Social Casualty: (so-shul-caj-el-tee) noun. Somebody who had been killed, broken, ruined, or changed by society. Ex. The schoolgirls had turned Valerie into a social casualty.
I was so sick of saltwater.
Every morning I'd wake up and look in the mirror. A million thoughts would run through my head. Not pretty enough, this isn't how the other girls dress, the other girls don't wear their hair like this, what will the kids think... And then the tears would come.
And then I'd play some music and calm down again. Then I'd get on the bus and cry again, because I was being driven to the place I dreaded most. Public school with the most judgy, harsh people.
Then I'd play my music to myself and calm down once more.
When I got to school, the day would pass, and things would happen. There'd be some good moments, like getting a good grade back, and then some bad as well. Like two of my "friends" whispering behind my back and asking me if I heard them. When I'd say no, they'd laugh and nod, "Good, phew!"
And there's be this one girl. Her name was Emmie, and she was absolutely perfect. Her eyes, hair, clothing... Everything about her was beautiful.
And she was so brutal to me.
Every day she'd point out what I did wrong. And she'd call me out for everything and tell me how bad I was at everything and... She was just so mean, and it hurt.
With all of this awfulness at school, I started to break inside. I broke to the point where I was almost used to crying every day. Where I wouldn't even question it. I felt like I didn't belong, and I should change myself so that I did.
My name is Valerie Ross, and I didn't realize I was turning into a social casualty.
I used to wear yoga pants to school.
They were comfortable, plain, black, and whatever. I thought they were fine.
But then one day, Emmie had been rude again, and I started to feel self conscious about myself.
I looked around the room at all the other girls and what they were wearing.
Every single one had leggings on.
Every single one except for me.
And that was the first thing to go, I guess. The first clue to losing myself. I only wore yoga pants on the weekend because I didn't want to be any more different at school than I already was.
The next time my mother took me shopping for new clothes, I bought leggings. They weren't even that comfortable, but I didn't care. I wanted to belong. I wanted to diminish the amount of tears I shed every day.
I thought changing my wardrobe would help. But it only made me cry about loosing myself.
I went to school the next day with leggings. I looked just like everyone else on the outside... Well, almost.
I wore my hair in a side ponytail on days I had gym. No other girl did that, but, I'm happy to say, this difference didn't bother me. I liked it. And, also happy to say, I still wear my hair like that. One thing I didn't lose about myself.
But anyway, I looked similar to everyone else on the outside. But on the inside, I was so different.
All the girls at school were happy. I wasn't. I still cried every day. If anything, the amount of saltwater had become more.