The Strong Inside the Weak
"You know," my blind date, whom so far I hadn't liked in the slightest, suddenly spoke up, interrupting Bambi, the Disney movie we had been watching. I paused the movie and turned towards him, bitterly waiting for him to finish talking so I could return to crying into my pillow. I had been softly crying because poor, innocent Bambi's mother had just died. Meanwhile, my arrogant date, who seemed to be more of a Netflix and Chill kind of guy, and not the good kind of chill either mind you, the bad kind, the kind that should give anyone with any reason chills, had so far shown no signs of any emotion over the movie, that is, except boredom. I hadn't like him since he had stepped through my front door with his saggy jeans, oversized leather jacket, see through white tank, and worst of all, he had introduced himself as "King." Not because his parents had named him King, no, but because he thought of himself as a King, and also because he was rich enough to be one, or at least that's what he told me. Either way, he was a conceited jerk.
"Ahem, you still there boo?" King's lofty voice suddenly broke rudely through my thoughts once again. Grimacing at his gross nickname for me, I reply.
"Yes, sorry, I zoned out. What?" I reply hastily.
"Like I was saying, you're pretty weak, even for a girl, but you know I would always pro-" I cut him off before he can go any farther.
"I'm sorry," my voice rises up, tasting sour and sharp inside my suddenly desert-dry mouth, "did you just call me weak?"
"Yeah, boo, but I'm-"
"No." I cut him off more firmly this time. "I am not weak." I don't even attempt to calm myself. Instead, I unleash all my boiling emotions. Releasing my emotions was the first thing I learned a couple months ago, when I first moved to the big city of NYC. The second thing I learned was, if you wanna survive around here, you absolutely have to stick out and you stick up. Especially, you stick up for yourself.
"...and you've got this sweet little smile. You've already cried like twice boo." He's rambling now, telling me all the reasons he thinks I'm weak.
Anger starts to simmer inside me. I am not weak. The thinks he thinks are weak in me are what make me strong. He doesn't know what made me strong like this. He doesn't know why I'm sweet instead of sassy. He doesn't know why I cry so freely. He doesn't know why I always, always treat people with respect, even when I don't like them. He doesn't have any, ANY, right to judge me on those things, no right.
"Plus you keep putting on that smiling act like a little girl, it's getting old real fast boo. You can drop the innocent angel charade now." King yawns after he finishes speaking, looking expectantly at me, expecting me to just simply agree with him. Well, I'm not going to just agree with him.
"It's not a charade." I spit out.
"Oh come on, no one's that weak, even a girl." He taunts. "With all these acts you'd think you'd at least know how to act tough."
I lose it.
"Oh I'm sorry," I mock, "you want me to be tough? So I should just be tough?" He nods confidently. I fume. "So I should hide my emotions? I should force myself closed? Shut myself off from those I love and care about? I should do dangerous stunts, take abusive liquids, use people just to throw them away like a rag doll?" I'm screaming now. King looks alarmed. I don't stop. "Right? Right? I should need more than two sets of hands to count the hearts I've broken, right? And I shouldn't care when I catch my own, younger sister crying alone in the school hallway because that would make me look weak if I cared. No, I should make fun of her instead. I should make her a laughingstock in front of the whole school. That would be tough; that would be cool. I should laugh when my mom asks if I'm okay. I should push my family away, blaming them for society's problems. Right? Who cares about family? That's not tough. I should insult my friends and stab them in the back-until no one trusts me-they all fear me instead, and I should stay tough even when I come home I a breaking family. I shouldn't let anyone from school notice that I'm suffering at home. I shouldn't find it horrifying when my father slaps my mom for the first time. I shouldn't be alarmed when the divorce papers are filed. I shouldn't cry when my family splits in half. I should run away right? Run away to the big city right? I should never cry, because crying is weak... Right?" King's eyes are wide and my heart is hammering. "Because I tried that, but I didn't feel tough, I felt weak. I felt weak when I had to bite my tongue so hard it bleed, and I felt weak when I had to dig my nails into my wrist so far they scabbed over, just to keep myself from sobbing into the darkness of my bedroom some nights. I felt weak when my sister dropped out of school, because she couldn't face the bullies. I felt weak when my family abandoned me. I felt so weak, not tough. I want tough. In fact, I didn't start feeling tough until I started laughing once more. I didn't feel tough until I allowed myself to slip out of my silent mourning and grab a cup of tea. I didn't feel tough until I made my first real friend here in NYC. I didn't feel tough until it was acceptable for me to cry. I didn't feel tough until I could laugh away my tears without hurting inside. And I didn't really feel tough until I got over myself and my family." I pause to stare King right in the eye, remembering suddenly all that I have just told him, but not regretting spilling out my life story. I don't regret spilling my beans, not because I need King to know my story, much less because I desire his sympathy, but, really, I don't regret speaking my mind because for once, it feels great to release my emotions. I smile, staring at King, realizing I just confessed my entire life story, not necessarily to him, but to myself, and it feels fantastic to finally have all of my story heaved off my chest.. "Now I am tough. I am very tough. I am not weak." I flash him a smile. "Now get out of my house King."
He jumps up off my couch, like a scattering cockroach, and scurries out the apartment's front door. As I hear the door slamming I smile. Finally, it's just me, Netflix and Bambi.
YOU ARE READING
Strong inside the WeakShort Story
She finds herself running away from her family, her friends, her problems, all the people she's hurt while trying to be tough, but what she doesn't realize is she's hurt herself too along the way.