The Proper Format

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     ,,Who's to say I'm wrong?,,' I wrote. I knew I'd probably get an 'F' on this paper for my punctuation, but I didn't care. I had a point: who was to say I'm wrong? Just because it isn't common, doesn't make it incorrect; it doesn't mean I shouldn't do what I do.

      I take this view on life seriously. I think everything is a matter of perspective, and I make it my goal to try to see them all.  

      "Don't die," read a note on my wall. It was one of my many reminders. "Ask Katie," read another. I'm already doing that first one, it's the second one that weakens my knees. 

     On the car ride to school, Liz was playing  her music loudly per usual and I was holding my ears just in case they fell off. I looked at the raindrops on the window, they were dancing to my thoughts. I'm not happy or anything, I'm just practicing being happy so my thoughts are... I don't know... happyish I guess, and the raindrops were dancing to the happyish thoughts. I'm really not happy though. My eyes focused on the face of a guy driving beside us. They focused hard like a 1700 mm Nikkor Nikon lens switching focus from a drop of due to an insect in the distance.  

     "Don't stare at people! Especially creepy looking guys like that," Liz judged. 

     I continued to study his face. It was grey and he looked incomplete. We made eye contact for a bit. As he picked up speed and cruised passed us, there was a sign in his rear window. It was difficult to make out at first, but it said, "honk if you care," in bold letters. I leaned over fast and honked the horn and Liz freaked out. 

     "What the hell are you doing?!"

    "I care," I said as I stared through her.

     "He's gonna think I honked the horn! He could be searching for his next victim to rape or kill!" 

     He slowed down a bit without braking and looked into our car. I looked away from Liz and at the guy. He was crying, but he smiled at me. I smiled back. And he drove away. 

     "I'm telling mom when we get home! She needs to have a talk with you because you can't just keep reaching out to strange people. Like what were you even thinking?! Why would you honk at him?" 

     "I saw the universe end in his eyes," I whispered. 

     She looked at me as if I were a freak of nature. 

     "I once read a story on tumblr about a man who took a long walk to one of the bridges in New York. He jumped off the bridge which ended his life. A note was found at his house that read if one person smiles at me on my walk to the bridge, I won't kill myself.' No one smiled... We just gave that man a smile," I said.

     Liz squinted her eyes. Her look said, "I never would've thought of that," and, "You're right." 

     School that day was no different from any other: At lunch, the upperclassmen were making fun of my uniform (we wear the same uniform, but they still managed a way to make fun of it) and I just watched them while I listened to my thoughts, "People are people, and I'm sure their personal insecurities completely mutilate their minds nonstop, so they try to point out others'. I won't give them the satisfaction of wilting my character." I repeated this in my head until I believed it. When lunch ended I went to the bathroom stalls and cried until my head hurt.

     "Max?" Said a voice behind me as I walked out of the bathroom.

     "Hey Katie," I squeaked as I rubbed my red, puffy eyes.

     "Upperclassmen?" She asked. I nodded.

     "Want me to kick their asses?" She offered. Though it was tempting, I had to refuse for the sake of her permanent record.

     We walked to painting class together. Katie tried talking to me the entire time while she was painting but I was too busy thinking of the best way to ask her to the dance. I dove in head first, "I got lost the moment I was born and I found myself in your eyes."

     She looked as if someone had put a blow torch to her back. She sat upright and looked at me. 

     "Can we go out Friday night?" I asked her. 

     "Um, the dance is Friday night," she responded.

     "I know. Can we go...?" I looked at the floor as I finished, "...together?" 

     She looked at my painting for a moment. "What does it mean?" She asked. 

     I looked down at my work. "It means 'us'." The blue is the ocean. It symbolizes all that I think you are: Dangerous, deep, scary, beautiful, and so much more. You're my mystery.. Unexplored waters. You can be as crystal clear as the Caribbean Sea, or as dark as the deep blue Pacific; hiding all secrets within you. " 

     She looked at me thoughtfully as I explained to her what I thought of her. She was biting her lip and her eyes filled with the ocean. "What is the red?" She asked after I finished explaining. 

     I took a moment. It's crimson, and it isn't paint.

     Things like that didn't creep her out. There were no surprises with us; she knows I'm weird and I know people are people. Things happen and we just have to take them for what they are. "Is it your blood? Or the blood of some sort of animal?"

     I lifted my sleeve, exposing my bandaged arm.

     "So does the blood represent the pain I've caused you?" She asked me.

     I shook my head, "It represents my desire to become one with the waves, to mend with the mists, and bond with the breezes. The blood symbolizes my passion for you. It symbolizes the sacrifices I would make for you and all that I'd give to you." At this point, Katie's makeup had run down to her chin and the class had ended.

     "I love you Katie Gryson," I said as the tears streamed down my face.

     "I... I love you too Maxine Blake." She said in return.

     I didn't tell her this, but I felt like I was nothing without her. And if she, the only person who understands how and why I am the way I am, wasn't in my life, I wouldn't have much of a reason to exist. Since the day we met, Katie has given me a smile. She gave me what I've been screaming so silently for: A way to see my own purpose in life and a reason to continue to exist. And the fact that anyone could love a girl like me and understand my perspective is a mystery beyond all existence, but for once, it's a mystery I won't question.

     Katie and I have been in a relationship since that day, forward. We ended up not going to the dance, instead, we decided to spend the night at my house and we watched movies and fell asleep together. Katie Gryson loved me more than I loved myself and as a result, she made me promise to not cut anymore (Not even for art). Katie made sure the upperclassmen never bothered me again, I'm not entirely sure how, but she said something about their anuses and a branding iron (Yikes!). I'm actually somewhat happy for once. Well.... Happyish.

     Just because I'm "weird" (different), in love with another girl, and  there are scars on my arm doesn't make me incorrect. I'm as human as you are, I have as much right to exist as anyone on Earth. We're all equal, despite what Liz thinks, despite what the upperclassmen think, and despite what society says.
,,Who's to say I'm wrong?,,

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