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39_Journey’s – My His-Story – I am 13

May 18, 1980

No one is listening to me. Everyone is talking to Laura. I noticed that a while ago.

I’ve known Laura since elementary school, and even though she always has a boyfriend, there are still a ton of boys who flirt with her. All the boys like her and she likes them, and even though she’s not available, she usually makes the rules around who I can and can’t date.

I don’t date as much as she does, but sometimes I go out with the friends of the guys she dates, or I meet them at parties. She always knows where a party is. I don’t get the same kind of attention she does. I’m not sure why. She’s not kind to people, but they don’t seem to mind. No one seems to mind.
Right now, she’s talking to the guy who was talking to me a minute ago. He’s tall and kind. I don’t think he likes her, but she keeps grabbing his arm to tell him things. It looks to me like he’s trying to escape.

I thought we were having a nice conversation. He was asking me questions about glee club, trying to convince me to sing something, but I’m too shy. I wasn’t going to sing for him.

I don’t like my voice. I was so surprised when I got in, especially when Laura didn’t. She was the one who convinced me to try, and she usually got accepted to everything. She was mad when I got in, and she didn’t. She tried to get me to quit, saying it was stupid, saying she was glad they didn’t accept her. She told me she only auditioned as a joke and that people in glee club were losers. I didn’t care. I wasn’t going to quit for her, not this time. I remember when Gina’s sister Tami taught me how to breathe into my stomach and not my chest like they taught her in glee. When our teacher taught us the same thing, she was so proud of me because I already knew. She told the whole class I was the only one doing it right.

That’s what started the conversation with Tim. We were in a group of people, and someone asked how long each of us could hold our breath. I said I could hold it longer if I filled my belly. Tim asked what I meant, and we started talking. Everyone else left, but Laura and when he went to fill his beer, she started. While he was gone, she told me she heard all these horrible things about him. I didn’t believe her, but when he came back, she took him. She said she had something to show him. It’s like she doesn’t want me to be with someone unless they aren’t good enough for her.

The rules generally don’t seem fair with her, but it’s not worth fighting. I am grateful she’s there for me, and that she takes me out. I don’t have a lot of friends, so having her helps. Besides, she can be mean when she wants. So, I surrender. I do what I always do and let myself fade to the background.

That’s where I am tonight. There’s no point talking to Tim now. I’m sure she’s told him about me. Guys never want to speak to me after she’s talked to them. There’s a space over by the door that’s empty. I’ll hang out there. Maybe I’ll meet someone she thinks is okay for me.

I want to meet someone. I want to do what Laura’s doing. She’s going to meet a guy and move out of her mom’s house. She talks about it all the time. I want that, but I’m not like her. I do what I can to connect, but other people aren’t like me. They don’t want to be with me the way they want to be with her. So, I’m alone, for the most part. Laura may be my only chance to finally find someone to get me out of my family’s house. At this point, I honestly believe there may be no one here to love me.

I sometimes wish Gina was still around. She was nicer to me, but she moved out of the neighborhood around the time I met Laura. I still see her once in a while, but she lives in a whole different city, and it’s a long trip to go there. I tried to believe what she told me that day in her room, but I prayed for a long time, and nothing ever happened. God wasn’t there for me. If He is out there somewhere, the way Gina says, he failed me when I needed him most. I don’t think I can trust a God like that. I need to look out for myself. I can’t count on my family or God or Gina or even Laura. I’ve realized the best I can do is make things work, and if I’m going to be able to count on anyone to accomplish that, it’s going to be me.

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