Have you ever seen a teenage girl standing on the fringes of the crowd? She silently watches the goings on of her peers with unwavering eyes, but never engages anyone herself. She keeps her arms crossed, as if to put up a barrier of protection between herself and the outgoing, talkative people around her. Her clothing isn't flashy or bright, because she likes to keep her style simple, with subdued color tones and quickly fixed hair. Makeup, if she wears any, is subtle, because she doesn't want to stand out. She avoids walking through groups and gives people ample space. The edges of the room are her refuge, where she can see anyone approaching and feels unobtrusive and unnoticed. If you approach her and try to engage her in conversation, she avoids looking directly into your face, her eyes darting around the room and to the floor. She is awkward when speaking, trailing of at the end of her sentences as if to say as little as possible. The act of asking questions is frightening to her, as she thinks that people will not see her questions as curiosity but as nosiness. Afraid of being shunned, she doesn't give her personal opinion in group discussions and instead talks of opinions her mother, her sister, her father, have asserted. She has a single person not of her family that she speaks of, her best and only good friend. She is a girl afraid to be herself, afraid of exclusion even as she excludes herself. She is a loner.


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