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What You Don't See
There he is. He’s so perfect. Why can’t he just look over---???
My desperate thought is cut short by some rude woman who pushes me aside to get by. I snap back at her, and then quickly quiet myself because now a lot of people are looking at me. I sigh. Whatever. As long as he didn’t know what I had done. How I had snapped at the woman so rudely, though she deserved it. The sidewalk was empty except for people who were trying to get to work. I just got out of school, so that’s not what I’m doing. I was following him, with his perfection. Making sure he didn’t know I was behind him. Making sure he didn’t know I existed. He didn’t realize it, but he had a girl who loved him beyond compare, a girl who knew his every action, his every... Well, no I don’t know his thoughts, but anyway---
The same old woman who had earlier pushed me was turning back, because some jerk told her the things I said when she left. She turned with a bright red face, fat, dimpled fists clenched and teeth grinding.
“You inexperienced, unhealthy, weird, stalkerish, big mouthed little girl!!!!” She bounded at me, a fist raised threateningly, than I realized it wasn’t raised, she was really about to punch me. I laughed. I twirled and dodged from the way, like those anime people did. I jumped and a graceful leap into the road, twirling and dancing before a car could hit me.
Everyone who was there in those sidewalks and people who happened to be looking blinked the snow out of their eyes and brushed the snow from their hair as if they couldn’t believe what they just saw. Then the old woman began to gasp and she pointed her finger.
“Evil! Treachery! Devil worship!” she cried and shrieked and waddaled as close as she could to a run away. I laughed and continued my ballet dancing. Silly old woman, I simply did ballet! I must’ve look strange, unfit and ungraceful in my big coat and black jeans, but I tried. I laughed and dusted the snow off the top of my hat. I tried to blink the snow away, then decided against it, since everyone knows that snow on eyelashes look fantastic and romantic and stuff in the movies. I looked through the now crowed sidewalks for my man, and found him walking towards the corner, which was the way towards the animal shelter.
Of course! I wanted to scream. He is such a kind soul, he made me feel warm! He had just been donating to an orphanage, which I was about to do before the old woman bashed into me. I had to follow him, with his perfect decisions and generosity....
Okay, I’ll admit, I haven’t had my routinely session of thinking of his perfection... I’ll have to start it now. His name, to my shock, is Pol. Not Paul, Pol. Such a hideous name for such a …. a gentle, kind person.....
Anyone could say he wasn’t exactly Prince Charming, heck, mean, senseless people could go as far to say he’s ugly, but if you see a person for only their flaws, they you’ll never truly be happy. I learned that a long time ago, but I’m alone on that....
He has typical brown hair, naturally messy, but average. His eyes are smaller, but so gorgeous and stunning you’d died of shock, their only brown! They catch the light so stunningly you’d think they were a God’s eyes. He has naturally shaped eyebrows. Average sized eyelashes. He has a slightly tanner complexion than most German/Irish people, you could say he was a little tiny bit Hispanic. Oh his is so amazingly... Ohhhh......
The reason I’m in love with him? His personality. Flaws there aren’t as carefully measured by most people, because people judge on looks, not on personalities, like me. Let’s just say, I’m really, really disappointed. If you met everyone the way I do, you would be too. I suppose my views could make someone MORE skeptical....
Anyway, he’s super generous. He goes to orphanages and donates everyday. He visits pet centers and and animals shelters and adopts pets and donates to them too. I don’t know if he has any money left. He’s so kind and generous...
Unfortunately, these acts of kindness and generosity as his secret actions. He was popular at school. Everyone else sees his body and his tanner-than-most-white-people-skin and acne-less face. I didn’t mention, because I knew you’d care more and be more prejudice, but he has a nice body, muscular and all. To me, it’s a flaw. Whatever he wants, it’s his body, but I would rather him be happy for himself, not for others.
In school he’s like everyone else, though he doesn’t swear or use vulgarity or obscene thoughts, but other than that, he’s the same. A jerk when certain people are around, flirting with CUTE girls, not average-looking ones. But I have followed him, and I knew from his staring out on the sunsets and sketches of nature and writings of poems, he’s amazing mentally.
I wish everyone thought the way I did. But I know it’d be so much less enjoyable. What I really need is for someone else to see my world my way, to, for a moment, erase what they’ve always thought and see MY thoughts about things instead. I wish, I wish, I HOPE....
That Pol is the one.
I gotta make this quick, I thought and rushed around the corner. Mom … Mom would be waiting. So would Jack and Becka.... I had to get home. They were waiting. Right, I said that already. Hopefully Manny won’t be home yet...
I look at my watch, then at the animal shelter in front of me. It’s made of brick, lime staining the sides, some weeds and ivy growing like parasites in between the bricks. Do I have time? I wondered again, once again glancing at my watch. Could I give some of my time to this shelter? It definitely needs it better than me....But..... Human selfishness tore at me to just walk away, begged me to ignore the crumbling place that echoed poverty and sadness. But I decided that helping this place redeem it’s once gentle meaning and purpose, saving the lives of abandoned and abused animals, was worth the drunken beating from Manny. I crossed the street and took the easy steps up the little porch stairs and opened the door to the shelter.
A black girl, my age, looked up at me with somber, makeup glossed eyelids. The makeup was glitter blue, by the way. She fixed the collar on her uniform while saying sarcastically,
“Can I help you?”. Dogs whimpered in the back. I pulled out my wallet.
“I would like to make a donation. How’s twenty dollars sound?” I pulled the bill from my wallet and put it in the plastic little donation box that was nailed to the blue counter. Her brown eyes widened a little, her glitter not only doing a glimmering dance, but falling in speck down her cheeks like tears of diamonds. She didn’t notice. A feeling I have never gotten before made me feel dizzy and and forced my lungs to wheeze and my chest to get this swollen-feeling.
“Thank you, sir.” She stuttered out, glancing at the donation through the hazy plastic, then back at me with those dark eyes. Her hair was in a pony tail. She wore the uniform with a strange finesse, and I couldn’t help but laugh mentally. I searched for her name tag and found it easily, Isabelle Kijourne, but I had to hear her luscious voice again.
“What’s your name?” I asked, doing my best to hide anything I thought. I did well. She lowered her eyes so she could look up and give me this dazzling effect only girls knew how to do. She gave me a full, gleaming teeth smile and then answered my question.
“Bell. Bella Kaykay.” She said with a laugh then rolled her eyes, the glitter, this time not only falling down her cheeks, but doing that sparkling dance again. A portable light show. She was beautiful naturally, it was easy to see. Maybe this was worth my time. Watching her half-smile floated the thought: Definitely worth it.
I bid her goodbye and left for home. Manny would be very angry.
The moment he left, I called up my girl Haley and told her all about this mystery guy. I didn’t know his name, or, really, anything about him, but he was HOT. HOT. WITH A CAPITAL ‘H’! I ‘eee’!’d and ‘Ohhhh Yeah...”’d with Haley. I needed to know more about him. Was this love?
Funny how he met me at this piece of cr*p job. All I do all day is stand here, give people funny looks through the glass doors, stare at the donation box as if money would magically appear in it, and call my man, Ricky. Okay, yes, I’m in a relationship, yes, we’re gonna be engaged in a month, (Our birthdays are in the same month! When we’re eighteen in a month, engaged!!! How cute is dat?!) but I don’t know. This guy was cuter than my stupid Ricky. And he kept staring at my face, not eyein’ my body like Ricky does. In fact, Ricky is so disrespectful and immature towards me, I don’t wanna live with THAT my whole life. I dunno.. I told My girl Haley this, but she be like,
“Nooo girl, Ricky’s yo man, you need to stick wit him. I set ya’ll up. If you guys don’t get married like you guys always say’d, Imma have to say I was wrong, and I’m never wrong!” I told her ‘Whatever’ and hung up before she could say anything. Honestly, she got nooo taste.
I just realized that the guy could be dating. It also occur’t to me he goes to a different high school. That was the first time I ever saw him.
It was almost closing time. Five minutes before I closed up, some white girl walked in. She was skinny, or so you could tell from her face. She was a little skittish, wouldn’t look me in the eye. She had a-little-longer-than-should-length hair, a light blonde. She blushed at me, and that made me roll my eyes.
“Can I help you?” I said sarcastically, the same way I did to the mystery guy. She blushed harder and seemed to find something fascinating on the floor.
“I’d like to make... make a donation.” Her eyes flashed to my name tag. Her big coat was covered light in snow, along with her eyelashes, hat, and hair. Her black jeans were big for some reason. She murmured,
“How about twenty dollars, Bella Kaykay?” She dug into her back pocket for something while I gaped in shock. How did this girl know my slang nickname? Did he tell her? Was she his girlfriend?
Shoot! I thought. Then I thought more. Why would he tell her my name? Wha-? That’s so...
Who does that?
Whatever, leave it to the white girls to be super smart, I think.
This white girl pulls out two twenties, to my shock, and then disposes them into the stupid plastic box.
She turns and opens the door, letting flurries of snow lash in and slaps of white-cold-hot wind hurry in. She turns her head slightly, as if she hears something.
“By the way....” she murmurs again, and I’m just thinking, LEAVE WHITE GIRL! I DON’T CARE ABOUT WHATEVER YOU NEED OR WANT!!! She chuckles as if she heard something funny then smiles.
“My name is Erica. Tell Pol hello for me.” she walks out. Once again, she’s left me with a jaw slack in shock. Erica. Erica was my little sister’s name... only...
My little sister’s dead.
When I get home, Manny is angrier than I thought. He’s already slapped Mom and when I enter he turns to me from Mom, who’s on the floor crying.
“Why you so late?!!!” He exclaims. He turns and reveals he’d been clenching a belt. He bends it then snaps it, a look of intimidation. I ran past him, a risky move. He allows me to, however. I cross the doorway to the kitchen and placed my earnings on the table. Twenty five dollars, since its the end of the week, and because I donated twenty. I get a dollar an hour and I work eight hours. I work five days a week. I work at a restaurant as the guy who cleans at the end of the day. A janitor, I guess.
Manny glances furiously at my salary.
“You get forty-five! Why is ‘dere only twen’y five!!!! Where fifteen of ‘em dolla’s go?!!!” he hollered. Manny was my Mom’s boyfriend. He was black. My little brother, Jack, and sissy Beck are halvies. My mom is white, like me, except, also like me, tan, as if she was half black and half white. She was pretty, all right.
“Look, I didn’t need it as much as-” he tackled me to the ground and started using his belt.
* * *
I felt very confident leaving the hole-in-the-wall shelter. you see, my name isn’t Erica, it’s Redaerdnim, pronounced ‘REE-day-erd-nim’, which is Mindreader backwards. Of course, I don’t read minds, I only retrieve what I want to. That’s my secret name. My official name is Nimsaj, pronounced ‘Nim-sij’, almost like ‘Nim-sage’ except the ‘a’ is low, and you say it like an ‘e’. I knew what her fear was. She missed her little sister.... Erica, who died mysteriously.. Suspected kidnapping.... Found dead in woods. No finger prints. No evidence of who killed her. But she had been strangled.
I choose not to herar Pol’s thoughts. I’ve decided to allow him privacy.
I lay conflicted on Pol’s front porch. I loved him and I wanted him to meet me, but would I satisfy his interests? Would I make him love me like I do him? Finally, my nerves murdered, I decide to allow him to finally meet me.
I knock on the door. Only now do I notice the screams and the closed curtains. I ignore them. I remember he has a two month-year-old little brother. I keep knocking, but alarm rises that, when I scope the inside of his house for thoughts, its empty other than three. I check for the cars. Both of them were there. I knock again. When nobody answers and the screams of horror continue, I open the door. The hinges were broken, so the whole thing falls.
There’s blood splattered on the walls. Pol was broken on the ground. Blood and alcohol were heavy in the air. His mom was just as broken as Pol. I look up and a 6 foot five inch tall man hovered above his couch. He smirks.