The Smile that Changed my Mind

I take off my bag and leave it outside the restroom at school. Suddenly, all my emotions were overwhelming me like some high tide ready to devour me. I walk in the restroom full of girls who put on makeup and laugh and talk.

I lock myself in the restroom stall. I don’t sit down. I just grab toilet paper and cry as my thoughts wounded my heart.

No one likes me.

My best friend moved away.

My other best friend is in a different school.

I can’t bear the thought of talking to my childhood friend because I’m scared if I get too close to him, I’ll lose him like I do to all my other friends. I promised never to lose another friend, but what happened? M. moved away to another state. V. is in a school that my school considers the enemy and a ridiculous school, even scoffing at the mere mention of its name. And L….

Oh, L., why did I ever stop talking to you…? I nearly fell in love with you and you to me, but I was so scared of you ever abandoning me that I… I left you.

And my grades! Everyone expects me to be some star student based on my race, based on my studious actions, based on everything and anything they hold against me. I want to have fun–no, I want to speak to someone, anyone! I miss L., V., and M.. I need them so much.

I used to think I could be alone–to be forgotten and obscure. I thought that doing that would get me out of people’s way. But here I am, crying in the restroom, begging for a friend.

I stifle my cries with the toilet paper and dry my tears.

I almost walk out until I realize—

Suicide.

To kill myself would solve all my problems? Would it? No… No–NO! I don’t want to leave the people who love me, but I don’t want to be in pain… No, that’s greedy. I’m too greedy.

I push those thoughts away, store them in a chest, and lock it with a key. It’s too terrible to think about.

I walk out, flushing the toilet so no one would be suspicious, and one of my classmates sees me. “Hi, Rocky!” she says with glee.

“Hey…” I reply silently before walking out quickly.

I grab my bag and sit down in class, maybe even three minutes before the class starts.

“Hi,” I hear.

I look to my left–some guy is talking to me?

“Hey,” I reply.

“Wazzyourname?”

“What?”

“Wazz your name?”

My eyebrows knit together as I repeat, confused, “What?”

The guy pauses, takes a breath, and repeats, “What’s your name?”

“Oh–oh,” I stammer, embarrassed that I couldn’t get his question right through my head. “Y–yeah. I’m Rocky.”

“Rocky?”

“Yeah.”

He smiles, and it stabs my heart like a knife. “Well, I’m D..”

I can’t help but talk more. I was just contemplating suicide a couple minutes ago, and I can’t help but continue talking. (I always talk a lot when I’m nervous). “Wow, I’ll try to remember that. I’m sorry if I don’t get it right. It’s really hard for me to remember names and faces.”

“Oh, really?”

Why am I talking?

“Yeah, there was one time where I saw one of my childhood friends in summer, and he was like, ‘Hey, I didn’t know you were here!’ and I was just like… ‘What?’

“He just said, ‘Come on, don’t you remember me?’

“I was just like, ‘Uh… no.'”

D. is smiling again, and I feel slightly happy.

“He was just like, ‘You seriously don’t remember me? You talked to me for a long time!!’

” ‘When?’

” ‘We’ve known each other since we were little!!’ he screams.

D. laughs.

“Seriously, D., I probably won’t remember your name, so… sorry, ha…” I say, laughing just in response to his own laugh.

“Nah, that’s okay. How did you do in the last test?” he asks.

“Oh, a hundred,” I reply quickly.

His eyes open wide. “What? What? Are you serious?”

I smile; his bewilderment is my amusement. “Yeah. You?”

He sighs. “No, I got a bad grade…” he mutters. “I don’t know how you do it.”

The conversation went on for a while. Now, every time I see D., he says my name and says hello.

Every time I feel bad or sad, I just remember smiling. Try it out for yourself if you have a bad day–it works.

I was really going through some emotional junk back then. I’m alright now, if that’s what you’re wondering. I recently saw my friend from California and eat lunch with my other friend and her friends at the other school also. L. is… I don’t know. I don’t think about him so much anymore. I’ve made a lot of friends since then too.

I also hate the fact that I thought about committing suicide–I mean, seriously? Nothing is worth taking your life away! So on my sixteenth birthday, I wished never to think of doing such a thing ever again. Life is precious.


Just seeing someone smile–anyone–made me realize that life is good, in fact, it’s pretty awesome. So, I don’t know how you are today, but I hope you have a good day and smile! 😀

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