The Girl Who Learned to Laugh


Introduction by Mrs. Shattuck: This vignette was written by Natalie for a writing assignment in Mr. Finnegan’s ninth-grade English class. She did such a great job that we wanted to share it with all of you. Amazing writing, Natalie!

As the girl went from her house to the bus stop, she brushed her hair out of her face. She had dark hair like oil that slicked over her shoulder that sparkles when she walked into any room. It made people’s eyes look at her, but she avoided their glare as they traced her through the bus. She took every step as if she was treading on ice, and if she made any progress, the ice would crack. She keeps to herself, commanding everything to remain locked in a private vacant room. She doesn’t operate out of that room, and if she went out into the world, it would shatter into millions of pieces of glass. As the bus goes over bumps, she just brushes them off as the other kids scream and whine. She is more complex than others and acknowledges it to be a fact. As other girls in her class cover their character with makeup and outfits, she defends hers with a wall as abundant as the Great Wall of China. She lets no petty name or expression tear through her defense and doesn’t even fight back but sweeps it off as if it were a mosquito bite.

As she wanders within the halls of the school, she brushes no one, as if they were a puzzle that she has solved. She glances down at her schedule and notices that she has the class that she despises, and she thinks, ‘Besides that, today is the first day at a different school, and I am bound to step into a class that I detest including strangers.’ She floats through the class comprehending where she must sit, not in the rear with the slackers or in the front with the intelligent thinkers, but in the middle, next to the window, so her spirit can roam within time and escape out of reality. As she wanders and leaps out of reality, she goes through many classes, all tiresome. She arrives in the combat zone, the cafeteria; ordinarily, she would slide through the tables and make her way to a vacant one, but this time was different. A girl wanders up to her and says, “Hi, want to sit with us?” She would usually tell the person not to trouble themselves and go sit by herself, but this time she went with her, and this time she laughed.