We sat on the red velvet carpet to be read a story. I was going to sit down next to my friends when two girls pushed me aside and I sat behind by myself. Am I the problem?
I raised my hand to answer a problem in the first grade. My teacher looked over and yelled, "Put your hand down, you talk too much." A teacher passing by pulled me out into the hallway to hug and comfort me because she told me I did nothing wrong. I replied, "Am I the problem?"
A teacher told us to stop talking in class. A classmate tried talking to me and terrified I'd get caught, I wrote a note saying I didn't want to talk because I don't want us to get in trouble. I crumpled the note up afterward to discard later, but it wound up on the floor. A student took notice and the teacher yelled, "Who wrote that?" I got pulled out into the hallway to later be screamed at relentlessly. I began to explain myself but she cut me off to tell me I am a bad person who deserves to go to detention for not following rules. She later told me to not tell my parents about what she had said to me and that she'll be nice and not punish me. At home crying to my parents, I asked, "Am I the problem?"
Text messages came and went on my new slider phone with a keyboard. New attention I was not used to began to soften my heart. Conversations began to play in person and I started to smile wider. However, a few girls didn't like that there was attention not being paid to them. So they intervened. Newer, better, and prettier came into play, and I was pushed to the back of the stage. No new notifications on my phone to be seen. I whispered to myself staring at the blank screen, "Am I the problem?"
While drawing in my notebook, I began to plug in my earphones to listen to new songs on my iPod nano in my history class. "Katie, why are you so short?" "Have you always had buck teeth like that?" "You are like a midget, let's call you midge." "Your feet are freakishly tiny, what size are you?" "You know, you should wear a bigger bra than that. It's noticeable and even _______ is talking about it." I turned around and stared until their noise got dimmer. A tear fell onto the page where I was writing the words, "Am I the problem?"
*Kick, kick, kick.*
"You're eavesdropping aren't you?" "You don't talk much, but I know you do talk huh." "She's probably telling all her friends our conversations." "You still can hear us with those earphone on, don't you?" "Guys, have you seen her chest? She has HUGE tits." I whipped my head around to be shown laughter in my face. I glared around the room, seeing if anyone would speak up. Everyone lowered their head and I swung myself back around, choking back tears brimming my eyes. I replugged in my earphones. I lowered my head and listen to the song that sang, "Am I the problem?"
Furious typing is exchanged with instantaneous beeping and buzzing. We were fighting again and my patience began to wear thin. A blue bubble of text showed up that along the lines read, "If it wasn't for me, none of those friends would have invited you anywhere or liked you. I'm the only reason you have friends in the first place."
But wait, that isn't true
...am I really the problem?
"Katie, were you invited to the party?" No, I didn't hear of one." "Oh, I assumed you were. Everyone your friends with is going so I guess you're the only one."
"We knew she'd be sad because you'd be there. So we didn't invite you. Sorry. Find somewhere else."
"Sorry, there's someone else."
"You're not as great as I thought you'd be. I paid for dinner and this is the return I get?"
"You have massive tits omg what size are you?! That looks insane."
"You're not a good person."
"If you'd only lose that weight of yours. You'd be perfect. You have a pretty face, but I saw how you were eating back there. You need to cut back and try to lose weight. Then, guys would like you."
"Would you recommend surgery? I want to get it done and I want your advice."
"You have buck teeth" morphed into "I love your smile."
"You are so freakishly short" morphed into "You are the cutest height, I love it."
"Wow, I really like your outfit" wasn't a joking compliment to ridicule or make fun. It morphed into genuinity.
"You are the someone I want to talk to."
"Katie, I want to invite you to the party and I really hope you can make it."
"Katie you look really good, wear that outfit."
"You look healthy."
From grade school, middle school, and high school.
The answer to the questions I have been asking myself throughout my whole life.
"Am I the problem?"
Is "no." I wasn't the problem.