“What’s wrong with you Pat?” She didn’t realize that there was anything wrong with her.
“Why are you wearing that Pat?” Now her wardrobe was a crime?
“Who even says ‘the rave’ anymore?” Now her vocabulary was off.
“What is this? Why is this not an ‘A’?”
“I don’t know? Maybe the teacher thought the minus after the A in my mean grade was a fun thing to throw in”, Patricia thought to herself. After all anything but an ‘A’ was never good enough for Mama.
Everything Patricia ever did was never good enough for anyone. Her hair, her clothes, her grades and her vocabulary were either lack luster or ‘too much!’ for people. No one seemed to like Patricia for who she was.
Its graduation day, who cares? Patricia is the valedictorian and is to graduate summa cum laude; First class with honors. Fancy words… Her mother just fussed over how fat the graduation gown made her look.
Patricia heard her name called by the Vice Chancellor and walked to the podium she could hear snickering behind her as she passed. She was used to it. She got to the podium and got a warm hug from the VC and began.
“Fellow graduates; it’s been a long road.” She paused for what seemed like forever and continued.
“Really? Who cares? What is the point? Here I am at the top of the graduating class where we have been made to believe that academics is everything. Yet a month after joining a place of work and a few minutes at today’s ceremony life hit me. It isn’t about the grades it is about the way you look.”
“Pat sit down!….” Patricia cuts her Mum off as she yells from the crowd for her to get her act together.
“No mum! You like the others busy snickering as I walked up here have always been obsessed with how I look. Never once has anyone found out how I feel…..” She started tearing and paused to wipe the steady stream of tears. She continued.
“You know what?! May you all have a nice life!” She said sarcastically. “The only people worth thanking I already have and that is the VC and Ms. Merina and Mr. Kelipha who cared most about who I am as a person. And not what I look like or how smart I am.”
She stormed out of the graduation grounds, everyone was stunned. Everyone turned and looked at Patricia’s mum who was now torn between looking respectable and running after her heart broken daughter.