She had always been called a freak, in one way or another, by more than one group of people.
She was a freak to her sisters because she could get good grades with seemingly little effort. Because she actually liked to read.
She was a freak to her parents. With no athletic ability, she found her solace in music. They just couldn’t see the long-term gain from this.
She was a freak to the popular crowd at school. With her nose usually in a book, she didn’t fit in with their idea of cool. Coming from a poor family, she couldn’t afford the clothes they thought she needed to have.
At first the word stung. Whether it was whispered snidely as she passed by or shouted angrily in her face, it cut like a rusty blade, leaving destruction and infection in its path. She burrowed deeper into herself, attracting further unsavory names.
Until she moved.
There, at her new school, there was a wall called “The Freak Wall.” Her peers gathered there proudly, accepting that they didn’t conform with typical societal views. Here people embraced her quirks, her odd behavior, with a smile. They encouraged her to be different, to branch out.
Black lipstick and orange hair. Multiple facial piercings and gypsy skirts. Athletes that didn’t quite reach jock status. Gamers. Girls that lived in a fantasy created by their imagination. Amateur photographers with cameras ever present in their hands.
They came together to welcome her, this new freak. They taught her to wear this title like a badge of honor.
Why be the same when you can be so very different?