Patty Parnell. Pale, pathetic, plopping, pig. I gots fiery hair and they’re just jealous of it. Whatso different bout a girl with red hair? I die each day and try to lift myself the next. It ain’t so easy, but what else can a poor soul like me do? My mama told me it ain’t right to fling me so...What’s that word she uses? Kallosly. Them kids just got hard hearts and no love. I don’t like school much. Mama said it’s only temporary. She says school ain’t everyone’s strong hand and that’s ok. I dunno why she so good tempered with me. But she always be remindin me, if I try, I got good chances. It don’t hurt to try. There’s this place called college and mama sure does talk bout it. My fingers shake and belly aches when she says that. I ain’t ready for no such thing. Imma be a big girl bout it and do as mama says. She said those asian girls will be smarter than me. And those pretty girls won’t be so sugarey like they are on the outside.
***Papa promised me he will see me on Sunday but every week, it seem like it never gonna happen. You see, he always says he will come and sometimes he does! But then when it happens, he acts like everything is fine and normal. We a “happy family”. He acts like he don’t know we have no money in the bank. He the reason for our situation. Mama tries to talk to him but he keeps pushin her away. He talks bout school and I just feel ashamed. It takes papa awhile to remember I has trouble with learning.
***Ms. Lanny is like the sun on a stormy day. She makes me smile without an ounce of effort. When them kids spit on me, she talk down to them like they dogs. The girls get mad at me and ball them fists after school. I can hear them breathing on my neck when I run away. I have a few grazes on my legs. A lil bloody but I wash it off. Sometimes, the red keeps runnin down my calf and I feel like I’m swimmin in blood, guts. I try to tell the pretty and “cool” (it suppose to be cold I think), girls to stop bullyin me. They just keep on screaming in my face and laughing. Even when they know I am sad, they make fun more. It fills me with a very bad anger, until I screaming too. It makes my brain hurt and I wanna explode but them brush me off like a fly. Like I ain’t there and so it happen almost every day.
***THEY HURT MAG. HE SAID HE WOULDN’T TOUCH HER. These tears just pour like crazy, and mama told me I gotta stiffen up. They taste like salt, and I don even like salt!! Today is the worse day of my entire sixteen years. These boys and girls don listen to me! I been frowning all day but there ain’t a single person giving a rat’s ass! Mama’s gone for the day, she said she’ll be back tomorrow night and I don’t know what to do. That’s why I eating some yummy chips. Even my favorite pop tarts ain’t gon make this better... Mag is mine and no one else’s! There ain’t gon be no more cuddles. She always brightened my day and was the one thing I knew was mine and would never leave. People may go but Mag is here to stay. I saw the hurtin in her eyes when he grabbed her by the throat. Her poor fur was soakin in red.
***I asked God and I asked Mama and Ms. Lanny, why?!! I told ‘em this hatin’ ain’t kind so why is it on our planet? God made me and all these other human beans and if he could control this madness maybe we would have some kind of heaven. A place with rivers of ichor. That’s a new vocab: the blood of them greek gods. Sounds pretty cool, eh? Where they ain’t animal cruelty or bombs. I pray almost every night, sometimes I ball my eyes out. I don’t wanna and I don’t want no hatred. How come papa ain’t comin back? How come I ain’t a lucky one? I just don’t get God. If he has the power to make those halo people, what are all these devils doing here where I stand? We’re drownin in this mess. Helpless scrabblin for something to hold on to but I just get dragged with everyone. It’s hellish.
***I wish there’s some sunny things on the horizon. Because all I see is darkness. Day by day these bullies don’t stop. They don’t care bout my feelings. School piles up and I am so confused. No one is here to really help me. I gotta go through this alone. Ms. Lanny said discomfort is a strong word but I feel exactly that. It suffocates me. These days, I get attacks from devils where my body ain’t itself. I’m screaming n yelling on the inside but it don’t come out outside. Outside, I’m shakin and scared outta my wits. Humanity just ain’t carin. Mama tries to hold me down but I am angry. My heart is bursting like no tomorrow. There ain’t no time to wait!! I’ve had enough of this and I don’t wanna live no dull life.
***Things are settling down a bit. I learn to live with my life and try not to think bout these devils too much. Sometimes, it is better to relax yo mind. Just be patient. Mama said it is a good quality to be mature bout problems. I don’t know, it is hard to control my anger. So I listen and try to deal with this shit. It ain’t all cupcakes and smiles, I just look out fo a blessing.
***Today went hunky dory! All day I thought something would bring me down, but I was in high cotton. I got the best deal anyone could set their eyes on. While walkin down Halls Mill Road, I noticed Jan was havin a yard sale. I went to have a peek around and my eyes lit up when I saw the book section. The first thing I ever did saw was the math textbook. It was glossy in the front and everything. I mean Ms. Lanny had already helped me in the maths but I’d never brought such a fine n new book home! My heart almost jumped right outta my chest from the holy sight for sore eyes. I couldn’t wait to use the hell outta it. Jan let me take it and I could barely hold my smiles. Mama would be excited by the news!! I clutched the maths book with them meaty, pasty hands. I struggled to go up the hill to home. After what seem like half an hour, I was happy to see the nice lemon color of my house ahead.
***It has been six months since I first found that blessed math book. I must have been extra good, because the next day, Jan came over to give me her English book that she never used. I almost had a heart attack at my luck! These books were not cheap, and they were flung like litter right under my nose. I have learned alotta new stuff. Who knew the human brain could handle crazy information!! Ms. Lanny says I’m getting good very fast in school. I’ll say it can be tough to try. Sometime I hit myself because of the problems I get with reading the books. It ain’t easy, let me tell ya. I get stuck on one English word or math problem for hours. It’s a sad thing because I feel like failing but if I do, I just feel worst. But after a bit, I gets used to it and understand more quick. I “persevere” because I know the more I practice, the smarter I can be. I do not wanna be a waste fo the world. I wanna be important. I got alotta love in my heart wanting to be loved. And I got alotta ideas fo the world. Ms. Lanny has been helpin me with college. I like Central Alabama Community College the best.
***I have enrolled myself in the Central Alabama Community College and waitin for my acceptance. It is a big step but I feel grown up. If life has these amazin opportunities, I should be grateful and try. These past few months have been a roller coaster. Everythin is slowly getting good. The usual mean gals back off a bit more. I learned to tell them no more of this crap. I don’t know what I been doin this whole time. I so much bigga then them in size but I was just hiding from them because I was scared. Now they realize I ain’t just some ragdoll, someone to beat up. I think they know I am strong now. In this short time, I really do feel like a woman now. I knew I would skin my knees and get some heartbreak, but I wanted to be strong now. With every scar, I would be better and learn.
***It is the last week of high school. Hard to believe, I guess I been waiting a long time fo this moment. It broke my heart to say farewell to Ms. Lanny. She gave me a big hug and I told her we could see each other again. Alotta kids I never even talk to before acted like we be friends. I don’t push em away, I follow. Some I exchanged emails with and they say we should catch up. I feel like this is all a new place with new kind kids.
***I’m beamin like a toddler. I received my letter that lets me go! I still got one more month to go before the semester but so darn tootin excited. I been getting straight C’s! Mama threw me a lil graduation party with some family friends and I was suprised to see some kids from school. Not just the ones who bullied me but kind ones. Didn’t feel like talking to em, I still ain’t so sociable. I think one of them was Mary and the other was Johnny but I did not know the last one. Jumpin outta the comfort zone is a big deal but all you gotta do is try and it does feel good. Mary was super kind to me, sayin congratulations fo my acheivement. We talked fo a hour! We laughed a lot and she gave me alotta tips fo college. Johnny not so much, but he smiled at me. I have high hopes fo what is to come. Just gotta find the butterflies floatin’ in the water before they die.