Jaclyn Gregory, known as the 'Goth Girl' shares her story. More characters to come.
What must you know about me? I have hair the color of tar, and the same repulsive quality. It’s thick, long, and has bangs that hang over my eyebrows.
I once told my mom that I wanted to grow my bangs out and she was delighted. That is, until I kept hanging them in front of my eyes. “Now Jaclyn, why would you want to cover your eyes like that, sweetie?” I’d shrugged it off and complied with the next haircut. However, I never gave her an answer, because I knew it would hurt her.
My mother was the one person I had vowed never to hurt. Self-inflicted wounds were fine, and I could care less about my peers. My mother was a different story altogether. She’s all I have.
I’m not going to beat around the bush: my father was a rapist. My mother was his victim and I am the result of his illicit activity. My mother never speaks off him. He’s a thing of the past and I’m here now and that’s that. I beg to differ. That is why I wanted to cover my electric blues. My mother has hazel irises.
At school, I am known as the ‘Goth girl’. Although no one has actually called me that to my face, they cannot hide it from me. I don’t exactly understand why they do call me that. I’m not super pale (though maybe it’s my black hair that enhances that quality) and I avoid dark clothes. Honesty, I prefer wearing white.
I’m not the brightest crayon in the box and teachers tend to be overly judgmental of me. I sit in the back row, do not raise my hand, and people-watch.
People watching is a most enjoyable hobby. My biggest aspiration is to be a photographer---and once I save up enough money, maybe that dream can become a small reality.
I am not sure how I appear on the outside but I would be willing to bet all my poker finds that it is not my true self.
Raised by the most fabulous mother on the planet, I am truly cool, calm, and collected. I know what I want and I go for it. It is a skill I learned from Lola Gregory, my mom.
Each time I bring it up, she tells me not to feel guilty; that I am a silver lining to the cloud my dad created. It was her aspiration to get famous the Hollywood way. Obviously, that would not have worked out with a kid at fifteen, no diploma, and absolutely no family support. Since then, she has been my greatest inspiration to reach for the stars and not let anything stand between me and total happiness.
But something always has. An obstacle, insurmountable, has forever obscured my view of the world. Perhaps this is the reasoning behind the teasing I received: that the obstacle prevents so much. I have forever been regarded as a loner and perhaps I set myself up for that reputation, but I don’t like it. Everyone is different. Not even Megan McGuiness’s Minions are clones of each other. They were all brought up differently; they all have some secret hobby or interest; they all have something special about them that they are afraid to share for fear that it will set them apart from the others.
Megan McGuiness is the (well-over-used) queen bee. She and Megan’s Minions rule the school. Their “hive” consists of Megan, Lizzie Maldonado, Claudia Watts, Nicole Glover, and Kristie Holman. In truth, Kristie bounces in and out of the Hive. As an observer, I have noticed whenever something goes wrong, Megan/Lizzie/Claudia/Nicole end up blaming Kristie and she is “suspended” from Hive events. It’s a horrible practice. That’s why I left the Hive.
The summer before seventh grade, Megan and Claudia invited me to hang out with them. I am still pondering why they chose me because it is usually an honor to be a Hive invitee. At the beginning of my Hive Era, I was having the greatest time of my life! Movies, shopping, sleepovers; growing up with a single mom left no time for “girl stuff”, and girl friends? No way Jose! Before, I was just as popular as the second floor girl’s bathroom---the one that smells like the boy’s gym shorts after basketball and has random flooding of the toilets. Then something changed. I had never been a glass-half-empty type of girl, but I began to notice some of the Queen Bee’s “stings”. The way she snapped at Kristie, it reminded me of the way Pastor Joe spoke to mom when she lit a cigarette in church. And when Lizzie wore a one-piece swimsuit because she didn’t feel comfortable in a bikini, Megan took it as a federal offense. Sometimes, just by the way Megan McGuiness folded her arms, I half-expected FBI agents to form a tight circle around her, protecting her as they would the President’s daughter. After the episode with Lizzie, I decided to leave. I left Megan a not of my registration and she responded in a “to be expected” fashion. In short, I was out, never to be welcomed back, don’t talk to Megan/Lizzie/Claudia/Nicole/Kristie, and if I ever told anyone that I was once a Bee, they would flat-out deny it. Also, watch my back.
I would not have admitted it at the time, but Megan McGuiness and her Minions scared me to hell and back. But could I tell anyone that? No, it was my sole duty to remain strong for my mother. I wasn’t afraid of anything. Megan who?