I am 16 years old, kneeling by a table in the high school cafeteria, cheerfully checking someone else's English homework. A friend of hers looks at me and says, "Are you ALWAYS happy?"
I tilt my head to the side, smile and shrug one shoulder before bouncing back to my own table. There, algebra homework instead of food is spread in front of my chair. I pick at a plate of french fries someone has thrust in front of me. A friend turns to me and says "Sweetie, are you ever happy?"
I lift my eyes slowly, smile the dark, gentle smile with which she is so familiar, and shrug the same half shrug.
My memoir is a story once removed. Of other people's moments and observations. Of grief that wasn't really mine to own. Of contradictions, half truths, and tales retold so many times I can't remember which version is the Truth. My story is the story of a girl on the inside looking out and the outside looking in.
This week's RemembeRED prompt was to pitch your memoir in 200 words or less. I'm not sure I followed the rules, but it is what it is.