by Fallen Angel
Why am I different?
| Standing near the edge of the bridge, I peered over a rusted railing, and see people, both men and women, laughing and enjoying their time in the park. To most others, this would put a smile on their face, and would walk over there, probably to greet someone they know. Unlike everybody else, when I see the little kids running around with their parents and their friends, I feel unwanted.
I sighed. I took a step away from the railings, stuffed my hands in the pockets of my old sweatshirt, and walked away, the opposite direction of the park. I found myself walking along the side of an abandoned road, away from others.
It is not that I don’t like people, it’s that people don’t like me. They do not bother to take their time to think about what I’m going through. I’m just too different.
I remember a time when I was growing up when I was so naïve of the world, and how I could hang out with others and not worry about it. Then things changed. Kids stopped hanging around with me.
They had all said, “I’m sorry, but my parents want me to stop being around you.” Some of them meant what they said, others didn’t. None of them had been considered close friends of mine, so it didn’t hurt as much, but it still hurt. I remember when it started.
“Mommy,” I had started saying, “how come my none of my friends hang around me anymore?”
My mom had divorced, and I remember seeing her stop in her tracks, visibly flinching. I think she had become a few shades paler, but she answered in a calm, controlled voice.
“Because they’re different,” she said, and then quickly changed the subject. I noticed this, but I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know.
“Friends,” I said, scoffing at the absurdity while snapping out of my reminiscence, and started walking again. I didn’t even notice that I had stopped. The word was like poison to me; I don’t notice what was wrong until it was too late, and then it would start to kill me from the inside out.
Some stranger ran into me, and sneered, “Watch where you’re going next time.” He gave me a look of hatred, but I am not surprised. Most people are scared of me, and they act indifferent to disguise the fear in them or pretend to like me. They always did, whether I knew it or not.
“How come everybody ignores me?” I asked my mother, a few months after I started middle school.
“They can’t handle the truth,” she had said, and it confused me.
Even back then, at that age, I was already used to being isolated from everybody. I had started to piece together what my mother was trying to say. I had truly wanted to figure out what was wrong with me. If I had known back then, what I knew now, I would have never tried to figure it out.
The before, when I had taken the same route, I had somehow found myself standing near city hall, and I had noticed that others stood as far away from me as possible. I was already angry, so I snapped.
“What is your problem?” I had demanded. Everything had gone quiet, and the people had looked so scared.
“You are,” a kid had said, trembling. I saw the familiar look in his eyes: pure terror.
I had been fuming inside, but I had allowed myself to put on an emotionless mask. I had slowly walked away, my heels clicking with each step, echoing in the silence. I had a small smirk on my face, as I was thinking about the kid and everybody else who had despised me. The kid was gone this morning. Unfortunately, nobody was surprised.
“Why did somebody tell me that I was better off gone than dead?” I had asked my mother when I came from school. I put my backpack on the table, and stared intently at her, waiting for an answer.
I saw my mother clench her fists and started shaking, but then I realized she was trying to fight back tears. I was shocked to say the least. My mother, the same woman that didn’t even blink when my so-called father hit her every night before the divorce, the same woman that didn’t blink an eye when we were in a huge debt, and the same woman that held her ground when people started threatening me.
“I think its time to tell you the truth,” she said, so quietly that I thought I had imagined it. It was too bad I didn’t.
I was still walking, still stuck in my memories, thinking about how life was so unfair. I still remember what my mother had told me that day because I have to face the same reality every single day of my life until I die, and even past that.
I was in front of the local cemetery, and thought about the rest of the conversation. I remember it as if it was yesterday; I remember crying after, so confused.
I walked toward my mother’s grave, and gave a small smile, a true smile.
“Mom, what do you mean when you say ‘the truth’?” I asked my mom, truly mystified.
She started to me, her back turned so she didn’t look at me.
“Remember when I said you were different from others? I had meant it. You’re different from those children, from me, from everybody in town.”
I was going to say something, but I stopped when she turned around. She looked me straight in the eye and said, ”You’re dead.”
My smile turned even sadder, remembering how confused I was.
“Wh-What do you mean?” I say, bewildered, wanting to deny the fact, but it was futile.
“Your father wanted to hurt me one last time, divorced or not, so he killed you. Somehow you’re still here, but you don’t remember any of it.”
I tried to remember, but I couldn’t.
I remember how I scared I was of myself because I couldn’t deny the truth. My mother had died 24 years ago due to old age, and I was alone. I became a walking corpse.
I turned around, and started walking toward the exit as the sun rose. The rays shined on the gravestone next to my mother’s and on the stone, it had said:
Alice “Alive” Fitzpatrick