“My parents enrolled me into a school for special kids, but I don’t like it. They all act like victims.”

“Well aren’t they? They weren’t asked to be born that way.”

Sighs deeply. “None of us ask for anything. No offense, but your ears are pretty big and you have terrible skin. I’m almost positive you didn’t beg for that and I’m sure you received your fair share of sandbox name-calling. But you live and breathe. Our culture has a weird obsession with victimizing people and I don’t get it. I actually like to think that I’m lucky. Sure, my eyes are funny but they work in a way that was said to be impossible by five doctors. I can walk and talk and breathe and my brain functions the way yours does. I want to go to a regular school with regular people, I’m not disabled. I don’t need people to read and write things for me, I don’t need people pitying me. You want to pity someone? Go pity that poor fool on Bleeker St. who thinks the angels give him handwritten notes from God. My parents are afraid that I’ll be teased, but my grandpa told me that almost anything can be solved with my fists. I’m sure I’ll be okay.”

Laughs. “What makes you sad about your eyes?”

“Well…all the pretty ladies on TV and all the Disney princesses are so shiny and perfect-looking. They don’t ever show what different people look like.” She casts her eyes down and frowns.

“Why does that make you sad?”

“Because!” Eyes wide with enthusiasm and disbelief, she says, “I’m only 10 and I’m already self-conscious. How am I supposed to be happy when the world just keeps telling me there’s something wrong with me?”

“Who else do you think feels this way?”

“Minorities.” Shrugs. “I watch the news.”

“You seem to be well informed for a 10 year old.”

She speaks softly. “When people treat you like you’re stupid, you tend to spend your time trying to prove them wrong.”


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