My life had started out simple enough. I was a girl, just a little girl, who was kind of all alone. Not that I really cared. Not that much, anyway. I wasn't a big people person. My mother used to say she admired that about me. That I was so independent. That I marched to my own drum. It made me feel good, her love and approval. It always did. Always has.
It's only now that I realize it was probably for a lack of other things to admire. Not that I was a bad kid. Not that I was clumsy, or slow, or dumb (that I know of), I guess there's nothing truly worth seeing inside something blank. I guess there's no pride in a life set on pause.
It's pretty easy being dependent on yourself, when it's all you have.
But I never thought about that. I never knew a thing about it. Back then my wallpaper life had nothing to do with disliking people. Had nothing to do with them disliking me. After all, how could they, if they never even noticed me? No, I didn't dislike people, I loved them. I just didn't...need them. I relied on myself. I got along fine on my own. I preferred it. I loved living on the outside, peering inside. Looking in on all those little things I never knew. Like a student in a museum, I walked on tip toes. With wide eyes, and parted lips. Fingers bumping and grazing the delicate glass. Breathing in the dust. Breathing in the life. Breathing in every single minute detail.
Glass cases were my world. Even though, I never actually lived inside one. Even though, I pretty much belonged nowhere.
I guess that makes me somewhat pathetic and somewhat sad. But, strange thing is, I wasn't. I really wasn't. I guess you can't miss something you never had. I guess you can't judge something you don't know. And I didn't. I never knew any different. I never knew what else life had to offer. I never knew that it was better. Infinitely better.
I lived inside my books, I lived inside people watching. I lived inside my parent's sweet and small house on the corner of Beacon Street, where all day long children's laughter flowed through my open windows, as they biked their way down our road into the night. Into memories of what would become their golden years. Their untouchable childhood.
I didn't mind though. I stored their memories inside my own. I remembered the way groups of little girls my age whispered smiles into each others ears. I felt what it might feel like to be kissed like the fumbling couples beneath that old oak tree, behind the elementary school. I imagined how freeing riding in the quarterback's convertible, with the top down, must be.
I wrapped it all inside myself. Never believing it to be my own, I'm not crazy, or at least not that crazy. No, I took it because I had to. I took it cause I had nothing else. I was thirsty, so thirsty for a life, never realizing I already had one. Just waiting to be tapped. Like a waterfall behind an impossibly strong dam, my life was waiting to fall free.
And then one day it did. One day, I felt the slightest, most minuscule, rush.
Her name was Spencer Carlin.
I can remember the exact moment I first laid eyes on her. It was the first day of senior year at King High and there she was, crossingcampus in an oblivious whirl. She fumbled, unknowingly, down path after path with some strange form of grace. With weird clarity. And of course, I was hooked. I was immediately captivated. I was instantly intrigued. How had I never noticed her before? How had I never noticed this beautiful girl, more beautiful than anyone I'd ever seen, with her bright blue eyes and cascading blond curls?
I soon found out, not on my own of course. Blended in the background, I used my ears, I used my eyes. I heard the truth. I saw through the rumors. Her family had uprooted from Ohio to move here, to LA. Her mother was some big time surgeon, like Andy Brown of Everwood big time. Her brother Glen was a hot shot basketball player.
She was a rebel, apparently.
She was a troublemaker, supposedly.
She was gorgeous, undoubtedly.
I needed no one to see that.
I didn't know anything more. I knew no more than what my eyes saw, what my mind perceived. She kept to herself during lunch. She scribbled furiously in her notebook during our one shared art class. As far as I could see, aside from her stunning beauty, Spencer Carlin was no different from me.
And maybe that's what made me so curious.
Would I ever do something about it? Never. Would I attempt conversation? No way. That was not my style, that was not how I operated. So, instead, I watched her from afar. I took in every tic, every tilt, every little thing about her that so many other people ignored. Because so many are careless. So many rush past the little things. The precious details that make a person who they are. I never skipped those. I lived for them, even though I'd never understand them. Even though I'd never know them.
Even though I thought I'd never know her.
And for a good while, I was right. I didn't know her. For a good few months, I continued to live inside my dusty books and my pretty little house on the corner of Beacon Street. I continued to live inside my dusty self, more dusty than those books. Yeah, I kept on living my easy unchanging life, seeing everything from a third person view. Breathing air through someone else's lungs. Waking up every morning, going to bed every night, and finding a way to get through the in between. Finding a way to survive.
And then one day came along, one day so subtle, so seemingly insignificant, I barely recognized it.
That one day, in all it's sneaky significance, snuck up inside me and it changed me. It changed it all. It changed everything. Because for once, I wasn't watching and I wasn't listening. I wasn't wishing and I wasn't imagining.
Because, for once, I wasn't outside glass walls.
I was inside them.
Finally, I was inside.