Just Like the Others
SOFIA DURÃO LOPES (PORTUGAL)
I’m going to tell a story, my story, a story that almost nobody will believe in, I think…
I’m Samantha, my parents are from Africa, but I was born here, in the U.K; I’m fourteen and I want you to realise what I’ve been through. It was the first day of school, and my first day here, in the new school, I must admit I was a little scared, but what kind of teen isn’t, am I right?
I got in the room, and I looked at all my future classmates, nobody had the same skin colour as me, but as we are in the twenty first century I thought nobody cared about that anymore… And I was wrong.
I spent the first term being constantly mocked by everybody. I was so mad, but I thought that if I were mad they would laugh and tease me even more. So I did nothing, I just ignored all those mean words that all of them kept telling me, all the mean jokes, the fact that I have been always put apart because of my colour, and other things I don’t dare to say.
As I feared, my grades started to get lower and lower. I didn’t know what to do so, in a moment of pure fear, I told my mom everything. In just a tiny and quick second the weight on my shoulders disappeared, but honestly it was really hard to say how I felt, not because I was scared they would find out, not even because I knew my mom wouldn’t understand, just because I wasn’t sure what I felt about it, if it was sadness, anger, fear, maybe a little bit of all, maybe not.
As it all happened so damn fast, I couldn’t recognize that was racism, that my classmates were bullying me, and the simple fact of nothing being changed even after my parents spoke with the teacher, scared me, made me feel insecure and with no reason to live. My grades were so low that it was almost impossible to pass the year. To lose one year of my life, for what? The next class would do the same thing!
I didn’t want to end my life but this! I just needed a reason to show them I was the same, black or white, what does that matter?!
I was holding the knife, not being sure of what to do, not sure if that was a good idea or not, when the lights of the stairs turned on, somebody was coming!
I was so scared that my parents would find out, so I tried to put the knife back on its place, but my hand slipped, and I’ve cut myself, a small little cut, where you could see red blood, as everyone else!
I’m not different! My blood is red too!
So, I smiled to the future near me, and I said: “I’m not different!”