.
I smiled. "You know me too well. And don't tell Nick. He'll just tease me about it for the rest of the day."
"Why would I even want to talk to him?" Kellee said with a disgusted look on her face. "See you later, Liz. I gotta get to algebra."
"Have fun!" I yelled to her back. I guess I should probably tell you more about me than my name and age. So, I guess I am one of the most diverse students in my grade just with my attitude. I mean, I'm not trying to brag or anything, but my attitude is what most people don't expect about me at all. Say, if I just met you, for example. At first I would be super shy and avoid you just because I don't want to make a fool of myself. So, you will probably have to make the first move. Then, after a week or so, you will start gaining my trust, and I will be gaining yours. After a while, we will be best friends. We'll do everything together. After that, you will feel compelled to tell me everything. All your crushes, secrets, life problems, and blah blah blah. And you'll trust me to keep them. Now, the problem is, is that I will have all of your secrets, everything you tell me, stored inside my head. Never getting out of there. Except, that I will never tell anyone, which is a good thing. The bad thing is that you will never want to listen to my problems, too busy wrapped up in all of your problems.
So now I will have approximately twenty peoples personal problems stored inside my head. Not including mine. So I have about...twenty close friends that tell me everything. I have to be physically and emotionally able to support over twenty people's problems. And not break down. A bit of a challenge isn't it? I could tell you more right now, but someone's trying to get in.
"Hello? Liz, are you okay?" Just my luck. It's one of the most popular kids in my grade. Patrick Glogovsky. I looked around and saw that I was on the floor, surrounded by all of my stuff. Even better.
"Oh, right sorry, Patrick," I said shyly. Now entering my shy mode.
"No, I'm the one that should be sorry. I knocked you over when you are like a foot shorter than me," Thanks, Patrick for mentioning how short I am. "Not to mention you were clearly in your thinking mode." Yup, wait what? I start staring at him. My friends barely even know when I'm in my thinking mode and the most popular guy in 9th grade does? Okay, the world is clearly messed up. "Liz, are you okay? You're staring at me." And I've freaked him out.
"Sorry, I was just..thinking," I said. No dip, Sherlock.
"Penny for your thoughts?" He asked. Okay, seriously? Is this opposite day? Am I in a parallel universe? Did he hit his head? Why the hell is he talking to me?"
"I was just...Yeah, I don't really remember what I was thinking," I said. Stupid shyness! I saw him stare at me in concern. His bright blue eyes were piercing. It was so intense that I lowered my head.
"Liar," I look up quickly. How did he know?
"What?" Okay, I know that I'm not an open book. I have shields for this reason! So people can't see the real me!
"You're lying. You never forget what you're thinking. Everything you think is trapped inside your mind never to escape. You were just thinking about why a guy like me would help someone like you." He paused. I was shocked. So either he can read minds, he's perceptive about others feelings, or I'm an open book. "The truth is, is that I don't know why I'm helping you. Maybe it's because you looked so lost even as you were in your own little world."
I was staring at him. I could feel my walls slipping up around me. An attempt to protect my sensitive side from people that could hurt me. People I don't trust. People like him. "Look, Patrick, I obviously don't know what you are talking about. I'm tired. I stayed up late last night and didn't get a lot of sleep so if you could just leave me alone that would be great." As I gathered up my stuff I was hoping he would take the hint and leave. Sadly, when I looked up, he was still there. "You know you can leave now? I have to get to class."
"Right, well, I know that you have a free period right now. I also know that I do too. Let's walk," Patrick seemed unaffected by my coldness. Almost as if he was expecting it.
"I don't understand," I said. "I'm not like you. You could walk away right now and no feelings would be hurt. Why do you stay?" Wow, I just realized how old-fashioned that sounded. Also how weak that sounded. Great, my walls already fell to someone who I shouldn't trust.
"Liz, your locker has been two down from me for three consecutive years now. I have seen you talk to your friends. I have seen you be a loner. I have seen all of your attitudes. I know that you get shy when I'm hanging out with my friends by my locker because you don't want to be noticed. I know that when Nick or Logan are around you are relieved and annoyed at the same time. I know that when another one of your friends who isn't even up to your level on the popularity chain when you are having a bad day you are friendly enough be to civil. I notice that you never seem to be mad or said, unless you are alone." The bluntness is his words scared me. They scared me because they were true. Right now, in this predicament, I could've asked him anything. But one thing stuck out in my mind.
"What do you mean they aren't up to my level on the popularity chain?"
Patrick questioned at my question. I don't get what's so funny though. "Oh, Liz, you're so clueless about yourself."
I am not!" I yelled. How dare he accuse me of something that isn't... Okay, that is true.
Once again, Patrick's eyes because so intense that I had to lower my gaze again. "You're clueless about yourself because you don't realize how popular you could be. You are smart, friendly, and aren't totally ugly. And there are two things holding you back. You and your friends. Your confidence reaches an all time high when you are at your best. Yet when it drops, you are left in a shy state with protective walls." Then he paused. I looked up. He was staring at me. I was scared. He is basically a total stranger to me yet he knew everything about me without trying. This is one of those times when my confidence drops, because I'm not as strong as I act. I must've been shaking because I felt something warm slip around my shoulders. His sweatshirt. I look up and see that now he's wearing a short sleeved t-shirt. "Liz, I honestly don't know why I'm telling you this now, but I've known it for a while."
"I get that. I just don't know how you figured this out. I mean, my friends don't know about this, and I-I never talk to you and you do. I-It's just bizarre," I stutter out. Damn, me. I stutter almost everyday. Just then the bell rings. I know that any minute now the hallways are going to be crowded with students. I take off Patrick's sweatshirt and hand it to him. He gives me a look and hesitantly takes it. "Look, Patrick, in about thirty seconds, this hallway is going to be flooded with students. Let's just pretend this never happened. You hang out with your friends and I'll hang out with mine. I won't talk to you, and you don't talk to me. Just like before. Got it?" He nodded. "Good." I turned around to walk to my next class when he stopped me.
"Hey, do you wanna sit with me at lunch today?" Seriously, didn't I just go over this?
I turned around again. "No, for a couple of reasons. One, most of your friends don't really like me. Two, I used to have a crush on one of your best friends." Crap, I wasn't supposed to say that. Just keep going like everything is fine. "Three, that's not pretending like this never happened."
"Fine, but when you're finally tired of being treated like a diary, tell me. I can probably get some of my friends to lay off," Aw, that's sweet, but no.
I smile slightly. "Thanks, I might just do that." Not. I turn around and start walking to German. Thankfully, with no interruptions. As I sit down in my desk I must look funny because Sarah, another one of my friends stares at me.
"Hey, Liz. How was your free period? Are you okay? Did anything happen?" God, she's like a mother.
"Oh, nothing happened. Well, I did trip again," Okay, a little white lie won't hurt her.
Then Herr. Gorden walks in. "Good morning, Class. I hope you all had a awesome weekend. So, today I would like to welcome a student who I'm sure most of you know. He decided to move from Spanish to German." By this point I was already bored. Here I was, doodling in my notebook when I hear, "Patrick, go sit in the empty chair by Liz."
Sure enough, when I look up there's the blue eyes that mystified me this morning. Are you serious though? I saw Sarah shoot me a pitiful look. I didn't need her pity. Then a now familiar voice interrupted my thoughts. "Hey, Liz. Long time no see."
I look over and see Patrick smirking at me. No longer the boy who knew all of my problems. Now he was the jerk who I hated with a passion. "Shut up, Patrick."
"Ohh, feisty are we?" Yep, definitely the jerk who I hated with a passion. Then he looked around. Once he was sure no one was staring at us he whispered, "The look is back." Then he leaned back in his seat like nothing was wrong. I stared at him until one of Patrick's friends, Kyle came up and said, "Liz, you already had a crush on Jared," Thanks, Kyle. Just bring up that painful reminder why don't ya. "Don't you think that you should stop liking guys who are too good for you? I mean, I hear that Nick's single."
Great. Not only did Kyle mention my crush from last year, but he also made it clear that I'm a nobody. As if I didn't already realize that. I turned away. I could feel tears in my eyes. I knew that they had to go away though. I never cried. I just had to get out of here. "Herr Gorden? Darf Ich Bitte dur Toilette gehen? (Mr. Gorden? May I go the bathroom)."
Since I have always been a good student in his class I figured he would let me go. "Yes, Liz. Hurry though." Ha! I was right. I rushed out of my seat and into the hallway. Luckily for me the bathrooms were all the way down at the other end of the hall. Then I heard footsteps behind me. I thought that it was someone from another class so I was surprised when I heard my name.
"Liz." I decided to ignore the voice. I could feel the tears dripping down my face. I didn't want to make it known that I could actually cry. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder. "I'm sorry, Liz." I turned around and saw who else but Patrick. Just that one simple sentence made me lose it. I started sobbing. I ripped myself out of Patrick''s grasp and ran to the girl's bathroom.
I honestly don't care how many people complain to me today, but I highly doubt that their day could be as worse as mine already has been.