Week 6 Word: AVERSION
Word Count 500
By G. Ackman
She sat in the back row, head tilted down, strands of limp, mousy brown hair creating a curtain for her face. She neither spoke nor made eye contact with anyone. The faded sweatshirt she wore told the tale of too many washings, and its frayed sleeves were a testament to the times she pulled it down to cover her hands. The seats around her filled up quickly, yet no one acknowledged her presence. The buzz of voices grew and become even more with only bits of conversations distinguishable – “did you know that”….”and then he texted me, like, twelve times”….”did you read the chapter”….”let me see your math”…”I’m so going to bomb this quiz.”
She did not participate in any of the conversations and gave no sign that she even heard. The teacher walked in, the bell rang, and the homework was collected. The girl sitting in front of her turned to get hers and smirked when she just shook her head “no.” The instructions for the quiz were given and the room became mercifully silent. That was how she went through her whole day, today and tomorrow and the day after that. She repeated the cycle of entrance, back row, head down, silence and isolation over and over again. Lunch found her eating a somewhat squashed peanut butter and jelly sandwich from a brown paper bag. She was sitting at a table with five other students, but their distance from her would have accommodated a small elephant and no one looked at or spoke to her. At the end of the day, she walked home alone, head still down, clutching a tattered notebook and a couple of textbooks to her chest.
In her room at home, she took off the sweatshirt, sat on the end of her bed, and stared in the mirror at herself. She didn’t understand why everyone avoided her. She used to try to talk to them, but it didn’t take many rebuffs before she gave up. Now, she reached for the only thing that could ease the dull ache of loneliness that permeated her soul. It was in this that she could forget this world, its rejections, and its painful non-words.
She took out her notebook and began to write, letting her frustrations and heartaches of the day pour out onto the paper. She created a world where she was in control and where people who mistreated others got what they deserved. The connection between her thoughts and her pencil was a far stronger bond than any she shared with another person and that connection became her very heartbeat. She fell into the paper and barely could pull herself back out of it to go to bed.
Years later, with fourteen best sellers to her name, she gave free creative writing workshops to troubled teens and spoke at high schools across the country. At night though, alone in her house, she still felt the sting of those innumerable slights and reached for her notebook once again.