In seventh grade I was granted a top locker, by any usual circumstances this would have been an honor. My family was in the middle of a move placing me in a brand new school, I didn’t know a soul, but I knew one thing, no one wanted a bottom locker.
I arrived at my locker as I spun the knob I could not determine which number to stop at, because the line at the top is literally invisible if you stand at 4’11”. Embarrassed and ashamed my load of books served as my constant companion throughout the day.
I came home and reported my wretched day to my mother. She suggested I request a bottom locker. “Mom, no one wants a bottom locker, no one!” My mother’s mind is one of creativity. Her next suggestion was to figure out what the code would be if the line was at the bottom and not the top. “Ya, mom and just how am I going to figure that out when I can’t even see the top?” So there we were me and my mommy figuring out the locker code. She turned the dial to the correct number at the top, she drew a line with a sharpie marker at the bottom and low and behold I had a new code. My mom snuck out of the building and I could now open my locker almost as if I was a normal kid, well, a normal kid with no friends whose mommy had to help her with her locker.
I told myself no one knew I had to make this special adjustment. The sharpie marker wasn’t that obvious. One day I was talking to this girl, who used me and made me feel horrible about myself, when you’re a seventh grade girl, you just call those kinds of girls, friends. My friend had just shut her locker, “Oops, can I put my math book in your locker, I don’t need it till 6th period tomorrow.” “Okay,” I agreed. She tossed her book in and I shut the locker. “Oh what’s your code? In case you’re not here when I need it?” My face flushed with humiliation. My secret was about to be let out. My code suddenly became a long explanation and the source to this story which I have told over and over again.
Post inspired by Write on Edge. The challenge was to write about finding beauty in awkward moments in 400 words or less.