O is for Outsider – DaffOdil and the Thin Place

0804Cairo 066_edited-1It looks like she’s locked in but in fact, it was me on the inside and the little girl, was actually outside. I was part of a band of tourists who were visiting the Sphinx in Cairo and she was trying to make a living through the bars. It must have been hard for her to have seen so many wealthy people just a few feet away but to have been kept from them. Being an outsider is hard – especially in your own city.

Many teenagers feel like outsiders. The popular ones are thought of as the elite and the rest think they fall short somehow. I often think it would be great if all those who don’t consider themselves as ‘popular’ banded together and became the majority. Or even better, realised they are valuable people, no matter what anyone else says.

Daffodil started out as an outsider but by the end of her story, she found she no longer cared and because of that, she suddenly became more popular.

“I’d been hanging around the Popular Girls at break last week while they were planning their weekend.

“…an’ after that, we’ll go an’ see a film,” said Marion.

“Ooh, yes,” said the girls enthusiastically.

“You comin’?” she asked me.

The others stared at her for a second, checking they hadn’t misunderstood, and then to my amazement, they all nodded.

I couldn’t believe my luck. I’d been invited out by the Popular Girls. Yay! And then the nightmare began …

“You can’t come out with us because you have to do…what?” asked Marion as if I’d just told her I’d rather stay home doing extra maths homework.

“Go to a wedding,” I whispered.

“My aunt got married in a hot air balloon,” said one of the girls. “Where’s your wedding?”

All eyes swivelled back to me.

I could’ve lied. I could’ve told them my cousin was going to get married while bungee jumping or that I’d be flying off to the Caribbean for a cool, beach wedding. But what was the point? On Monday, they’d be sure to ask awkward questions like, why didn’t I have a suntan? Better to be thought of as boring than as a liar.

“St. Nicholas Church,” I whispered.

“What? That old ruin on the hill?”

I nodded miserably but no one noticed. Was it was too late to lie? Apparently it was. The Popular Girls had already turned away.

“Honestly, you can’t win, can you?” said Marion with a shrug, “You try to be nice to a Nobody and look what happens.”

It was as if I didn’t exist, and of course now, in their eyes, I didn’t. In the space of five minutes, I’d unexpectedly become a Somebody and then been shoved back into the world of Nobodies. And it had all been the fault of the stupid wedding.”

To continue the story, why not check out the book here