Picking the Wallflower

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Chapter 20

The next day, I lay in bed for a long time. Sometime during the morning, a thought occurred to me. My parents hadn’t contacted me for my birthday. This wasn’t new; it wasn’t like they cared about me. There was any number of reasons why they may have forgotten. Those were not important. What was important was keeping a level head.

I was checking my notifications as I headed down the stairs into the kitchen. Over a thousand people had commented, and it seemed they had resorted to bickering amongst themselves. While this was normal, what wasn’t normal was the level of derision. There was a clear line between those who felt there was nothing wrong with my ‘gift’, and those who were angry at what they had seen.

Not angry enough to stop it, mind you. But angry. A humourless laugh escaped me. They were only upset because their daily gossip blog was going to end, not because somebody had been systematically victimised for as long as they had known her.

I dithered about the house, not really interested in any sort of activities. It seemed that, now I was free from having to hide and run and cower, I was lost. Had that really been my whole life? Just jumping from one bit of cover to the next, hoping that cracking sound wasn’t audible over the cackles of laughter.

Precisely twenty-four hours after I submitted my blog post, I deleted my entire page. It was technically archived, but it was lost to those who didn’t know where to look. I was done with that. I was still lost, but I was done.

Through that week, and into the next, I slept. A lot. I slept more than I ever had. I exercised, and slept. As I look back, I realise it was a form of detox. I slept less as the second week wore on, and I knew I was reaching a form of equilibrium. None of the teachers had contacted me, not even to ask for textbooks to be returned. That struck me as odd, until the Monday of the third week.

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