by Mackenzie G
A short preview of a story about a girl who struggles with social issues
| I love spending my days with Maribel. She makes me feel free. Like nothing else matters. She shows me to not care about the consequences and to just live like I would die at the end of the night.
Maribel herself taught this lesson to everyone who had the pleasure of meeting her. Including the most shallow, unlikely people. Like me. Before I met her and fell into the pull of kindness and patience that constantly surrounded her I was just another lost cause. One that they tried to help but refused to be helped. Prodding and pressuring me to open up made me retract back more than I was to begin with. Society is nothing but oblivious on how to reveal the feelings of a child.
Everyone has a story, rather it be the short one of a baby or a long one of a World War veteran. My story is one one of finding happiness in the sadness. A story of going outside my comfort zone and letting my true self shine through. My name is Misty Evans, and this is the story of me.
"Has something been bothering you?", Mrs. Stevens asks.
No, I’ve just been having a bad day, like everyday, I bitterly retort in my mind.
"No, I'm fine. Perfect, actually!" A fake smile spreads across my face to emphasize the lie. Mrs. Stevens frowns slightly, obviously not buying a word of what I said. Crap.
"Miss Evans, I can't help if you won't let me. You're being very difficult to work with. Please, I am begging you, tell me what's wrong and how I can help."
Eyes wide and pleading, her face is very close to mine. I awkwardly scoot back in the uncomfortable pink chair. Its once velvety surface is now stiff and stained, years of use obvious in the exterior.
My head tilts down, and I close my eyes. Sharp pinpricks on the inner corner of my eyes warn me of tears. Mrs. Stevens cocks her head at me, compassion and pity evident on her face.
"Please let me help you." The words are quieter than before, however seem loud in the silence.
"There isn't anything wrong, so there's nothing to help. So I'd suggest you quit wasting your time." I stand quickly, and walk hurriedly toward the exit. As my fingertips touch the cool metal of the door handle, Mrs. Stevens says something under her breath, seeming as though she's speaking to herself.
"I'll be here when you're ready. Like always."
This comment makes my blood boil. I fiercely turn the handle and push forward. The door creaks on its hinges, however I hardly notice as this form of exiting has become routine. When I'm ready, I think angrily, What's that supposed to mean? What am I not ready for?
For the past year, I have been forced to go sit in Mrs. Stevens office for a class period. Sooner or later they would have to give up trying to make me happy. Originally, I did want to be happy. I longed for it. Being happy would fix all my problems, right? Every single one? Give me the friends I don’t have, the confidence I need for my everyday life? It didn’t. Nothing did and nothing ever will. Mrs. Stevens says that it will get better and I’ll be happy again. I don’t think she understands how much I’ve heard that. And how much I wish it were true.
The shuffling of my feet is the only sound in the hallway as I walked to my locker. This was the best time to think about things. When everyone else was in class and I’m the only person out. It’s a beautiful silence, where you can hear distant chatter and there’s a ringing in your ears. I reach my destination and habit takes over as I spin the dial and my lock pops open. As I open the thin metal door, a bell rings and space gets flooded with people almost instantly.
My body is pushed and thrown different directions by the tide of students rushing to leave the school. Suddenly, a particularly hard shove sends my books tumbling from my hands to the floor. I sigh loud enough for everyone around me to hear, including a girl with a head full of coppery red curls that bounce as she crouches to help collect my books.
“Thanks,” I mumble quietly when we both stand and she gives me my textbooks.
“No problem!” The girl chirps. She flashes me as smile that displays two rows of brace adorned teeth. Blue thread looped in and out of the braces, causing a contrast between the silver metal.
“I’m Maribel.” Once again, a smile appears on her face. Not sure what she expects me to do with this information, I just stand awkwardly beside her.
“And you are..?” She says.
“Oh, I’m Misty. Evans. I’m Misty Evans.” My response is choppy and awkward but it’s out.
“Well, it was wonderful meeting you Misty. See you around!” And she strolls off with a bounce in her walk. I don’t remember the last time someone was that kind to me. Or happy. I shove my books into the simple blue bag that has served as my backpack for the last four years. I slam my locker and shove through the crowd of students until finally reaching the door.
What did she do to be so happy? Is there a trick or some secret she's in on?
I reach the door and step outside into the bitter December winds. Students mill about in the courtyard, chattering amongst themselves. The area itself is relatively flat and boring, parts of it bordered by black metal fencing that has survived since the schools days as a retirement home. They used this small expanse of land for the patients to garden on, the principal had once told us. I imagine it was once beautiful and full of colors. Red of roses, sprinkles of yellow from tulips. The smells mixing together to create the unique perfume of nature. But now it's bleak and grey and cold and filled with troubled kids who don't appreciate the former glory it most likely previously had.
I walk along the sidewalk that runs parallel to the street where busses and cars come to claim their children. My head is down and my feet make small indentations in the little dusting of snow that covered the ground. An empty black metal bench comes into view. It sits right at the end of the school, with its back against the caramel colored stone, facing the street. My pace picks up to try and reach it before someone else sits first. I ignore the cold that is biting into my skin. My eyes look down at my shuffling feet to avoid the crisp wind that blows in from right side.
I finally reach the bench and I sit down. The cold creeps through my thin jeans and a small shiver erupts in my shoulders.