From Their Perspective

"You know, when we were heading out of the stadium people kept looking at me sweetly. It took me a few minutes to figure it out but I get it now. I wanted to punch them in the face." My friend and I were riding the bus back to campus, we had gone to see a Red Sox game at dear ol' Fenway Park. I looked up at him and could only shrug. He didn't have to say more to explain himself, and I didn't have to ask to know just what he meant.
Though my chair was lowered to the ground and he easily towered over me, I too had seen the glances. The look that said oh you're doing a kind thing by taking her out to have fun. It's besides the fact that the game day tickets had been mine. It's besides the fact that I was the one who showed him how to navigate public transportation to the game. It's besides the fact that I was not his helpless younger sister, or some child - but his equal, his friend, a partner in crime. It has everything to do with the fact that those glances decided I was not his equal.

"It's okay just ignore them." My younger brother mouthed to me in the water. I sat nervously on the deck of the swimming pool at the YMCA; it was 20-min of "Free Swim" and kids from all of the swimming classes were throwing themselves in. But first they wanted to satiate their staring appetites on the surgical scars on my legs, and the way the rest of my body bowed in places like the crests of ocean waves.
My younger brother, being shy, was waiting for me to get into the pool so we could play together. He was waiting for his older sister - the one he felt most comfortable around, to goof around with him, to have someone to beat in a race to the other end. It's besides the fact that none of the other kids paid him any attention. It's besides the fact that my younger brother is seven years younger. It has everything to do with the fact that everyone was missing the bit of courage that my kid-brother was displaying, the impatient encouragement he was giving me for my own good.

"Can we have a booth or a table please? It'd be better for my friend.." The rest of her words were drowned out by the DJ giving a shout-out, and the crowd responding with screams that were swallowed by quick flashes of night-club lighting. The hostess peered over her ledger and looked at me, shocked and confused. We stood there looking blankly at her when she fumbled to say something about how tables were closed to patrons when the main dining hours were over.
I began to fidget and gave an upwards swing of my chin towards the exit door. I was trying to say that maybe we should just leave and go somewhere else, but still my friends stood there. After a few minutes my friend finally leaned over the ledger and gestured with her arms towards the side of the night-club, in her mind it was clear that a table and a few chairs could fit perfectly. It's besides the fact that the staff looked shocked and confused when I entered. It's besides the fact that the hostess launched into some defensive explanation. It has everything to do with the fact that one night of letting loose, broadened the idea of expectations and acceptance in someone else's mind.

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