The Twelfth Piece: School

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As long as I can remember I was never good at making friends or being able to socially connect with others. I didn’t know how to start a conversation without concluding with a pregnant pause or without panicking to the point where my palms would be drenched in sweat. I never wanted anyone to get to know me, but I didn’t want it to make it obvious that there was something wrong with me, so I tried to find a middle ground.

Elementary was easy. Kids. Kids just talk and make friends, right? Well, I don’t remember making much friends. None, actually. I was moved to three different elementary schools in total.

The memories of my first elementary school are vivid. The only memory that really stands out is when my mother decided to celebrate my birthday during lunch time. My face was red with embarrassment. I wondered why she sent me to school in a red puffy dress. I wasn’t embarrassed because of the cake, the balloons, or even the Happy Birthday songs. I was embarrassed because I didn’t have friends to celebrate it with. My mother brought cakes and cupcakes for a over a dozen kids and I didn’t talk to any of them. The rest of the day seemed eternal. I just wanted to leave. Get away.

My second elementary school was the same. I was only there for a year and pretty much acted as if I didn’t exist. I wouldn’t play with anyone or talk to them unless it was school related. For being almost invisible many things occurred in third grade. For one, I had my first french kiss from a boy my age. He was labeled as the trouble kid. He was always getting in trouble with the teachers and just didn’t care for the world. For some reason, I was attracted to that side of him. My memories of how we started that relationship are hazy. All I remember is the kisses and the day I last saw him. We moved shortly after. I was ready to press the reset button.

My third and last school for my elementary years was different. I started fourth grade the same as any other year. I didn’t really talk to anyone. I was getting good at becoming invisible (almost). Until one day, two girls approached me while I was sitting down at my table in the classroom. They said Hi. I looked up and stuttered the same word. That was the beginning of something I never had before; friendship. Before I met B and M, my days were gray. I didn’t have anything to look forward to in school. I just went because I had to. Being invisible was calming because I didn’t have to waste my energy in trying to be something that I was not. After meeting them, school seemed brighter and filled with colors. When I was with them it was as if all the abuse that was occurring at home was nonexistent; being with them made me forget and I genuinely wanted to get closer to them. They were pure in my eyes and I wanted to cherish that. Even though I still had a shield in front of me, I tried my best in our relationship. My demeanor completely changed for those two years of elementary school.

Until the next phase; middle school.

That’s when my storm truly unraveled.

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