Chapter 1 / I Wonder Why
I wonder why the world isn't fair,
Why am I made as a minor?
My superiors degrade me,
My enemies… even worse…
Should the only thing that stops me,
From running away,
Be others… or myself?
"Don't I always tell you to do your homework first, Kate?" Her mother said impatiently. She bit at a lock of her blonde hair and sighed. Then she gestured slowly to her room. "Please, you'd think you'd learn by now that I'm afraid that you'll get bad grades and that'll effect your future, honey." She said after a moment and stroked her daughter's hair.
"But Mom, Matt can only play today! This very day, do you understand me? He's going to be so busy this week! Can't you just make an exception?" Kate replied furiously, refusing her mother's embrace.
Kate's cheeks turned bright red. She stomped on the floor with her foot impatiently. Her hands to her hips, clenched. She could feel tears behind her eyes.
Kate was always getting what she wanted; food, toys, books: anything. She always thought that her mom would eventually give in to this fight that wasted her time. She didn't realize her mother's eyebrows furrowed.
Kate asked herself if she'd heard right. Did her mother just say no to her?
"I said no, Kate. Homework first; and if you finish it early, you may go see Matt until dinner."
She was lost with without words. With her teeth clenched, she ran to her room.
Kate's mom saw the streaks of tears from her eyes and thought to herself: God, she must hate me now…
A total of three slams came from Kate's bedroom. Her mother sighed. Three slams meant bad business. Then she went back to the kitchen and dialed Kate's dad's phone number.
"Hi… umm… Robert?" Shelly (Kate's mom) said through the phone.
"Yeah, what do you want Shelly? I haven't got the time." He replied.
"I—I'm so-sorry b-but I need to talk to someone…" Shelly spoke slowly, trying to hold herself together.
Robert heard the voice crackle and realized his mistake for refusing her plea. He felt terrible. She hadn't been this distressed since they last… He wasn't prepared to think about that now. He lowered the phone and called the workers to a stop for a little coffee break. Everybody looked tired and agreed with him. He returned to the phone.
"Listen, Shelly: I know it's hard for you but it's hard for me too." He replied softly. "Now why did you call me?"
"I think Kate's really mad at me this time…" She said, trembling.
"You know, she's a teenager; teenagers always gets mad ---"
"But she slammed the door three times! I've never heard her do that! And she was so upset! I can't believe I'd put my expectations of her becoming a doctor or something first other than her feelings…" She sobbed.
"Shhh… It is okay, Shelly; I know it's hard to understand her sometimes but she's grown up more now. She knows that you mean well…"
"Why isn't life fair?" Katie sobbed as she clung onto her pillow. Tears came streaming down instantly. She angrily wiped them away and looked at herself in the mirror. Her fingers snaked through her large face and saw herself with puffy, red eyes from crying.
Unlike most girls, she wasn't very attractive or appealing for that matter. She was fat; over large, bloated, what ever they call it. Although she had long, beautiful blonde hair and clear blue eyes, it seemed like nothing can please the public unless you're skinny with good features.
She heatedly punched the mirror and it broke into dozens of jagged pieces. Kate Johnson was also unusually strong for a fourteen-year-old girl in high school. She seems to have made her muscles by punching her bed and everything she saw after a sweltering day of "Hey Fatty". But Kate can also be gentle as an angel. She appreciates small things in life like a blooming flowers and a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly.
But the most peculiar thing is that no one seems to appreciate her personality. Many darken their faces as they see her walking down the corridor. Every single day, girls and boys alike laugh at her. They have no idea that they were really destroying her soul. They were tearing at her like a wolf eating its prey. And it was just too unbearable to withstand! The only person that doesn't make fun of her is her best friend, Matt.
Matt was a skinny boy about fourteen years and who fit in his body very well. He was a quarterback, had lean muscles, a straight and powerful face, good grades and a kicking body. He was also the most popular guy in school. Kate envied him every second she got. She had never figured out why he befriended her but only thanked God that someone tolerated her more than 5 minutes.
She dreamed of herself as the head cheerleader, had perfect teeth, a good body, good grades, cute-looking guys goggle at her and most of all: no one would make fun of her. It would be a dream come true if that happened…
"Kate…you okay?" Her mother said worriedly as she knocked gently on her door.
"GO AWAY!" Kate screamed at the top of her lungs as she threw a pillow from her bed at her door. A soft flump and the pillow fell flat on the ground. As Kate looked closely, she noticed something. It had a smile on it, almost like it was showing all its teeth, laughing its head off. Even pillows laugh at me now... I'm pathetic…
At dinner, not a word was spoken. Her mom look distressed her sister Debbie, who was 13 year old, didn't pipe up as she does most of the time about a guy she met at school or adventures with her friends. It was quiet, too quiet. Then the whole world crashed down when her mom spoke.
"You know… that Danny boy does his homework and he got top grades… maybe you should follow his example."
Kate squeezed her spoon and replied icily, "Then why not just adopt that bastard then if you keep on mentioning and comparing me to him?"
"Kate! Watch your language!" Her mom yelled back.
Dinner ended as a disaster. Kate ran back to her room and cried more. It seemed like she cried a lot during these days.
Every time she mentioned the idiot and compare me to him, I just couldn't stand it anymore! The bastard may as well be her son anyways… Doesn't my effort and A's in school mean anything to her? She doesn't even know I'm going through hard times with my weight so why even mention the guy when we just had a fight? Sometimes, I don't even know she's really my mother…
Sleep slowly crept onto Kate and she fell asleep, clutching her pillow. If you had looked at her, you could assume she was trying to suffocate herself. Night fell and morning grew. The sun quietly went up. Streams of light filled the room. Kate drew up her blankets over her head.
"Kate, Kate, Kate! Wake up, Kate!" Her sister sang happily.
Kate turned over and drew the covers closer to hide her ears. Easy for her to be excited for school; I don't think there was any place even worse then home. But there was. It was school.
Kate Johnson was taking school at Brick Wall High. It's a fine name for it since there were so many obstacles in there and the school barely checks on the wildlife growing steadily outside in the fields. The teachers were strict but caring. Yet, the principle was a bitch and she didn't care about anything. Her only thought is to have a smoke outside after every break she had. She was about thirty years of age; yet, she looks to be about fifty years. Her hair was a light shade of red and her hips were as large as a hippo. Kate hated her.
"Come on Kate! Or we're going to miss school!" Debbie said in urgency. Her voice was hurried. She clung on a backpack of jewelry, make-up and brushes.
Kate moaned and slowly slithered out of bed. She dragged herself to the bathroom and turned on the shower that filled her with cold water. She lathered herself with soap groggily. The drops of water rolled down her naked body as she quickly finished the shower. She took a towel from outside the shower and wrapped herself in it. The cotton felt good against her bare skin. It was quite refreshing.
Then, she brushed her teeth furiously, now that she was wide awake, and washed her face. While she was fixing her wavy hair into a ponytail, her mom called for them breakfast.
Kate climbed down the stairs like she was hypnotized and slowly gobbled up her breakfast. As she chewed, she thought of what her peers will do today. Maybe they'll let me off easy and just call me names…
The morning air stung her face as she headed for school. She forced herself to drag her legs. School wasn't that bad, is it? Wrong.
"Hey Kate, I was going to catch some fish using bait but I think you should've deserved it!" laughed one kid. He clutched his stomach as he laughed. Boooring… That wasn't even good you stupid idiot.
"Hey Kate, maybe you should join the Sumo wrestling team, you Fatso!" said another kid hauntingly. His friends jeered and hollered at her.
Kate clutched her heart. The word or term Fat was always a weak side on Kate. Every time she hears the word, she looks around and thinks that the person's talking about her. Sometimes it was but sometimes it wasn't. Either way, she can feel a painful stab at her heart.
Tears were starting to come but she wiped them quickly away in a manner no one noticed. More and more people joined in, expanding on his remark.
She felt her spirit tear one by one.
She noticed that some of her so called "friends" also joined in on the teasing. She didn't care about them anymore. They had left her to be one of the crowds so they won't be teased at either. They never mentioned to anyone that Kate was nice and that she didn't like the teasing. They never told people to stop doing this to her. They never explained about how great she can be if you'd just let her be. They just decided to keep quiet and aim sarcastic words at her.
Everyday, she was laughed at. And everyday, she was tormented by the idea of just ending everything with a gun or a knife. But she never did it. She couldn't bring herself to end it all. She was pathetic. It just ended while she was silently crying at night and wished this was all a dream, that she would wake up to parents she loves and a school of people that would finally accept her. But it isn't a dream; everything was real.
She would check her mail and find most letters telling her how stupid, ugly and weird she looks and how fat she is. Matt just told her that they were just proving how stupid they were for spending time doing that. Matt himself was never inside with the crowds. He stayed faithful. And that's why Kate still had hope. She still dreams that someday, she would be an ordinary person (and hopefully someone popular) who hasn't been for the rest of her life. She wants some guy to actually be nice to her for once or some person to actually consider befriending her.
The jeers of her peers were constant as she arrived at class. Matt sat behind her and Tara, Kate's worst enemy, sat right in front of her. She wonders how she can ever see with her abnormally large and thick head that stupid cheerleader has got, right in front of her. Matt was usually passing notes to meet up after school for the arcade. His sense of humor in his notes made her smile. And Matt, who only sees a flicker of happiness he has given her, feels good about it. Every little thing counts for Kate. He is happy that he's giving her hope.
The bell rings as Mr. Turner tells everyone to have a good lunch. Kate gathered up her school books and stuffed them neatly in her backpack. Then she headed for the cafeteria with a paper bag in hand full of the stuff mom packed her.
As she sat down, Kate noticed that people were whispered behind her back. She caught a couple of words forming the words:" I bet she eats fat for lunch and dinner…" Kate was stunned as she looked at her normal, fat-free apple and small peanut butter sandwich. More whispers behind her back made her lose her appetite. She was sick to her stomach.
"What's wrong? Don't like peanut butter, Kate?" Matt asked clueless. He scratched his head.
Kate laughed. She told him about the people whispering behind her and said she just lost her appetite out of disgust.
"I'll see you in English class then, ok?" She said to him and waved slightly before hurrying off to the other class.
"Obay." Matt said stupidly with a mouthful of food.
At English class, they were doing poetry. Kate got excited. Poetry was something she was good at! This should be a piece of cake. And it was! Kate breezed through poetry like a sail boat through water with high wind. At the end of the class, Mrs. Stenning offered to read the class a piece of poetry by Kate Johnson before the class went. Everyone moaned. Mrs. Stenning didn't notice and read forth Kate's poem:
"Patterns within betrayal chilled my heart with an everlasting effect of revenge
Sizzling tongs of aggression burned my eyes, my soul, and my freedom
The hammers and nails of those filthy looks chiseled me unbalanced
Fool's hope chased me away of my Godforsaken mind into darkness
Vile was these chains that held my spirit down
Everyone were monsters, enemies to my scarred eyes
Why did they taunt me so that everything positive blurred away?
My ears snap shut in disgust; I try to ban the black noise
But those blissful memories evaporated right in front of me
I was chained
The class fell silent. Kate felt herself blush bright pink and hid underneath the table. Mrs. Stenning wasn't supposed to read that out loud! I just gave it to her because I thought she would like it, not because I wanted to show off! Now everyone will think I'm a big bragger! Oh God! This cannot be happening to me!
"Now class, wasn't that so inspiring?" Mrs. Stenning said as she smiled. She placed the piece of paper down that contained the poem on her desk. Arms folded, she awaited the class's approval.
The whole class nodded in agreement. They all thought it was a deep poem that Kate wrote. That simple gesture relieved Kate by 150. While on her way out, people were congratulating her on a job well done. Tara absolutely looked furious! Her faced was red and she glared viciously at Kate as she walked out of the classroom. Her fist clenched and she muttered something under her breath. This was a perfect day. Kate smiled to herself.
But by after school, Tara accidentally spread the word that Kate Johnson was just a bitch that wanted to show off. Everybody's minds turned back to what they were before but with an added fact that the fat girl liked to show off. Kate felt miserable. Her eyes blazed hotly to get revenge.
Kate furiously packed her things into her backpack into an unusually untidy order. Matt noticed her strange combo and asked what's wrong.
"Nothing; it's none of your business Matt…" She sulked and walked off.
Then she hurried back home. Her mind was swarming with vengeance.
"How was your day, honey?" Her mom called worriedly as she heard the door slam loudly behind Kate.
"Just leave me alone!" She screamed and marched into her room. Her mother sighed as she heard her angry thuds on the carpet, heading to her room. There was one final slam and all was quiet. Her mother rubbed her temples slowly and tried to plan their next meeting very carefully.
She thought about how her so-called "friends" went along with everyone else and left me to cry alone. Sure, Matt stayed but what does it matter? It's only one person. Someday, he might leave her too and I will be completely isolated from everyone, including myself. Mom was always yelling at her and picking on Kate's oddities and mistakes she makes. Didn't Mom care that she is always going through a life of pain every single day? Didn't anyone think that everyday, her soul would be writhing with anguish? It seems that even sometimes, they even joke about it. And every time, they expect her to do better. Don't they know that she couldn't do any better even if she tried harder? Should you punish someone for doing their most? Should you punish someone who hates life beyond all things?
Why does life always have to be so unfair all the time? I never did anything wrong. Why am I being punished?