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The Beginning by Suzy

The Beginning by Suzy

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Published by Matt Mitchell

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Published by: Matt Mitchell on Oct 27, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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 The BeginningI was six years old when I realized that there was somethingwrong with me. I was at my cousin’s birthday party and she wasopening her presents. I had given her an “educational” toy, whichwas actually a puzzle in the shape of a pickle. I now know that this is alame present to give an eight- year- old girl, but I was kind of a nerd.Of course, she opened the pickle, read the package, and tossed it tothe side as she attacked the rest of the presents. The next present she opened was the neatest thing I had everseen. It wasa Barbie doll head, just like I had seen in the Sears catalogue. Thehead had blond hair that you could play with and fix with all kinds of accessories, all included. She also came with a makeup kit andinstructions. All the girls ooohed and ahhhed while our boy cousinsmade throw up noises. The remaining presents were forgotten as the girls all gatheredaround Miss Barbie. Her hair shone and her makeup kit gleamed inshades of frosty blue and pink. Everyone clamored to be the first toassist my cousin in our first ever makeover. My cousin, in her bossiesttone, started picking girls to take turns. I listened with sinking heart asit became more and more clear that I would be last. I was used to this,as I was the youngest of the cousins. It was also tradition that friendsgot first pick and family was just left with whatever.Like I said, I was used to this treatment, so I just hung back andwatched the older girls. I would have been okay with this except forwhat happened next. My cousin, apparently needing more attention,announced loudly, “I don’t think that you even deserve a turn, becauseyour present was
crappy”.
The last was whispered, as it was abathroom word. She then turned to her giggling friends and beganbossing them around.I sat there stunned, trying not to cry. I hated being singled out. Ihated being the youngest one. I hated being the one who brought thecrappiest present. But most of all, at that moment, I hated my cousin.I took a step toward her. Her back was turned and her head wasbent and she looked at the Barbie head. Her hair was pulled up in aponytail and I could see the baby hair on the back of her neck. I tookanother step, and then gently laid my right hand on that place. The effect was immediate and satisfying. She gave a screechand jumped about three feet off of the ground. The rest of the event isa confusion of tears, accusations, and the realization that the thingthat made me different could also give me power.My parents had a talk with me that evening. They said that I hadnot been home from the hospital long before they realized that my
 
right hand was always cold. They didn’t worry about this at first, sinceit didn’t bother me and I appeared to be normal in every other way.But eventually they did become concerned. The doctor was puzzledbut said that there must be an explanation. He admitted me to thehospital and performed numerous tests on my circulation. Thisappeared normal, which left him somewhat confused. He drew bloodon several occasions, but no abnormalities could be found. He wasbecoming worried, and not a little pissed off. The medical communityhad no way to explain why my right hand was cold. He had justordered a spinal tap when my parents decided that enough wasenough. We were going home.My parents decided that the best way to deal with this problemwas to pretend that it didn’t exist. If that didn’t work, we would justhave keep it in the family and do our best to hide our shame.Although I was right handed, they taught me to use my left handwhile keeping my right hand immobile and out of sight. I tried to justwear a mitten but when my mother saw it she cried.I have learned to live with my handicap. I keep to myself andread a lot. I don’t like school and throw up on the bus all the time. This has earned me the nickname ‘Vomit Baby’. I make good gradesbut try to stay unnoticed.I usually eat by myself in the lunchroom. I don’t like for peopleto watch me eat because I tend to sit on my right hand and this makespeople nervous. But a couple of weeks ago a boy sat at my table. Ihave seen him before. He’s tall and very skinny. He’s the kind of guyyou see in class drawing pictures of cars and other guy stuff. The verynext day he came and sat next to me. I expected him to be shy andquiet like me but he talked a mile a minute. He started talking aboutall kinds of crazy junk trying to make me laugh. And I did, which feltpretty good since I don’t get to do it that much.We started eating together every day and pretty soon westarted talking in the halls. It wasn’t long before we started talking onthe phone every night. My parents were instantly super concerned. Icould hear them at night, saying things like “What if somebody findsout?” “What are we going to do?” But I don’t care. Then last week something huge happened. The school had a fireand all the students had to go sit in the gym. This is typical of myschool; the place is on fire and we go sit in the gym. Anyway, he and Italked for half the day. He told me all about his family and theircraziness. I didn’t say too much. He finally asked why I was so sad allthe time.I told him everything. I just opened my mouth and Vomit Babydid her thing. Only this time it was words. For the first time I toldanother person about my deformity. When I got through, I sat there inhorror, realizing that I had just gotten rid of my only friend.

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