Nobody liked Tory. They really didn’t. Boys treated her like the plague, and all of her would-be friends had found someone more prestigious to hang with.
So what, right? She never wanted to be cool or popular; she was just fine having no friends. It was lonely sometimes, but she had a lot of time to herself, time to think and read. But, it was as if life couldn’t leave her well enough alone. No, instead she had to be the butt of every joke. They made fun of her, saying she liked the Special-Ed boy, Daniel, the one that held his lips funny and drooled on himself. All because she sat next to him once.
“Oh!” she kicked her dresser and pulled at her hair, “I’m so stupid!” She stormed into the bathroom. Why do I always have to give them a reason? Why do they always have to torture me? Why can’t I ever say anything back? I always freeze up! I hate myself.
Why couldn’t they just go away?
She didn’t want to go to school tomorrow. In fact, she didn’t want to go back ever. Not because she hated school, contrarily, she liked school. She did great in all of her classes, probably because she buried herself in them.
But they wouldn’t go away.
They would be there tomorrow to haunt her. “Hey Tory, do you know what make-up is?”
They would be there the day after that to call her names. “You’re such a loser, Tory.”
They would be there another day, pointing and laughing at her from across the hall. “Look at those horrid shoes. Nice shoes, Tory, they go with your big dumb glasses.”
She would always sit alone at the lunch table, surrounded by empty chairs. If she had just one friend, one person who accepted her for who she really was, who she was when she took down her walls. But no one would ever get that close again, the last time she let down her walls, she found herself crying in an empty bathroom stall.
She looked in the mirror. She hated the way she looked. Though not bothered by any point in particular, she hated her face, her hair; she hated being that person in the mirror. That person that could never stand up for herself when she needed to. That person that everyone would gather around to give a good kick. Her anger burned; she wanted to kick that girl, too. Anything, anything to get away from being her again tomorrow.
She opened the mirror, examining the shelves with tearful eyes: a full bottle of sleeping pills.
Tory pulled out a nearly empty bottle of Children’s Tylenol. She dumped two tablets in her hand. The kids were coming down with something; they both had fevers. She closed the mirror and looked at her gentle womanly face. A face that represented all she believed in and who she really was.
Soon, a few wrinkles of age would appear, marking the end of the height of her days of beauty. But, that didn’t matter; her kids and husband loved her regardless. Every day was a blessing; thank the heavens she never took those pills. It was a wonderful day when she looked in that mirror and found someone who could accept her.