Everyone has their quirks

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All day I went to class while at lunch, Antonio sat with me. I didn't understand why. He has friends. I prefer to eat alone. People talk about things I don't understand or laugh at things I don't find amusing.  They say it's funny.

They get it all wrong. It's amusing. He tried to have a conversation with me as I sat in a room eating my lunch. I prefer quietness at lunch. Too noisy at lunch.

"You can talk to me," he said to me.

"Why?  We have nothing in common," I said as I ate.

"This is how you get to know people," he reasoned.

"I know about you. You play sports. You're popular. You have friends. You're student body president. You have a high grade point average," I said directly.

"Okay, what do you like to do for fun?"

"I like puzzles. I like math. I like My Little Pony. Do you like My Little Pony?"

He looked at me confused.

I waited for him to answer. He sat there trying to figure out what I asked.

"Oh yeah, sure," he answered.

"Then tell me one of their names," I challenged him. I have autism. I'm not stupid. I know when people are lying.

"Well, uh, there is," he tried to say.

"Twilight Sparkle, Apple Jack, Rainbow Dash, Pinky Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity to name a few. They all have cutie marks. Twilight Sparkle is a princess," I told him.

"Don't lie to me. I don't like it. If you don't know, then just tell me. Don't act like you do. It's rude and condescending to me. I'm not someone that believes everything people tell me," I stated.

That's the difference between factual and assumptions. Facts are true. Assumptions aren't. This is why I prefer to not talk to people. They lie and assume you believe them.

I went back to eating as he sat there.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to lie," he said.

"Yes you did and you're not sorry. You're only sorry you got caught," I replied.

He didn't know what to say. Good maybe I can eat in peace.

After school, I got my books from my locker and went out to the parking lot. My brother Luke was waiting for me. As I reached him, Antonio caught up with me. He touched my arm which didn't sit well with Luke.

"Please don't touch her," he said to Antonio.

He promptly removed his hand, "sorry. I just wanted to apologize for earlier. Rainbow, I don't think you're stupid but your question caught me off guard," he said sincerely.

"Fine. But I suggest you learn about My Little Pony. I will give you a quiz tomorrow," I said as I turned and got into the car.

Luke looked at him, "good luck."

He followed suit. He pulled out of the parking lot and drove us home.  He asked questions and I responded with one word answers.  Once we got home, I got out of the car and went inside.

Mom and dad weren't home yet because school wasn't done. They were first grade teachers. Their day ended an hour after mine.  I went into the kitchen and Cole had my snack waiting for me.

I sat down and started eating.

"How was school?"

"I have a new person to babysit me," I said casually. "Can I have juice please?"

"Oh right.  I forgot," he said pouring me juice.

Luke and Cole went to college. They had classes while I was in school then we out by the time I got out of my school. Luke picked me up everyday while my parents took me every morning.

Cole made sure I had my snack and helped me with my homework.  Then they would play a game with me. I love my big brothers.

We sat at the table and played a game, when my parents came in.

They both walked over and gave me a kiss as they did the same with my brothers.  None of us were treated differently. Dad didn't think it was right and neither did mom.

"How was school," dad asked me.

"Stupid. They gave me a new babysitter. He doesn't know about my little pony. He has issues," I said as I rolled the dice.

"Rain.  What did we tell you," he asked me.

I sighed, "that not to treat anyone that is paired with me as a babysitter and that not everyone knows about my little pony."


"And not to be rude."  I recited my rules.  Yeah my parents had to give me specific rules.  Rules were good.

"Is everyone's homework done," mom asked.

"Yes," we all said in unison.

"Okay, let's clean up so we can have dinner," she said as we started to put our game away.  I use to argue with my parents about not being able to finished and they wouldn't let me watch my little pony. Phooey.

We sat down and ate while talking.  Dad told us about what happened and I laughed. They didn't make a big deal out of it. At first they did until they realized I found certain things humorous.  They just go with it now.

After dinner, I helped clean up. In fact we all did. Just because I have autism doesn't mean I can't do things other people do. This is were the misconception comes into play. I lack social skills, I'm not stupid.  I'm quite capable of cleaning up and other things.

My parents are big on treating me like everyone else. Why can others see that?

Yes I have a routine. Yes I have a schedule. Yes I have structure. Do they make adjustments?  Yes. But they also treat me just like anyone else.  I have my own personality and feelings but I'm still a person. I just wish people would see that more.

As I got ready for bed, dad knocked on my door. I crawled in and he came over, taking a seat on my bed.

"You okay?"

"Not really."

"What's wrong?"  He furrowed his brows.

"The new person they paired me with is a boy. He is popular, smart, plays sports and lies," I furrowed my brows.  "I don't like him."

"Did you give him a chance," he asked me.

"I know he's doing this for his college application," I frowned.

"Maybe so but maybe you should give him a chance. Maybe he will become your friend," he suggested.

"Doubt it," I sighed.

"Think about it. Good night Rain," he said giving me a kiss and hug. I loved my dad's hugs. They were the best.  Contrary to popular belief, we love affection, especially from our caregivers like our family.

We may have our quirks but we still enjoy a lot what other people enjoy. We just showed it differently.

Antonio will learn more about Rain and Rain will learn not everyone is your friend. Get ready because this is going to be one hell of a journey.

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