CHAPTER ONE? The air is fresh and the day is new and the birds are all singing around me. It smells like autumn and the leaves crackling Underfoot tell me that it is. It’s a beautiful day, full of colors and warmth, and the slight wind holds only a small chill. It’s a beautiful day for a walk. It’s a beautiful day for school.
Not. My backpack weighs heavy and threatens to topple me over as I trudge towards the building that spells out my doom. First days have always been a nightmare for me, ever since the third grade when my parents filed their divorce and my mother discovered that her job wasn’t as permanent as we had thought. We’ve moved too many times to count now, a result of her company’s indecisive and unpredictable behavior. Every year, we’re somewhere new; every year, I enter a new school; and every year, it’s always the same: teasing and bullying and – worst of all – no friends. I’ve always hated being alone, but now, I guess I have no choice. My mother has always tried to encourage me when I start my first day at a different school. I heard her speech again this morning.
“Not everyone understands who you are and where you’ve come from and who you are meant to be inside your heart,” as she says, “but you have to show them that you’re just the same as they are. My mother is a very wise woman who speaks in pictures and quotes and little bursts of prose that make you realize that she isn’t always quite as dense as she usually appears. I respect her more than words can express – even her own.My mother was very accepting when I first came out to her,but she worried for my safety. She, too, has lived in a world that sees everything that isn’t the same as different and wrong. “You are one of the few greys,” she’s told me, “while everyone else is black and white.
t’s not wrong, but you have to show them that it’s not – because they don’t know that for themselves.” I’ve never understood why they don’t just leave me alone if they don’t like me. Even if I’m not the same as all the