Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Standing out

She stood by her bedroom window, peeking out at the little crowd outside. There were the kids in the neighborhood who hung out everyday. But she wasn't looking for them. She was looking for her, that new girl who'd moved in. She probably didn't know anyone in here. Would she go out to join them?

Too many tree leaves blocked her view from the window; she could only hear their loud laughter. Swivelling from where she stood, she caught a glimpse of long curly hair. No. That couldn't be. The curly haired head turned sideways to reveal a cheerful face. Her face. So the new girl joined them. And made friends with them, and now laughed with them too. Something she was unable to do despite living in the same neighborhood for the past three years.

How did she do that? That girl's been here for barely 2 days! She looked on from the window, feeling hopelessly left out of all the fun. It wasn't like she never tried. She did go out when she first moved to the place. She did play a little with them, but she still wasn't considered to be in the group. That was okay, because she was new to the place. She assumed time would patch things up. Only that it didn't.

She stopped going out and stayed indoors with her books. Who needed outdoor friends when she could sit home reading lovely books! And so life was good for a long time. Until she showed up, Miss Curly hair. She was her same age, and in her same school. But obviously not the same as her, because Miss Curly could joke with them, while she couldn't. Miss Curly could go out and not worry about feeling lonely, but she couldn't.

That was it. She decided to stop pitying herself. Donning on her shoes, she swaggered her way to the group, looked straight at Miss Curly and said "Hi. We haven't met have we?" She expected an awkward silence; the rest of the group to give a blank stare. But none of it happened. "No we haven't" replied Miss Curly pleasantly, "Hi!"

Slowly, she blended in. People came and asked her where she had been in the past few years and she answered them patiently. She went out with them now, and played with them too. In two years she and Curly had become very close friends. But something was still amiss. She still wasn't in the group. She still felt left out.

With time, she stopped going out once again, back to square one. She had stuff to do indoors, and no time to idle about for hours with the group. They called her the nerd who studied all the time. They claimed the poor girl was confined to her home. But she wasn't. She'd just stopped forcing herself to change her ways to fit in.

Each time she'd returned from the group, there was this uncomfortable hollowness. But every time she chose to stay home with all that was dear to her, she felt fulfilled. It was only a matter of what she chose to do.

She decided to embrace the introvert that she was. It didn't matter if she wasn't like everybody else. She'd accepted who she was, and had fallen in love with it too. And that was all that mattered.

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