I write when I can. Usually the moments when writing hurts the most are the moments when it is the most necessary.
Written By: Ella
March 14, 2015
I step into the auditorium, ukulele tucked under one arm, my fingers jammed in the pocket of my jeans. God, they make these pockets too small. Everyone knows it, everyone hates it, but they're still too small.
The stage is backlit, white lights illuminating black curtains. The red velvet seats are mostly empty, stretching from one end of the vast room to the other, but a group of students--the performers--has congregated in the first few rows, laughing and chatting amongst themselves. Ms. Loren paces back and forth across the floor, tapping the end of her pen against her clipboard and muttering to herself. She's a mutterer. Some people just are.
I walk uncertainly down the aisle, my steps small and hesitant on the carpet. My eyes flicker from face to face. The rest of the performers all have someone to talk to. No, not someone--everyone. How is it that every single person in the schoolwide talent show knows each other? How can they be so friendly? How can they notice everyone...but me?
I slide into a chair a few rows back. No one glances my way. No one moves to greet me as I lay my ukulele down on the floor, as I tuck my feet under the chair and feel myself sink into the cushion. I wish May were here. She's my rock, my anchor, my awkward partner-in-crime. But she's busy. She's always busy. And sometimes that means I'm on my own.
Sometimes it seems like I'm always on my own. I'm the puzzle piece that no one can place. The shard of glass that doesn't fit quite right into the mosaic. I hover around the edges, trying to find somewhere I can connect, somewhere where I can be engaged and perky instead of quirky and awkward.
I'm not supposed to want to be part of the crowd. I'm not supposed to want to just be another fish in the school, following the leader, never seeking my own path. But there's a reason fish travel together. Because when they divert from the group, they get eaten.
Being alone isn't the same as being free.