She's always got a seemingly intellectual book with her. Last I checked it was the original Peter Pan. Today it's Jane Eyre. Her hollow looking face is resting in her hands, her pale skin contrasting against her dark hair and the black frames of her glasses. Her eyes are looking up at the teacher, but I can't tell whether she's listening to his droning voice, or is simply day dreaming.
To everyone else she's invisible. It's easy for them to forget she exists. I've never heard her yell. On the rare occasion that she speaks, her voice is so quiet. Sometimes she'll give off a small laugh with someone she knows well. She's so innocently kind, but maybe that's what happens when you rarely say anything at all.
I wonder if she minds what they think of her, if she's content with being unknown or being seen as shy. Does she ever wish she could join in when she fades into the background while her friends are talking, or is she deliberately not contributing because she doesn't see the point? Does she care about any of those stereo-typical teen things, like formals and parties and friends, or does she genuinely love being separate from it all? If she does, I admire her for that.
She's laughing. It's a dorky laugh, but I can tell she's genuinely happy. She yells something with her slight lisp, rocking back and forth, resuming her laughter. What should be contagious happiness is contained within her table, because no one around the room cares to hear the obvious bout of hilarity coming from them.
The last time I talked to her she loved cats, Pokemon and tic-tacs. She used to be unhesitant to say hello to me, but now she'll sit in silence and watch. I remember the time I showed her a quote stating that of sleep, a social life and good grades, one must always be sacrificed; and she confidently said that she had all three, only to take back the social life a moment later.
I don't know whether she likes being who she is. What's going through her head? Is she more focused on her reputation, or her relationship with her friends? Does she ever crave to be the centre of the group, because sometimes those people who seem content with playing an insignificant role really just want to be recognised. Sometimes I think she's unhappy, but in that moment right there, she seemed like the happiest person in the room.
She just rocked up on the day. Her hair was braided, her heels were low and she had a thick black parka over her comfortable slightly bohemian looking dress. Her entire character screamed that she would work in the hyped up overly well-dressed crowd, no matter what. It had been two weeks of school and hearing nothing from her, and she was back.
She was sitting alone on the steps, watching the swelling crowd of people krumping. She didn't have her phone out, she didn't pretend she was with anyone. She was just there. She made all the foreshadowing angst people felt seem meaningless. She seemed so utterly content and unafraid.
I wonder whether in her mind she's trained herself to do this; if every time a doubtful peer-pressuring thought of conformity enters her brain she pushes it out; if it's all an act of repulsion. I wonder if she cares, or if she's a hell of a good actress. Or maybe her thoughts are simply centred somewhere else. I wonder where she learned to have the courage to dance alone in a crowded room, or where she learned to act like she does.
I wonder if anyone's ever observed me in a beautifully complex moment. What would one of those moments look like?