One day, at the beginning of my sophomore year, a guy in my Biology class copied off of my paper. He had been absent, and it didn't seem like a big deal. I watched him soak up my answers I had so carefully written in mechanical pencil, just to spit them back onto his own page. He didn't look at me, and he didn't even see what he was writing down. He was just copying. And I can't find the right words to describe how horrible I felt in the pit of my stomach. I was being used. This wasn't the first time, but it never feels any better.
He has asked many times to copy my answers since then. Not because he needs help, but merely because he learned that day back at the beginning that he can take advantage of me. But he is wrong. I have never said yes since that day. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but it stings every time he asks. It is a constant reminder of not only that stupid mistake, but of how wrong people are about me. Of how many negative things run through their heads when they see me that aren't even true.
A few days ago in my last class of the day there was a different boy I have been talking to. I was checked out from school a few minutes early, to which he reacted with, "Don't leave me!" As I left the school, I thought that maybe I finally met a boy that cared more about getting to know me than reading my notes. The next class period, just 48 hours later, we were filling out a worksheet. It wasn't long before I heard the familiar words, "What's the answer to number 1?" I covered my answer and showed him the paragraph in the assigned reading where he could find it. "Number 2?" I showed him again. But after "Number 3?" I was done.
"Just read the page!" I said, irritated. "You're not illiterate."
Then he smiled that smile. The one that they all form when they want something from you. It doesn't work on me because of how much I have grown to resent it. I silently boiled for a moment before turning back to my worksheet, working quickly and covering my answers as he tried desperately to see them. He was just like every other boy in my high school.
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My scores are decent, but not 100%. So is it because I'm ugly that people treat me this way? Is it because I'm quiet that people pretend to be my friend, and then treat me like an iPhone app that's supposed to answer all their questions? Is it because I'm weak that I've become so used?
Am I weak?