Eyes seemed to stair straight into the girl’s head. Drilling into her very skull as if there was more to discover beneath that mess of ebony hair. As though there was a hidden secret that she held from the rest of the world, that everyone tried to pry from her only using their eyes. She seemed completely oblivious to the intense assessment that my fellow classmates gave her. Either she really didn’t notice it, she thought she was too Hugh above us all, or she honestly didn’t care. And right from that moment I knew she was different.
I knew she was somebody that I would want to get know. A girl unlike the others attending the academy. It was strange that you could tell so much about this one individual, without speaking a single word to her. Her clothes were old and frumpy, yet she pulled it off. Most of the girls at the school wouldn’t be caught dead in old chucks. Her black hair fell in small dreads, surrounding her face. Some of them pulled behind her head. And beneath all that hair a bruised eye was evident. That was enough to set my curiosity aflame like a match to a tissue.
Throughout the boring lecture discussing the unimportant history of the almost ancient Gaelic language, my eyes couldn’t help but glance over at the new girl. Not once does she look up and take note of the lecture. Not even an acknowledgment of the boring and useless things the professor decided to talk about. Her hand moved furiously at the piece of paper before her, her fingers gripping the pen so tightly that her knuckles began to turn white. She seemed to get lost in whatever she was doing. From what I could tell two desk spaces away from her, It was a drawing. Of what, I couldn’t tell.
But the skill put Into the piece wasn’t what had be Intrigued. It was the way she seemed to get lost back in the maze of her mind, her imagination spinning out of control and almost every thought going down on the paper. Spilling out onto a canvas like a dam that had burst open. I almost thought I would get lost in her losing herself when her work was disturbed by the teacher walking by. Just as I thought I would gain the courage to stand, and push myself over to her the peaceful yet powerful image that played out before me ended. Her hands almost instinctively covered her paper, and her cool blue eyes stared up at the teacher.
He proceeded to sky her about what he spoke of, make sure she was paying attention to his ramblings. Although his voice was loud, and they were so close to me, I couldn’t hear it. I couldn’t make out words, only sound buzzing around my ears. My mind stayed captivated with her every move. The way her eyes stayed focused yet she was off somewhere else. Perhaps the far depths of her mind. Could she escape those depths? Was the glassy eyed look something that was a part of her or was I lucky enough to witness such an amazing mind in action. The guys in the class would snicker at her, because of her being different.
The way she would talk as though she had lived a thousand years. She’s a genius. I would think to myself. But not to the point where she’s crazy. Or is she crazy. Maybe that’s why I am so Intrigued. Thoughts circled my mind throughout the rest of our class. I was once so easily distracted, so caught up in whatever else happened in the class because of my short ‘OFF figure her out. Understand her. There is a difference. I wanted to understand how her mind worked, and why she thought the way she did. I wanted to know how she ignored the glares so easily. How she blocked out the rest of the world, even when peaking.
She spoke with a loud voice. A strong voice. A voice that tells you she knows what she’s doing. She knows how to assert herself, and she knows the right things to say to make people second guess her. Like me. Another thought was blurred into the rest, but it stood out. Where did that bruise on her upper cheek come from. What was the story behind that. Everything had a story, and if it wasn’t obvious I would try to find one. Find some hidden meaning or truth behind the simplest things. “Laura? ” The teacher would call my name, calling on me to answer a question. Unlike my usual suck-up self, I reply with a simple “ham? . It takes a good shove from my best mate beside me to shake me from the daze. From the curious thoughts, that wrapped around this girl. This girl that I so longed to be friends with, while at the same time she terrified me. The next day I almost expected the girl to walk by me. I still didn’t know her name. Or know anything about her. Other than the fact that she was different. Throughout the day I looked for her. Any sign that she was around. That I hadn’t Just imagined this brilliant human being. I wanted proof that this girl that only the day before I was o intrigued with existed.
But she was nowhere to be found. The day passed, and although I focused again. I listened again. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to forget about her and move on. I had it set in my mind subconsciously that I would learn about her, she couldn’t be gone. It wasn’t supposed to work out that way. Day after day she didn’t show up to class. Despite the fact that she seemed to go unnoticed, rumors began to spread about her. Where had she gone? Why had she disappeared? Some said she was on the run from something or someone. Some said her father was abusive, and he finally pushed it too far.
Some said she was depressed, and decided to off herself. I didn’t want these to be true. I wanted her to be sick maybe. Or visiting a relative. Something that would tell me she would return the next day. So that I would have the courage to choke out a mere hello. But somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that wasn’t true. Whatever the circumstances, she wasn’t coming back. As days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, not a day went by without me hoping to see her cool blue eyes one morning. Not a day went by without me entering if she would ever return to me.
I even practiced what I would say upon her return. But as time went on, rumors began to settle down. Everyone else seemed to loose sight of this intriguing young woman, someone who everybody ignored. Yet wanted to be around so much at the same time. Someone so intriguing that people were far to intimidated to actually approach her. Now, every once in a while as I glance in the mirror I get a glance of her. A flicker of the cool blue eyes in my reflection. Because all along this intriguing young woman, this intellectually brilliant and mysterious girl was me.
For almost a month I seemed to float outside my own body, my brain watched myself without being attached to myself. I became a new person. Someone different, good or bad. But that side of me has vanished, and no one ever asks about the new girl. This story is about a girl who has undiagnosed schizophrenia. Because it is undiagnosed, and because it has gone unnoticed, in her mind she really believes that there is another girl who comes to school. And then disappears. When in reality, the girl that she observes is herself. It’s like she has an out of body experience and sees herself how she wishes she really was.