During class, I’ll stare out the window, my view of the sky blocked by an enormous office building. I will suddenly feel horribly claustrophobic – what kind of place is this, that children are denied even the clouds, the clear perfection of the sky? I’m not afraid of anything, I just need to know I can breathe…
The boy sitting next to me will be rapping the desk with his knuckles, fingers curled under his chin. The long-haired, lipsticked girl in front will be writing love song lyrics into the margins of her Biology book, passing colorful, careless notes to a friend a row away. The silence of the class is almost tangible, enveloping and grating on nerves.
The migraine pounding in my temples will be growing stronger, beating in rhythm with the erratic stutters of my heart. My hand will be curled around a highlighter running out of ink, my eyes itching towards the watch on my wrist.
Someone will be in front of the class, writing "osmosis" and "gallbladder" on the blackboard, words students give a passing glance before scrawling onto notebooks. I wonder what they make of the perfection of the system that makes us, the coordinated strokes of each organ working in constant, unfailing sync. I wonder what our teacher, that reprimanding, seemingly-inhuman entity, feels. Thinks. Not in a mean way, in a curious, hoping way. What does he think of his job of instructing the new generation, children who he will one day rely on?
These hours are long, time ticking by like the pulse of blood under a bruise. I entertain myself by writing stories in my head, tales I ultimately forget but adore anyway. Some of them are concerning me, but usually I abandon that. My life is not all that interesting, mostly because I am something of a wallflower. The background of society, awkward in any setting besides a solitary one. Blending in like a piece of furniture, appearing and re-appearing. For me, it’s an art. Because not being looked at means you are free to look as much as you wish.
Sometimes I wish I could be as effervescent as the girl sitting in the middle row of my class, that brave, reckless child. Stating her opinion every which way, towards every willing ear. Able to enter a room and own the space, like a flame the rest are drawn to.
But most of the time I am content with my invisibility. It’s not something I can escape, wriggle out of. Not a cocoon enclosing a more vibrant, extroverted me. It’s something I was born with, along with the shape of my eyes and a penchant for the written word.
I’m not complaining – it is one the best things ever, for a person like me.