Short Story #4

Content warning: self-deprecation

Please keep in mind that this is a piece of fiction, and is meant to portray a characters experience with a mental health disorder/learning disability.


Ever since she was a young girl, Wanda has had to act like she was permanently an actor on stage in her life to be recognized as normal. When she saw people shaking their legs under their desk whilst typing on a screen, she did so as well. When she saw people smile naturally at someone across the way she did so too. When somebody told a joke, she learned the joke. She rehearsed saying that joke in her bathroom mirror for hours that night. To most, this was a ridiculous practice, but ironically, she did this not to feel ridiculous. 

One day, Wanda saw the boy she liked. Sebastian was his name. His beckoning blue eyes and swooped brown hair made him intimidating to her, and to most other girls in his vicinity. However, that day was the day she walked up to him and made her presence known. 

She walked up to him, saying “Hey, I saw you in the hallway on the way to math class.” 

“Oh yeah, I always see you too, “ he replied. 

“He got to the other side” 


Tears streamed down her face as she bolted away. Her breath started to quicken. Her one chance to talk to the boy she liked and she blew it. She felt so stupid, how could she say the punchline of the joke first? He’d never fall for a girl like that. Why did she have to work so hard only to tell a joke like normal people? 

Fortunately, the boy walked up to her the next day, and said “Is that why the chicken crossed the road?” 

She laughed, an immense relief filling her body. Maybe she wasn’t so stupid after all.

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