A different world

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Most people live a normal life and experience normal things. But to me normal is a dryer setting. I live in my own world, where things are different.

People don't understand because they don't want to or at least try to. They prefer to say I'm weird or there's something wrong with me. What they don't understand is this hurts my feelings.

Mom tells me they are ignorant. I say she's right. I don't understand why they say these things. When I ask, they laugh. All I want is an explanation.

Going to high school is a challenge. Some lights and noises bother me. My parents have made adjustments along with the staff. I like the staff. They're nice, unlike the kids I encounter on a daily basis.

Even some kids I think are nice, aren't.

I have autism, not deaf. I hear every thing. I see everything.

Besides the kids who annoy me, I like my teachers and school. Math is my favorite subject because it's concrete. Black and white. No guessing. You either get it right or it's wrong.

Other subjects I like because they are factual. I don't do well with fiction or non factual information. I don't understand these things.

The one thing I do like, are puzzles. Puzzles are amazing. When you put the pieces together, it becomes a picture, just like me. That was fine. In my world, I can be me. No judgements, no issues.

The only thing was someone was about to enter my world and I was about to enter theirs.

**********
Antonio

I met my guidance counselor to figure out what I needed to do add to high school credentials. I wanted something different to add to it besides sports and different clubs.

She had me meet her at a room to introduce to someone I would be helping. Told me they needed someone like me to help them.

She opened a door to a room and there sat a girl, my age working on a puzzle. I knew who she was. Rainbow Hardwick.

She walked over to her and said, "hello Rainbow."

"Hello Mrs. Crawford," she said softly.

"What puzzle are you working on today?"

"Landscape. Simple. All the pieces fit together. If you look at their shapes you will see how they are suppose to go," she said as she put another piece together.

"Rainbow, I would like to introduce you to Antonio Grasso."

"I know who he is. He is captain of the football team, baseball team, student body president. GPA is 4.0333. Mother and father are still married. No siblings," she said to her.

"You know a lot about me," I said as she looked at me.

"Why wouldn't I? You're popular. Everyone knows who you are," she said matter of fact.

"Antonio is going to help you this year," Mrs. Crawford told her.

She looked at us, "okay." She went back to her puzzle. Mrs. Crawford looked at me, "don't feel bad. Rainbow, isn't very close to people. It's part of the autism. Makes it hard for her to relate socially."

I looked at her as she patted my shoulder. She turned and left us alone. I took a seat and watched her. Every piece she picked up, she put it where it's suppose to be.

I watched her. I knew who Rainbow was. I heard the comments and the whispers. The jokes and the laughter. She never bothered anyone. Yeah she was different but she didn't bother anyone.

"Do you stare a lot," she asked.

"What do you mean?"

"You keep staring at me. Do you stare a lot?"

"No, not really. Just trying to figure you out," I told her.

She looked at me, "why?"

"Why what?"

"Why are you trying to figure me out," she asked in a delicate voice.

"You have this world of your own. I'm just wondering why," I replied.

"Just because I live in a world of my own doesn't make me different.  People just see me differently because I'm not them. They're too preoccupied with superficial things and nothing real. Who lives in their own world?  Me or them?"

I never thought about it like that.  Rainbow was different for sure but she saw things as they are.  That made her more unique than anything.

"You hate when people treat you differently, don't you?"

"I dislike people who do. Hate is a strong emotion. People claim to hate things but they really don't.  They dislike them. Big difference."

Damn.

"I don't like certain foods or clothing or sounds."

"How come," I asked her finding myself intrigue by her.

"My brain, doesn't like it. Our bodies have receptors which transmit signals to our brains. My brain doesn't like how it's transmitted. It dislikes it," she said simply.

"Because you have autism," I asked her.

"Autism Spectrum Disorder also known as ASD. I'm high functioning," she said with a look.

"And you're okay with that?"

"It's who I am," she shrugged.

The most interesting part is Rainbow was fine with who she was while others weren't.  This made me want to know her more.



You'll find out more about Rainbow as the story progresses. She's going to enter a world she's not comfortable with while Antonio enters her world and learns more than meets the eye.

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