Some of my friends believe in aliens.
Sometimes I think I may be one.
People stare at me as if I don’t belong.
I am isolated from my father as if I were a danger to him or he to me.
Some of my friends say I’m odd.
I isolate myself most of the time, not because I’m afraid or shy, but because I do not see the point of my existence.
There are poets in the world, amazing wordsmiths. Singers, rappers, dancers, clowns, even puppeteers.
But what am I?
What sense does my life make?
I’ve been told that God challenges us by putting obstacles in our paths because he knows that we can overcome them.
But I don’t think I can overcome my challenges.
My mother has battled cancer since I was a child.
My father, once my best friend, is a drug addict, who has been in and out of prison.
For years, I’ve been bullied at school and I am struggling to find the person I wish to become.
This past November as I stepped off a curb near Venice High School I was hit by a car, flung over its hood and landed on Wade Avenue. I missed the last four weeks of the fall semester, bed-ridden, unable to dress myself.
I do not cope well with death or life
Like my father, I find comfort in a pipe or a rolled up piece of paper. I guess he would be proud.
Second period, English class. My teacher demands we bring a book of our own choosing to read.
I do not carry books. All I carry in my backpack is a lighter, rolling papers, a pipe and my makeup bag.
I stared at the clock, uninterested in what my teacher had to say.
One day I thought about ditching his class. But Jasmine, my older sister, told me she’d tell our mom. So, I went to Jasmine’s locker and grabbed a book. She’s a book nerd. Always has something to read.
I went to English class. My teacher asked where my book was. I showed him the novel I had just heisted from my sister, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.
I read, just to please him. But after a few pages I was hooked.
Day after day in English class, I read and realized I had much in common with Eleanor, the main character. She was a girl isolated from others because of her looks and how she dressed and held herself.
Sound familiar? I thought.
Eleanor had a hard time at home but found comfort with a boy. Not a typical jock or know-it-all, but a genuine boy who liked her as she was. A boy who overlooked her appearance because “There’s just something about her.”
After a few days of discovering this novel, I found myself going to English class every day as a reason to read more.
And as a reason to stay sober.
I read an amazing book about a young girl who had it rough but finds ways to cope with her difficulties because, well, it could have been worse.
Literature changed the way I think. And feel.
Literature gives me a purpose.
Which I thought I would never have.
By Madison Abercrombie/Venice High School
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