C. J. Queen
My name is Cynthia Ann Victoria Vanderbelt. I know it’s a pretty large name. Feel free to call me Petite though. Everyone else does. I’m going to tell you the story of how I got that name, because it’s a name that is very special to me in many ways. But mostly because when I hear it, I know that I am loved. I am very shy by nature, and my face resembles that of a mouse, I’m told. Not that I have a huge over bite or anything like that. I’m just very small, only 4'9”, and very quiet. I like the way I am. I like my quiet, predictable existence. Not everyone however would agree with my sentiments.
“It is simply not normal to want to go through life invisible.” said my best friend Anne. Of course she would say so, because she was never ignored. She was tall, blonde, thin, and perfect. I only came to just above her elbow.
“I am perfectly fine with it.” I said turning my nose to the air. I did this, not because I was a snob or anything, I just couldn’t see much in the crowded school halls.
“You wanna know what I think?” Anne queried.
“I’m sure that you’re going to tell me either way.” I answered from behind her. She was always kind enough to make a path for me through the sea of bodies so that I could make it to class.
“I think,” Anne continued, “that the smaller you are, the more you should do to get noticed. You know, make people see you.”
“What? You mean like get my own reality show? I’m not a midget Anne.”
“I know that. But do you have to be so plain?” she whined. “You could dye your hair from your dark brown to like red or something, or at least wear something more stylish.”
“What is wrong with my jeans and sweater?” I asked.
“Nothing, other than its just jeans and a sweater.” she answered flatly.
“I’m never going to be you Anne.” I replied just as flatly. “You and Chris are the school’s beautiful power couple. I don’t even think you can help it. Should you even be speaking to me?”
“Oh stop that.” She scolded. “You will be my BF until I die.” She said as she swung into a desk near the back of the class. I went and sat in the front corner desk. You can obviously tell that the back of the class was no place for a person of my stature. I was setting my books down and fishing in my purse for my ink pen, when I felt a searing pain shoot through my foot and up my leg. “Sorry!” said a girl with shiny pink lip gloss and stiletto heels with her skinny jeans. “Did I hurt you?” she said without malice. “I really didn’t see you there.”
“No harm done.” I managed to mumble between clenched teeth. I wasn’t upset at her. This was normal for me. You’ll never know how many times I get tripped over, looked over, sat on and stepped on in one school day. I can’t count, it’s so many. But I would rather it be that way. I wasn’t very good at being the center of attention. Little did I know that it would all change, very soon.
Well, no really saw me, or really cared that I was there until I was tripped over by obnoxious Wesley Drover leaving class the next day. He decided to actually see me. Perfect, being noticed by the school’s largest class clown, God only knows why it had to be him.
“Hey guys, look!” he yelled to some of the goons he called friends. “I almost stepped on a mouse.”
This of course didn’t bother me. Personally, I thought it was a shame because Wesley Drover was really cute.
“Sorry little mouse.” He said patting me on the head. I just walked away. I can’t help it that I’m short. And of course, the rest of the day continued in pretty much the same way.
Things definitely took an even bigger turn for the worse a few weeks later. I got home from school as I normally did. Everything in the house looked normal. It was just the way my mother left it. My mother was predictable too. There was a place for everything, and everything was in its place. The doorbell rang just as I was pulling something from the freezer for dinner that night. When I opened the door, I came face to face with my dad. That was odd and way out of place. My parents divorced years ago, and my dad wasn’t in the habit of visiting the house. I knew then that something was terribly wrong. I could hear it in his voice.