By Eugenia Rogers

Dear Beatrice,

         It was just another friendless day at school. The usual. As I always do, let me share my thoughts with you. You, of all people, should know how it feels: to not have a soul to care about you. Even your shadow despises you. Standing at the edge of a lake, you hope to see your face– no matter how rigid and rugged it looks– but even the lake rejects hosting you. All it accommodates are peaceful swans and friendly egrets. No room for a heart that is weary of love and companionship. 

      You do know what it feels like, sitting at a table in a crowd full of loud laughter,with hot gists and a show of happy, smiling faces, yet, you only have a bowl of brown rice and fish to converse with. You must know what it feels like, to be raised by a father whose money management is weighted by the number of beer bottles he consumes in a day; to have a mother who, spurred by the desire to ‘make it quick’ in life, woke up one morning, kissed your forehead goodbye and never returned. 

     I believe that you also feel tears sting your eyes each time you approach a classmate who does not even look at your direction twice, each time an invite to a cool kid’s party passes over your head. You fumble over your words every time you want to befriend a new kid in school. 

       You have not yet lost hope in trying, unlike me, whose limbs have grown numb, whose lips would no longer budge. I have come to accept my nicknames, ‘Broken Family Girl’, ‘The Weird Nerd’, ‘The Brown Rice Whisperer’. 

      I wish I could have just a reflection of your high spirits. I wish I could trade my numb, colourless heart for yours. Until then, the pages of my Literature textbook will grant me succour. The leaflets of my Math Study Guide will provide refuge for me. At least, they appreciate the bond I share with them. At least, they do not reproach me or treat me with scorn.