Starring at the stars in the sky, Zara stayed silent where her mind was somewhere else. She brought both her legs up close to her chest, while the night wind slowly became wilder. She always came here, in the rooftop of her house to sit and think.
In the sky, she found a tiny star that caught her eyes. Despite its small size, it is the most shining star among the others. And she wondered, can she become something like that star too? Shiner than her friends, while she was considered as a ‘small’ person, because of her family status.
“Zara!” Mommy knocked on her door, while Zara still asleep 15 minutes before her school bus will arrived.
Woken up by the ranging voice of her door, Zara sat up on her bed and rubbed her hurt eyes. Lack of sleeping these days, made her eyes a little bit dry and hurt.
“Yes, Mom, I will come in a second,” Zara said while fighting to keep her eyes open.
The knocking on the door finally stopped.
“Hurry up or you will be late,” Mom said and then left.
Zara threw off her blanket and get out of the bed. She looked herself in the mirror and found darkened spots under her eyes.
She only slept for four hours last night; she cannot fall asleep, because she was afraid of how fast the morning would come if she closed her eyes.
Zara sighed and then took her towel and go showered.
Many children were laughing and playing with the other kids when Zara walked in into her school. When Zara passed them and gave them a little smile, they quickly left. Zara still put a smile on her face while maybe another girl in Zara’s position won’t smile when they got ignored.
Zara is a serious student, got in the most elite school in town was never in Zara’s mind before. But, she was called up to come as soon as her junior high school final test’s result came.
And here she was, living with children of the wealthy families in the town, also with smartness beyond average. Zara always thought that maybe she got in the wrong place that this school is not destined for her. She always felt small and unfit in here.
Especially when there are bunch of people who hate her, like Zara had done something very bad to them.
Zara walked in to her class and tried to smile to her classmates, but as usual they always ignored her.
Zara sat on her seat in the front of the class, unlike other students who doesn’t like sitting in the front. The reason is simple, because she had a problem with her eyes and she didn’t tell her parents yet about it. There are many things that her parents had to think that is more important.
When Zara took out her first lesson book from her bag and put it on her table, suddenly Eva was in front of her table, handing out her own book.
“Do my homework,” she said fast.
“What?” Zara couldn’t understand what Eva was saying.
Eva rolled her eyes. “Do my homework!” Eva said in a chilly voice. Eva pushed her book closer to Zara.
“No, I won’t,” Zara said, pushing back Eva’s book back to its owner. “You will get nothing if you make me do your homework.”
Eva looked angry and she took her book harshly. “Fine then, what people are talking about is really true, isn’t it? You are so arrogant!”
Zara shook her head. “No, Eva. Actually if you asked me about what number you cannot do, I will help you happily. But, if you let me do all of your works, you will get nothing, right?”
Zara’s words seem to shot Eva right to its point. But, with her big ego, Eva didn’t say anything and left from Zara’s table.
When Eva left, Zara saw that Eva was talking to everybody about what Zara said to her and added things up, which was not the real things.
Zara had a new ability when she got to this school, which is to be deaf in some occasions, so she will not hear the bad words be said about her. And it works well this far. She needed to be looked strong by her friends.
When Zara came home from school, she saw her mother busy with house dos. So Zara put her bag in her room, change her clothes and step in to help her mother do the house works, while her Mom want to bath her little brother.
It was like all days routine, she came home from school and helping her mother who probably more tired than her for taking of her two little brothers, both 6 and 2 who still need a lot of care.
Zara done her house works by 6 p.m. and headed back to her room to study. Tomorrow is an exam of Physic, and Zara is just one of the students who didn’t really like physic. But, didn’t like the subject doesn’t mean she will not study about it, because in her opinion she need to study harder in which subject she doesn’t really like and hard to understand, because if she doesn’t study her grades will just get worse.
After studying, Zara still have a lot of time before she can close her eyes. Her insomnia had been on the worse these couple of days. Zara always writing to kill of her night time until morning only 4 or 3 hours before she go to school.
She runs a blog called ‘That Star Is Me’ which in there she posted many things about things she likes and she cared about. She likes to read so she always post book recommendations so people can consider about the book they want to read next. She happily does reading, she often spent hours in her free time to get her nose in the book and that was why her eyes seem to have a problem right now.
She also posted stories about her life, which is she kept her personal information anonymous, she used a stage name so people will not acknowledge her. Writing for Zara was like a healing process, she can tell everything in a blank paper and no one will knew it, not even her family.
Killing time with writing was always her perfect choice, not only can fill her time with insomnia, she can produced something that can be enjoyed by many people.
When Zara feel the need of sleep approaching her, she closed her notebook, got on to the bed and sleep for several hours before the knocking in the door woke her up.
Zara hated exams, not because she wasn’t studying before, but what was happening with her friends that she hated the most.
Fifteen minutes after the start of the physic exam, Zara’s classmates were already cheating, only a few who didn’t. Zara start to do the ‘deaf’ thing so she will not hear when her friends started to called her name.
Zara almost loudly gasp, when a paper fell onto her lap. She turned around and saw her classmates were trying to hide giggles. Zara opened the paper and see a drawing of her in a very not respectable way. Zara shoved the paper into her table’s escritoire and continue do her physic.
Only god can change her friend’s way of thinking.
The night air didn’t bothered Zara at all. She sat next to her half open window while browsing on the internet. She read about a writing competition in her school’s magazine wall which is due next month and Zara cannot get more excited than thinking about joining it.
Finally, Zara got the website and it was presented by an organization who’s really care about children’s mental health and it was based in the UK and can be joined by all people of the world with the age above 16. Zara jumped up and down in her seat, getting so excited and nervous at all the same time. She will get her first debut joining her international writing competition, and nothing can be better.
After the print out came, Zara held the paper in front of her and pray to God that her parents will approve this. She just printed out some information about the competition, including the costs of the registration. Maybe some people thought that the cost is not too high, but thinking her family economy these couple of years, make Zara so not confident about telling her parents.
Zara came downstairs and found her parents were chatting in the family room while her brothers were playing in the rug near them.
“Mom, Dad,” Zara called them.
They turned their heads from each other and smiled to Zara.
“Come here.” Mom gave a little space between her and Dad.
The folded paper in her right hand started to feel a little bit hot now or it just the heat of her nervous body? She didn’t know.
She sat between them and Dad stroked her hair as usual whenever he sat next to her, it’s like a calming method, but for now it just made Zara more nervous.
“What is it?” Dad asked. His eyes firstly gazed into Zara’s then turned to the folded paper in his daughter’s hand.
“I want to join a writing competition,” Zara said finally. She handed out her paper to her Dad’s hand.
When Dad started to read it, Mom moved over to Dad and joined him in the reading.
Zara looked down to her feet that playing the rug’s fur. Cannot bear the fear about what her parents will say about the competition. She was prepared for the worst respond of her parents.
“It’s okay, Dad, Mom, if I cannot join, I still have another opportunity and I understand what our family has gone through all these years,” Zara said still looking down.
“You are right,” Dad sighed.
Zara held her tears back. Don’t cry here, Zara. She said to herself and repeating that words all over again.
Zara took a deep breath and stood up. She smiled nicely, like there was nothing bothering her right now.
“So I think I can go back to studying right now. Thanks Mom, Dad,” Zara said trying so hard not to burst into tears.
Dad shook his head. His face is so hard to read, it’s like he have ability to not showing his feelings sometime.
“Oh, do you want me to do another else?” Zara asked, wishing his Dad would say no.
“Yes,” Dad said.
“What is that?” Zara said like she was in a hurry in something. All she wanted now was crying on her pillow until she fell asleep and she knew that there was a plenty of time to do that.
“I want you to come up to your room, open your notebook, and start writing. I will do anything for you, especially for your own good, how much it takes, and how hard it is.” Dad put the paper into his shirt’s pocket. “I will register it tomorrow, and you don’t need to worry about anything. Do whatever good for you, okay?”
Zara’s lips curved into a big smile. She hugged her Dad and Mom. “Thank you so much,” she whispered.
Zara’s writing about mental health was quickly became famous in the internet, because it was published by the organization on their website, alongside another competitors, but Zara’s was the most favorite. People were admired by Zara’s topic about mental health by bringing herself as the victim. She was in need of mental support by her friends and teachers in school, but she didn’t get it and she felt miserable with it.
And Zara came out as the first winner of the writing competition and she couldn’t be happier. Seeing the proud look on your parents face is the best thing ever.
“I always know you can do it, Zara,” Mom cried in the middle of the winner’s outdoor party since it was held for the announcement of the winners.
Zara hugged her Mom and behind her, Zara saw her Dad smiling largely, showing his entire tooth.
After hugged Mom, Zara turned towards her Dad and hugged him. “Thank you Dad, for all of your support,” Zara said.
“I know you always make me proud,” Dad said in her ear.
The next thing, she knew, she was in both of her parents’ arms. They walked together, talked together, and Zara was so glad to introduce her parents to her friends.
When the end of the party finally came, she looked up in the sky and found a small star shine brightly than the others. And she cannot help herself to smile.