Below is the prologue for Book 1 – “Falling”.
Describe a significant event in your life and how it changed you (Minimum: 750 words). Ugh. What kind of scholarship essay prompt is this? It was nice to find some scholarships that juniors could apply to, but I really didn’t want to answer this question. I know there are other scholarships I could apply to.
I put the application form at the bottom of my pile of papers. The due date was months away. I’d rather focus on the ones that were coming up soon. It was a little early for most people to start looking at scholarships for college. But I’m not most people. Well, I am, but I’m not. I wanted to make sure I had the money to go to whatever school I wanted to. Which was any school where I didn’t have to live at home.
The thing about essays for scholarships and stuff, they want you to reflect on what you did, what you’re doing, who you are, that kind of stuff. Reflect, reflect, reflect. What am I? A mirror?
When I look in the mirror I see this warped version of me – the one my parents see and the one that I think I am. My parents see me as a five-year-old looking for trouble and finding it, or it finding me. But I’m sixteen and if I stood in a crowd, no one would notice me. I’m too plain and short to stand out. Actually, I like the fact that in a group of people I can blend in. There are too many other things in my life that would make me stand out and I don’t like to call that kind of attention to myself. My parents hate negative attention too, so anything bad that happens is denied – never existed. That’s about all we agree on. The problem is… some things are too hard to deny and I can’t talk to them or anyone else about it. It’s easier to avoid my parents than to look at them and know we can’t talk about anything.
I don’t even have friends I can talk to. It’s always been hard for me to make friends. When I was younger, we moved around a lot for my dad’s work. My only dream was to have the same friends from junior high to high school – like most kids got. That didn’t happen. Most of the kids at my school grew up together and had history together. I envied that sometimes. To have friends that knew you, that understood you, that would be there for you – no matter what. Actually, last year, I thought maybe it’d happen. I had some friends, we hung out and did stuff together. When I stopped hanging out with them, they didn’t seem to notice. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe that’s my fault. It’s always my fault.
I stared at the application. It wanted me to list my hobbies. For most people, that isn’t a hard question, but for me it is. It’s not like I’m on a team or anything at school. I’m far too uncoordinated for that, not to mention not athletic at all. I don’t think that studying and doing homework counted as a hobby. I had to list something. The closest thing I had was singing. I loved to sing. Melancholy songs befit me. I could relate to the sad, heartbroken, anguished, the longing. It was very easy for me to put that feeling into my singing for those songs. I could do the happy, cheery songs, they just weren’t my first choice. It was nice to pretend to be that. It allowed me to step outside of myself and be someone else. I ceased to be me and cloaked myself in whatever carefree attitude the lyrics demanded. Acting. It’s a nice escape.
I had a small part in the school play last year. It was fun to pretend to be someone else. I was good at it, at least I thought so. Don’t ask my parents what they thought, they didn’t bother to come to any of the performances. They thought it was a waste of time, like many of the things I did.
Not exactly stuff you’d put into an award winning essay. I’d have to think of something else to write. Not that that’s hard for me to do. I could BS among the best of them, if I wanted to. I’ve done it to get people off my back and to avoid getting into some big thing with my parents. It was easy, most people don’t look deep enough to know if you are telling the truth. They only hear what they want anyway.
I really hated the part on applications that asked you what you are. It really shouldn’t matter. I didn’t think it should. Who cares what the shade of my skin, or anyone else’s, was? I looked at the options: American Indian, Asian, Black or African-American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and White or Caucasian. Where was American? That’s what I wanted to check. That’s what I am.
When my parents came to the US, they wanted their kids to assimilate to the American culture – I think they never really wanted to have kids because I’m an only child. So, I did. It’s not that I hate my parents’ culture, which I guess, technically is mine too. It’s just I don’t care for it, seems archaic many times. If you’re a free thinker, they say you’re hard-headed or stubborn. If you don’t agree with someone older than you, then you are disrespectful. It doesn’t allow for free thinking and your own ideas. Some of the food is okay. But culture is more than food. Of course, now that I’m completely assimilated, embrace the American culture and am an independent thinker, they don’t seem to like it because I’m considered stubborn, hard-headed and disrespectful. Hypocrites.