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The Invisible Ashley Part 1
When I was seven years old I spoke up for the first time while I was outside waiting for the school to open. For some strange reason we all had to wait for what seemed forever for it to open. I never really belonged to any cliques and I didn’t want to. I just wanted to be noticed to have someone listen to what I’m saying. So as I approached the semi popular girls they were already talking about a situation that had happened with someone and how they thought that person was stupid for it.
When I talk I talk very low and soft as to not raise my voice, you would think I would want people to hear me but sometimes I didn’t. So after one of the girls finished what they were saying I felt the urge to say something and when I did everyone went quiet. I got scared and my blood ran cold and words just jumbled out and after that they just continued on. Now that I think back to that I was very brave and that was my first step to breaking out of my own shadow.
As you can probably guess I didn’t have any friends I tried but no one would actually want me around them. I wasn’t gross or anything like that I was just weird to them. I wasn’t ugly either I just wore bifocals and spoke low, I might not have been in the latest fashion but neither were they. Maybe it was because I wasn’t pretty enough to hang out with them. I was prepared to spend the rest of my life alone with no one speaking to me so I created this wall to shield me from anyone talking to me or influencing me. That went on for several years but as I approached high school all of that would change.
So as I approached Weehawken High as a freshman I didn’t have the expectations of wanting the next four years to be memorable or to have any fun. I just wanted to be alone but that was surely the understatement of the year. I was on my way to second period which was art class and this girl in the class approached me and she actually talked to me.
“Hi my name is Kelly Bedford what’s your name”. It was the first time in a while that someone actually asked me my name except of course the teachers but even they didn’t say it with conviction.
“ My name is Ashley Worth” I said while scared to death.
“Hi Ashley I just moved here from Miami, Florida”
“Wow Miami its pretty hot down there isn’t it” I asked.
Kelly just laughed in my face saying of course it is silly like I was some dumb person who didn’t know any better. I was nervous I really didn’t know how to talk to people and of course I knew that it was hot down there my second way of knowing was the way she was dressed. It was September and it was 90 degrees out, and here she was wearing some short shorts with a tube top and her belly showing you could also tell that she spent way too much time in the sun. Her brown hair had a tint of red from the sun and her skin was tanned and burnt at the same time. While I was wearing tan Capri pants and a white t-shirt with “skippers” on and my hair in a bun as usual, I didn’t have the desire for any other hairstyle. I wasn’t raised in some clergy but even I knew that I had to cover up and present myself as a young lady and not as a young adult.
“I’m not sure what the protocol at your last school was Kelly but here in Weehawken High you have to dress appropriately” I sounded like a grown up I know but I was one for following the rules and having no fun.
“Well maybe you want to have sweat stains on your shirt but not me and besides I told the administration that I have this condition that forbids me to fully cover up or else I might faint”
Of course they believed her she was like model beautiful while I was just some geeky person who everyone avoided like the plague.
“Very interesting” I said “ What exactly is the condition” I asked.
“If I told you what it was you wouldn’t believe me anyway”.
Of course I wouldn’t believe her I’ve known her for like five minutes and already I can tell what kind of person she is. When you spend years of your life not talking and just observing you have the sense of what people are and what they can do.
“Then perhaps it would be best if you didn’t tell me” I said jokingly.
“Okay. So what do you do for fun around here?
“Nothing that I know of you might want to ask someone else” I said. I wish I did know that way I could somehow be cool, but no.
Kelly just shrugged her shoulders and we continued to work on our art project. After the class was done we said our goodbyes and I wondered if I would see her again. She seemed like such an interested person. You know how you meet someone, and you just feel that that person seems to have it all. The kind of person who always has fun and doesn’t think about the consequences. I wish I could be that person sometimes, I wouldn’t have to be a goody-two-shoes all the time.
While walking home from the after school program I was losing myself in my own thoughts as usual and I wasn’t really paying attention. All of a sudden I heard someone scream. As I was turning the corner I saw Kelly and this guy, she was struggling to get something out of his hand. I ran to help her and before I could the guy noticed me and pushed Kelly to the floor and ran off. I ran to help Kelly up and she was crying.
“What happened! are you alright!” I exclaimed
“I’m fine! You should mind your own business!” she yelled.
“Hey! I was just trying to help! That is what people do when they see other people in need they try to help!” I yelled. I was so furious with her. I should have walked away and told her the next time some guy was attacking her I should just let them do it. But just when I was starting to think that, she broke down on the floor and starting to cry so hard that she could barely stand it.
“I’m sorry Ashley, I don’t want you to go I just wanted to handle the situation myself” she said
“So if I may ask what was the situation about? Did he try to touch you? As I was getting on the floor with her.
“No… Its just……nothing”. I could tell that she was trying to tell me something but because we just met I guess she didn’t feel too comfortable with me to share. I wasn’t going to push her either, I learned that when you talk to people you have to be careful as to not hurt their feelings and since I never really gone through anything traumatic I couldn’t offer her any comforting words.
“I’m really sorry Kelly and I don’t know what happened here and if you don’t want to tell me that’s fine”
“Thank you Ashley I really appreciate that.” Her and I stood back up and she wiped her tears. You would have thought that someone would have had least heard the commotion, but no they didn’t. Sometimes people will never help you especially when it has nothing to do with them. Kelly said she should get home and I asked her if she was fine to get home and she said yes. I let her go and hoped she did make it home safe.
As I walked home I wondered what makes a person act the way they do. What makes someone want to actually hurt another human being. I know, it was too deep of a thought even for myself which is why I stopped, considering that I was getting a headache. I was walking past this basketball court and I saw a bunch of guys playing as well as the same guy that I saw during the summer. He was a senior and working in the nearby Pathmark as a cashier and I made any excuse just to see him.
But of course he never knew I existed. He was hot, he sort of looked like Morris Chestnut with his caramel skin and charming smile that always made me smile when he said “thanks for shopping at Pathmark have a good day”. He made a three pointer and was starting to yell, I was so happy for him that I started to clap like I was a cheerleader. At that point he turned around and was looking right in my direction, I thought my heart was going to burst I couldn’t believe that he actually noticed me. Just as I was about to wave hi some woman came through the gate and jumped into his arms, of course she was pretty and kissing him right in front of me. I never felt so humiliated in my life, I just walked away, why would I ever think that he would notice me.
The next day while I was in school the day past by so fast that I didn’t even realize that Kelly wasn’t present in art class. I could say that the reason why I didn’t notice was because I was still shocked from yesterday, but I really wasn’t, the truth was that I was used to people talking to me and then not talking to me again. I decided after school to stop and get a slice from the local pizza shop and Kelly was there ordering a slice also.
“ Hey Ashley! How you been?” I was shocked by how calm and collected she was after the incident yesterday, but I quickly blocked that out of my thoughts.
“I’m fine. How have you been?”
“I’m good”. She was looking down and I could tell that she was thinking about it again. I sometimes feel the need to have people realize that the mess that they are in is not that bad compared to what other people have been through.
“Hey so why didn’t you come to school today”, I asked.
“I had an appointment today with the doctor I really wasn’t feeling well when I got home”
She didn’t look sick to me but it wasn’t my place to question her and I once again felt that goody-two-shoes in me. I got my slice and we sat down at a table.
“Hey since tomorrow is Friday why don’t me and you go out to a teen club. I found a hot spot for us to go to.” I really didn’t have any desire to go anywhere.
“Umm…. I can't I have a paper on Queen Nefertiti”. I lied.
“OMG! Ashley that is so lame! We have to go out and I wont take no for an answer besides I know where you live anyway”. I almost choked on my pizza. How in the world did she know that.
“How do you know where I live!” I exclaimed. This girl was turning out to be a psycho.
“I have my ways and besides I noticed your emergency card in your wallet all filled out.” I felt like such a loser I’m sure there isn’t a lot of people who would even fill that out, but just in case something happened to me I wanted to have someone notified. On the other hand I realized that she really pays attention to detail. Something that I wondered how she got that way.
“I see.” I said. I really wanted to know more about her before I actually went somewhere with her, but she was talking about how she was going to get her older brother to pick me up and that he was going to drop us off and pick us up. That part sounded good enough.
“So what do you plan to wear?” she asked
“I don’t know maybe just a blue knee length skirt and a blue long sleeve shirt”. She looked at me and started to laugh so hard that she couldn’t breath.
“Ashley! You cant wear something like that to a teen club! You have to be more willing”. As she said that she sort of nudged me.
“I cant walk out of the house dressed like a hooker!”
“You wont be dressed like a hooker! I’m just going to make sure that all eyes will be on us. So come over to my house after school tomorrow and I will help you get ready, just tell your mother that you will be spending the night at a friends house.” I agreed to what she said and I was excited and at the same time afraid of what my mother might say to me actually having a friend.