As I said in the previous post titled “You Smell Like Apples,” I found myself thinking about my times in high school. Today’s story titled “My Dark Side” is about the best and worst of times that I had in high school. I found myself in a scary, dark place that I never expected to be in high school, but I’m thankful for it because it helped shape who I am today in a way. It’s a story that helped me embrace my dark side.
It was 10th grade, and I was sitting in Honors English class. I remember that I wanted to keep to myself because I wasn’t in a good mood. I was being ignored by someone that I cared about, but I didn’t understand it. I was trying to figure out if I had done something wrong to hurt this person, but it was hard to tell. The more I thought about it, the more confused I got because I had done nothing wrong. If anything, this person had constantly hurt me in unimaginable ways, but I didn’t know it. I always saw the good in this person because no one else did. They just saw the bad in this person. For me, this person was righteous and had a special place in my heart. I refused to see the worst in this person because it just wasn’t possible. I was in denial.
Anyways, in English class we were in the poetry unit. We had studied and read different poems written by famous poets. Miss Beres, my English teacher, would also have us write our own poems and voluntarily read them in class. I never read my poems in class because I was kind of insecure about my poetry. I just turned my poems in to Miss Beres and never recited them. Well, that all changed this one day. Miss Beres announced to the class that we had to write a rhyme-schemed poem, and we were all required to present it in class. In addition, we had to make it deep, emotional and personal. This scared me a lot. I wasn’t trying to recite a poem a personal poem in my class, and I needed to get out of it somehow.
After class, I confronted Miss Beres and told her that I wasn’t trying to read a poem in class. I explained that I had some insecurity about reading my poetry, but she said, “Well, Isaiah, this is an environment that’s open and welcoming. There’s no reason to be scared to read your poetry. It’s necessary and a requirement for this unit that you read poetry. I can assure you that it’s not as scary as you think, and you will be fine.”
Miss Beres words really didn’t comfort me, but I knew that I wasn’t gonna get out of reading poetry to my class. I just had to suck it up and prepare to humiliate myself.
I was sitting at home, and I had just finished my math homework. Then, I started thinking about my rhyme-scheme poem that I needed to write for English class. I didn’t know what to write about. I tried to write about something happy and joyful, but I couldn’t do it. It was impossible because my mind was on the person that was hurting me. The person that I thought was supposed to love me unconditionally was hurting me. I could only think about this person and nothing else. Then, I realized what I needed to write about. I knew that I had to write about this person.
It was easy. It was easy writing about this person. It was easy writing about all the pain, sadness, despair, hurt and darkness this person was putting me through. It was easy because it was the truth. I don’t know what it was, but I found myself being truthful in my writing. I realized this person was a disease and a cure in my life. I realized that this person was never righteous. This person was wrong, but I just really wanted this person to be right. The world can’t be right about this person, it just wasn’t fair to him or to me. Nevertheless, I ended up writing how I really felt about this person. There were no lies in this poem, only the truth.
The next day, I was in English class about to read my rhyme-schemed personal poem. I didn’t know what to expect from people in my class. I didn’t know if they were going to be laughing at me or be horrified at me. I wanted to somehow get out of reading this poem, but it was impossible. I had to read this poem to my class.
After one person was done reading her poem, I ended up going after her. I stood in front of the class, took a deep breathe and said the first lines of the poem. I read, “You were never a righteous person.”
It was a struggle to go through this poem, but I managed. I went through all the stanzas and made it to the last line. I looked at the last line of the poem and read, “But you are my dark side.”
There was a pause, and I didn’t know what to think of it. Then, I received a round of applause from my class and teacher. They liked the poem, and my teacher was proud that I had the courage to write and read this poem. Despite the praise that I received for this poem, there was still a certain level of discomfort and discontent I had with the poem.
This poem that I wrote and read aloud in class started something within me. It pushed me to write more poetry that I needed to write. I found poetry to be therapeutic and freeing for me. Poetry was a gateway for me to be honest and open with myself. I am thankful for what this poem did for me, but I still don’t appreciate what it did to me. It hurt me and put me in a dark place that I never intended to be in. I remember my teacher wanted me to publish and recite this poem in a coffeeshop, but I refused to because I didn’t want it out there. I didn’t want to look at it ever again.
I still don’t want to see it, and I don’t know if I ever will be comfortable with it. It’s a poem that I wish that I could erase from existence, but I know that who I am today wouldn’t be possible without that poem. Maybe one day I’ll share it on here, but I doubt it. I hate it, but I love what it did for me. It brought out the worst in me, but it helped me bring out the best in me. This poem wouldn’t be possible without the person that hurt me in the past. Sadly, this person continues to hurt me in unimaginable ways, but I’ve managed to have this person not be essential part in my life. In the end, this person was and will always be my dark side.
Thank you for reading “My Dark Side.” Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.
Next week, I will be posting part one of a four-part story titled “Trying to Get My Hitch On” on Tuesday. Then, I will be posting part two on Thursday.