The True, Real, Actual Me

A girl hides in the back of the class all by herself
Alone. Quiet. Silent.
She keeps her head down and looks not around,
Just stares at her desk, waiting for class to start.
Oh when will it start?
She feels the eyes drift back to her as they always do
Awaiting a reaction but they get none.
Her stringy blonde hair is a thick shield to her face.
She begins building up her wall.
I will talk to no one,
I will not move around,
I will not draw attention to myself.
She repeats this mantra to herself as though it will do the trick
It hardly works.
How would I know, you ask?
I was the girl.
I hid myself away from the world
Afraid that anyone could ever see
The real me.
I was ugly and boring and uninteresting
I was nothing compared to everyone else.
No one should have to see
That, the real me.
So I hid in the shadows
I skulked in the halls,
Trying impossibly to stay out of the way.
But somehow, relentlessly,
The attention, the eyes, would come back on me.
I never understood why.
Then I wondered and thought and pondered
And finally I found my answer.
The reason why the eyes continued to find me
Was me.
I was the problem and I finally understood.
Coming home from school
I looked in the mirror.
I looked at my hair, my eyes, my face.
Am I pretty?
No.
Am I beautiful?
No.
Am I perfect?
No where near.
Is anyone?
I looked in the mirror once more and I saw
For the first time
Myself.
Not the person people expect me to be
Not the person magazines say I should be
Not the person the world tries to force me to be,
But the true, the real, the actual me.
I saw me
And I liked her.
I decided that I would share myself now.
I pulled back my shield,
Let down my wall
And sat in the front.
I actually talked
I laughed and I cared,
And it was fun.
For a first in my life, I let myself free
And I found
The true, the real, the actual me.
And I liked it.

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