It’s not easy to show how you feel.
|Image: All Rights Reserved,|
|New York: Philomel Books,|
“What about your friends?” I ask. “Didn’t they help?”
Her lower lip trembles, and maybe this is one question too many. I really can’t take tears. But she pulls back from the edge, and she starts talking again.
“I guess I was popular before it happened, but that didn’t help. All the kids I hung around with just disappeared – all but Nancy, Nancy Fredericks. She was great. She came over almost every day after school, and she talked, and she just sat there and took it if I got mad and started calling her terrible names, and when I cried sometimes, she cried too. She could still see me, and she didn’t care about the blindness. That first year, my parents had special tutors come to our house and start to teach me Braille and all that blind junk – you know, like ‘Here’s your white cane to tap around with, little girl.’ But it was Nancy who kept me from going crazy. She told me about school and the teachers and the boys, and who had a crush on who. We still talk on the phone. It’s like she’s the only thing that didn’t change in my life. Everything and everybody else changed. . . . It’s like I disappeared along with the whole rest of the world.”
She’s done. And she’s self-conscious again. I don’t know what to say. I feel like I’ve been reading her diary. Risky stuff. So I just say, “Thanks . . . for telling me all that.”
“Why thanks?” she asks. She sits back in her chair and pulls her legs up against her chest.
“I don’t know,” I say, “I guess, because you didn’t have to tell me.”
She gets a devilish smile on her face. “Like yesterday, when you didn’t have to tell me about what’s happening to you right?”
“Yeah. Like that.”
And then I see what she means. Because I did have to tell her, just like she had to tell me all of this. I had to trust her. Sometimes you have to tell someone else what it’s like. Because if you don’t, you’ll go nuts.
Extract from the book Things not seen
By Andrew Clements
All Rights Reserved.
New York: Philomel Books, c2002.
Call No.: Y English CLE
Extract contributed by Lim Lee Lian, Associate Librarian
Available at NLB
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Call No.: Y English JOH
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Why do you think it’s important to share how you feel?