Hi, everyone! I'm so excited to present my entry for the #WonderTheMovie contest here on Wattpad! The challenge was to create a 500 word story about choosing kindness, so I hope you enjoy reading about Henry and Eliza, and a time in which kindness prevails.
Want to get involved? Head on over the @WonderTheMovie profile for the full contest details, and write your own story about choosing kindness! It's a really exciting opportunity as the top 3 entries, chosen by Lionsgate, will be immortalized in digital form and turned into a short film.
Best of luck!
High school wasn't just a rough place. For us, it was a perilous kingdom, full of monsters and shadows.
I said us like we belonged as a plural, like we'd had a conversation at least once before. But we hadn't. There'd been nothing more than the couple of times I'd tried to say hi, mostly because we sat side-by-side in biology class and it seemed like the polite thing to do. Eliza had managed a smile, but no words.
That was her thing. The thing that would define her for years to come, like how people would probably point to my yearbook picture in ten years and say, "Oh, Henry – the kid that did all those weird drawings." Eliza's thing was that she didn't speak.
She didn't seem obviously unhappy. There was still a spark in those dark brown eyes, even if they rarely ventured higher than the ground. She was just overshadowed. A speck of light, laying low, carefully concealed to escape notice from those monsters in the shadows.
I wanted to do something. It was hard to concentrate with her one desk over, no matter how much the doodles on the back page of my notebook drew me in. When someone tried so hard to escape notice, it was hard to stop noticing. But how could you know the first thing about someone who wouldn't say a word?
But she'd noticed, too. She kept looking over, sneaking peeks at the drawings that longed to jump off my page. Those cartoon figures reached out to her, perhaps in the way I wanted to. Which is where I got my idea.
She took form effortlessly on the page. The doe-like eyes, waterfall of black curls cascading over one shoulder, ethereal glow. On paper, the shadows bounced away.
It slipped easily through the gap in her locker door; I didn't have to force it. Then back into the hallway I retreated, blending in amongst the monsters, like I'd been one of them all along.
Still, I kept an eye out.
It fluttered out when the door opened, and she noticed. For a few seconds, the paper lay lifeless in her hands, leaving me to wonder whether I'd overstepped the mark. But then she smiled, and the light came to life.
Still there came no conversation. The Eliza with rough-edged lines and a pencilled smile said as many words as the real one.
But it didn't matter.
I kept going. Today's Eliza easily morphed into tomorrow's: an outfit tailored to her Tuesday choice, and a thoughtful expression for the exam that'd puzzled us both. She slipped through the same gap in the door, and this time I could see her light radiating, cutting right into the hallway's darkness. Today, tomorrow, and every one thereafter.
Perhaps we never would share a word, but that was okay. There'd been a smile, and for a few seconds, the shadows had ebbed away. It was a flicker of happiness, and that was all that mattered, even if just for a moment.