by Patrick Yoo
I was about the least popular guy at school. I wore the same pants every single day, wore the same old dirty Air 1’s, and the same hair for every two weeks until I got a haircut. I guess I was pretty smart. I was athletic. I didn’t seem to understand at the time why nobody would seem to be very close to me. There just was no reason for people to not like me. But it was like I looked in the mirror for the first time. I saw the almond shaped Asian eyes that, for some reason, people did not seem to find very intriguing. Although I possessed those nuts for eyes, I knew I could do something to hide them. At least partially sure. I looked around school one day. I saw the clothes they wore. The brands that they labeled must have been their source of confidence. There was possibly no way to buy them, being on the budget my family was on. I whined. To the parents that had to work their way into the ‘rich’ neighborhood, I whined like a baby to buy at least one shirt from American Eagle, which seemed to be accepted at the time. Being so tired of the nagging; I forced my parents into car, speeding to the nearest mall. I hurriedly ran inside, bursting through crowds of such ‘cool’ people into the American Eagle shop. Or shoppe. It was supposed to be fancy, right? I looked at all the choices. The style of it seemed so foreign to me, and too many people were staring at the little Asian, so I grabbed a shirt, threw it on the counter and bought it. I didn’t even check what size it was. I literally pulled on the shirt the moment I walked out of the shop. Shoppe. I slept in it. Then I wore it to school. I didn’t get the attention that I thought. I thought I would suddenly be popular, amazing to the people. I was the same little Asian that I was before I bought the shirt. I thought I could finally be alike for once; finally fit in. My dreams were shattered.