by Casey, age 16, Mississippi, USA
One of my earliest memories consists of me watching the other children play on the playground and make friends with each other while I am sitting on a bench a distance away, flapping my hand around, wishing that I can somehow be a part of their world… and yet I am not sure if I really wanted to be a part of it at all. It is the second week of kindergarten and I am already an outsider in the other children’s eyes.
The week before, I was watching the other children play while trying to block out the noise at the same time. They were all on the slide sliding down a rail and a teacher was helping them. She noticed me standing off to the side and asked me to join them. I hesitantly agreed.