Posted by: Laura A. H. Elliott | June 20, 2010

Answer: Proud [Fact or Fiction?]

There’s this thing I can’t let go of. It’s this comparison of me to this girl I’ll never be. The IT Girl that everyone wants to be friends with, the one who isn’t invisible.

Every morning I put on my Arizona jeans and know they aren’t the True Religions she would wear. And every time I curl my eyelashes I wonder what’s the point as they’re scrawny and clumpy when I coat them with Extralash Maybelline and know hers would be longer, lusher much prettier coated in beautiful, shiny mascara by Mac. And the worst part? Every time I get a crush on a guy, usually an IT Guy, I know she would know the perfect thing to say because Mr. IT would not only see her, unlike myself, but she’d know how to speak his language. The language if IT.

It’s like I have this curse on me that makes me invisible and I’ve been spending all of high school trying to find a cure. No matter what I’ve done in the nearly four years I’ve gone to Blossom Hill High School my IT factor never changes, my invisibility factor remains the only steady, constant in my life. You might want to know why I want IT so bad. Why can’t I just be happy without IT and hang out with my brigade of friends who are equally invisible. There’s two reasons really. The first, besides the fact that I don’t really fit in with them either as they are all in band and I’m not, is because everyone, even the invisible want to feel special in some way. And the second is because I love, or I should say used to love, a challenge. But the real, deep down reason? I decided when I was a Freshman that I didn’t want to sit home, all alone on Senior Prom Night. If that ever happened I’d be invisible for a lifetime.

Two weeks before Senior Prom I gave IT up. When I knew no one would ever ask me. That was the day I went to Aunty Anne’s House of Beauty and asked her to cut my hair in this super-super, short cut and everything changed.

Afterward, when the floor was covered in huge mounds of wiry, auburn fluff, Aunty Anne said, “Abagail, your eyes, they’re, they’re beautiful.” She smiled just like me, the kind of smile like looks like a “v” with kind of crooked teeth we have down low and hide pretty well because only our top ones show.

All I thought about at the time was how much I hated the name Abagail but not as much as Abby, which is what everybody called me and I just knew that the she-I-wanted-to-be would have some way-more exotic name like Cassandra or Veronica and then my Aunt said it again.

“Your eyes are beautiful.” With tears in her own.

I hugged her and thanked her even though I pulled my hoodie up over my head first chance I got when I was out of her sight, waving from her shop window, on my walk home. I ducked my head down. But as I walked through town it was like a hurricane blew around the corner of Garfield and Lincoln, my hoodie flew off and what was left of my hair couldn’t flop in the breeze and I stood face-to-face with Troy Randall. An IT boy. THE IT boy. And his eyes went wide with what I thought was horror at the sight of my hair but when the whirlwind stopped he said, “Abby?”

I just nodded and words wouldn’t leave my lips. IT happened. It finally happened. An IT guy, THE IT guy I had a crush on ever since we worked side-by-side in the middle school kitchen in seventh grade in our cooking class baking pretzels together and I over salted every one, saw me, the invisible one. Troy even made my name sound good. I froze. He’d just left Froman’s Drug Store and I’d just crossed over to the corner when IT happened.

“I like your hair,” he said taking a step closer, staring at me in a way that made it feel like July on a Chicago afternoon in Spring.

I smiled but then decided not to smile, running my fingers across my shorter-then-short bangs, the longest bits of hair on my head. When I said thanks, an ear-to-ear Parker Olsen burst out of the drug store with a teeny white bag in one hand and clutched Troy’s arm with the other. She let the wind blow her long, blonde hair onto Troys shoulder, because that’s what IT Girls do and gave his arm a tug as she walked to the crosswalk. But Troy kept staring at me as long as he could before looking away.

I pulled my hoodie back over my head, and texted my best friend Angel all about it.

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