I looked down at my shoes, silently listening to the gravel crunch beneath my feet, as I walked towards school. Ah, the gravel! The only constant over the years- The years that moved from gleefulness to misery. Maybe today will be different, I thought. Maybe people will be able to see me today. Maybe I can answer a few questions in class and impress Cathy. Maybe she’ll say hi, and give me a smile that’ll make my heart melt. I crushed my hair with my fingers, scrunched my face with shut eyes and cursed myself till I stopped hoping. And then, I felt something missing. The noise was missing. I opened my eyes. The crunching was gone. And now, there was a five-storied, white building in front of me and within me, well, there was dread.
By mid-day, I gave in. The day hadn’t been any different from the others, so far. I answered a question in Mrs. Muller’s class but she just responded with a “Hmm” and Cathy didn’t notice. Maybe it was because I was just plain ugly. Obese and ugly. With permanent acne marks on my face, even Momma seemed to ignore me these days. Maybe the stretch marks on my fat, squishy arms were visible. Maybe that’s what made me invisible. It was high school, after all, and I was just some unpopular dork sitting in a corner- who nobody noticed, who nobody cared about.
A couple of years ago, I had Yelena and Shaz with me. My best-friends. Then. We hung out every day, all the time. Scrabble, Road Rash, Movies, Shopping- yup, we didn’t miss out on a thing. And then, I wasn’t cool enough to hang out with them anymore. Yelena was a rockstar, literally. She sang and played the guitar and pulled off the moody, broody lyricist part quite well too. Everyone loved her. I didn’t, not anymore. Shaz was the hot athlete. He could run, really fast. He was tall and sleek- he had those hardened calves that all the girls drooled over. And of course, when you get more attention than you could ask for, ignoring friends would be the right thing to do, right? Let’s talk about me now. Yeah- me, well, I had nothing.
There were times when I’d try to speak out. Speak out in the virtual world. It was simple. I just had to pick a picture of some random hunk from Google and show myself as him on a popular social networking website and then, well, act like a complete jackass. It’s crazy, the things that girls these days can take for guys who look good. I got complimented many times, for my “looks”. I was pleased.
But I could feel the desperation rising. I couldn’t stand to be this way. I was thinking of a plan- to get noticed. A master plan, with no flaws. A sure shot path to fame. I didn’t deserve this. I was infuriated. I wished for power too. I wished to be the most popular guy in school, and I was ready to give up anything for it. Everyone would know my name someday, I thought. Everyone would love me and respect me, maybe even fear me. I could be the Lord Voldemort in high school. No one would mess with me. No one would disobey my orders. And with these thoughts swirling in my head, Mr.Trunkle’s awfully monotonous lecture was my blessing in disguise. It struck. The plan!
I don’t think you remember me. We were in the same class in the third grade. I know you really well. Not that I’ve been stalking you or anything, but because I remember a day in the third grade. We were in the playground, the two of us. We were just kicking the ball around randomly, you know, like other stupid eight-year olds. I was bragging about my football skills, but I really didn’t have any. You were impressed. You told me that you thought I could become a footballer someday because your mommy told you that anyone could become anything that they wanted to, if they were really good at it. And when we were done, you came over and gave me a hug. I love you, for that day.
You were my first real friend. You said that you could relate to me. You always laughed at my jokes. You called me your bestie. You told me once, that you and I are always going to stand up for each other, no matter what. I’m still waiting. Well, screw you.
You’re the man around here. You have it all, dude. The looks, the body, the attitude. You forgot me, and no, you’re not forgiven. You told me three weeks ago, when I had called you a year later, that you’d call me back, after talking to me for 32 seconds. I don’t think you ever realized how much courage it took for me to pick the phone and dial your number. You probably forgot that I’d even called. But don’t worry, I will hunt you down and kick your ass, very soon.
You don’t know my name. You haven’t seen my face. And even if you have, you don’t remember seeing it. But, I love you. I know a lot of boys tell you that, but this is true love, and I can feel it. I know that you don’t believe me, but that’s okay.
There. I had it all ready. Letters to my “friends”, before the execution of my big plan.
As I was walking towards school next morning, I felt serene. I relished the noise of the gravel. This was the day that would change everything, I thought. I was determined to show myself, and to show myself to each and everyone. I sat through school like any other day, patiently waiting for it to end. I’d already told mommy that I had enrolled for drama workshop in school, and that I would be late. She’d laughed at my face. But I forgive her. It’s only a matter of time before she too, will start to love me again.
This is it, I thought. This is the part where Jacob Warwinter becomes the school’s most popular boy. I could now look down and laugh. I was laughing already. I was laughing at all the morons. I was laughing at the life that I had till now. I could smell popularity coming my way. But as I was having a free fall from the terrace of the school building, the last thing that occurred to me was that- This is a mistake.