Breaking Free of the Mold
A Story About Finding Yourself Even When It's Difficult
Sarah pushed open her door and rushed inside. A thick layer of clothes covered the floor. She was looking for one thing, her high heels. She was going out with her group and was running late… as usual.
“I can’t be late! They’ll get angry at me like last time.” Sarah, a skinny girl, wore a crop top, short shorts and a face full of makeup. All she needed were her high heels to complete the outfit. Rummaging through the clothes, which gathered to make a small mountain, frantically searching for the shoes that she knew would complement her black lipstick perfectly. Finding her shoes, she noticed a small folded piece of paper as it fell from the armful of clothes she held. It was a photo. In the photo, stood her and someone she hadn’t spoken to for months: her old friend Kristen. Sarah was overcome with disbelief as she looked at herself, the person who had been gone for so long. No makeup, nice clothes. Not a fake smile plastered on her face. Suddenly it all came flooding back.
It was lunch time and Sarah and Kristen were enjoying a usual break. Sarah, makeup free was wearing a pair of jeans and her favourite top. She had just broken up with her boyfriend Matt. Despite the breakup, Matt and Sarah were still friends and he continued to sit with the two girls. The three friends loved the care free time they spent together at lunchtime.
“I have to go talk to Miss Levy about our assignment, I’ll be back in five minutes,” stated Sarah.
‘’Okay, see you soon,” replied Kristen and she and Matt continued to chat. As Sarah made her way to Miss Levy’s office it meant walking past the gang of plastic populars and their self-appointed ‘leader’ Vanessa. As she drew level with the drama queen, she heard her name being called.
“Um, hey Vanessa, what do you want?” queried Sarah.
Vanessa snapped, “We just thought that you should know the truth about that little rat, Kristen.”
Startled, Sarah’s mind was racing. She and Kristen had been friends for years, since year two. Kristen wouldn’t hurt her, would she?
“What are you talking about? Kristen is my best friend. She wouldn’t do anything to hurt me!”
“Kristen likes Matt, you know,” Sarah was startled and felt as though she was paralysed. Sure enough, as she looked down to where Kristen and Matt were, they were giggling and chatting and it hit Sarah like a tonne of bricks. Kristen was the one who wanted them to break up in the first place. Was she really looking out for her and was she just trying to win Matt for herself?
“Hey, but you’re always welcome to hang out with our group you know,” continued Vanessa.
Sarah ran as fast as the thoughts racing in her head. How could Kristen betray her? It was clear that Matt was out of bounds as soon as they broke up!
When Sarah arrived back to their table she was so upset that she screamed, “Kristen! How could you do this to me! I never want to see you again,” She ran away tears streaming down her face leaving a startled Kristen in her trail.
From that moment on, Sarah did not speak a word to Kristen. Slowly, everything that made Sarah who she was changed. Her shoes got higher. Her shorts got shorter. Her face covered with makeup. She changed everything about herself to fit in with the people she had to impress; a near impossible task. Her carefree attitude had vanished and she became a carbon copy of Vanessa and her group. Almost every day she thought of pulling on her old t-shirts and jeans. But Sarah knew that it would never be tolerated. Instead, she pushed the thoughts down inside as she tried to fit into the mould that the ‘popular’ girls had created.
Staring down at the photo in her hand, her face not plastered with makeup, but instead looked happy. Sarah turned to stare at herself in the mirror. Black lipstick that was as dark as the midnight sky. Eye shadow that resembled the colouring of a five-year-old: messy and random. She compared herself to the Sarah that stood in the photo. Something caught her eye in the background. A quote. A quote in which had once meant so much to her. A quote in which she stuck on her wall on the day before she started high school. “The hardest thing you’ll have to do is just be you.”
“What have I become?” Sarah thought to herself with tears rolling down her face. “I threw everything away for a rumour! What was I thinking?” Suddenly, it was like the fog had cleared and Sarah could see things for what they truly were. Her life was spiraling out of control. She knew that she shouldn’t have trusted the plastic popular girl, looking for something to entertain herself. She should have valued her friend. Sarah looked down at her phone and noticed a message that had just popped up. ‘Hey babe, I’ll pick you up in 20 xx.’ Sarah messaged back, ‘Hey Vanessa, sorry can’t come tonight… or any night.’ With that, Sarah went over to her mirror to wiped away the black lipstick and the dark eye makeup. Her face, now freed from the mould, felt as light as feather. She dialed the only person she had truly wanted to talk to over the past months.
“Hey Kristen, It’s me. Um… I just… I just… I have to talk to you,” she whispered to the phone. “Please can I just come over? I have to see you. I have to make things right. Okay bye.” Sarah hung up the phone, pulled on her geeky t-shirt and jeans before finally tucking the photo into her pocket and walking off to reconcile with her one true friend. “It’s time to be me again.”
Even when things are difficult, there is a way to get back to who you truly are X.