www.whyville.net Sep 2, 2013 Weekly Issue

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No One Knows Who I Am

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Author's Note: It's a vignette, based off the character Sally from the book "House on Mango Street".

The last bell of the school day rings shakily through my ears, rattling my clip-on earrings. My heart drops down to the bottom of my abdomen, knowing that I have to start pretending soon. Every day at school I'm told how beautiful I am, how great of a personality I have, how they are jealous of my seemingly perfect life. If only those people knew who I really am.

I practically drag my feet out of the classroom towards my locker, rapidly throwing items into my backpack. A crunching sound is heard from within my backpack, and I hold back the droplets of tears forming inside of my bright blue oval eyes. The bathroom is in my sight, the next spot on my long list of places to go to complete the transformation. My steps slow near the entrance, staring into the silent, empty bathroom. I stand at the front of the long line of sinks, pulling tissues out of my backpack. Slowly, I close my eyes, wiping off the makeup that I put on in this same place earlier today before anyone else could witness it. Taking a step back, my eyes travel down my body in the reflection of the water-splattered mirror, making sure to fix anything that my father would not approve of. Smoothing out the creases of my uniform plaid skirt and pulling it down closer to my bruised knees, fully buttoning my midnight blue polo shirt while making it looser instead of the tight-fitting that it appears to be when I tuck it securely into my skirt. The girl I now am blankly looking at isn't who I am. She isn't me.

Leaving the bathroom, I walk down the long stairs and out of one of the hidden doors on the rundown part of the building, a place where no one will be able to see me. After appearing at the beginning of the cracked unused sidewalk, I take off my tall shiny black heels that I had been wearing for the whole day since I came to school earlier than anyone else and take out the plastic bag that contained plain black flats that produced flaming blisters onto my already aching feet.

My father expects me to be perfect. He says it's following our religion. I can't dress the way normal girls do, I can't use makeup, I can't even talk to someone outside of school. Those rules get broken every single day, yet the feelings of shame and disgrace just don't seem to come to my anymore. His consequences used to be once in a while for disobeying his orders, but now it's almost as if he chooses to create those colorful explosions on my soft olive skin for fun.

I finally approach the front porch of my light brown milk chocolate colored house, as my fake persona has finally been fully plastered onto myself, knowing that it will relieve some of the pain that he causes. The smell of smoke from freshly lit cigarettes fills the room as I open the creaky door, and there's already beer bottles rolling around at the edge of my shoes. Continuing to hold back my tears, I close the door, knowing that I'm trapped once again.

My feeling of torment between the constant reminder that I'm never going to be good enough and having to choose between who I am and who my father wants me to be is tearing me limb from limb, slowly leaving an empty hole where my life should like, leaving me lifeless, but still living. There's only one sentence that could sum up my chaotic miserable life that I cannot escape from. No one knows who I really am.


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