The Only One Armed Girl

by Amah Assoumou, age 11
The Only One Armed Girl Amah comes from the Ivory Coast and like to write about characters with certain conditions. She likes ice cream.

“She felt the whole world against her just for being different.”

Startasia was a peculiar girl who wanted nothing more than to be normal. She was a tall girl who had nothing to do with anything but everything had something to do with her. She was had short curly brown hair and brown eyes. She live in Loomville, a small place that she hoped to love. She moved there because she thought there would be less people to make fun of her disability. She is just a normal girl with two legs and one arm.

Yes, Startasia had one arm. She once went swimming and had a shark bite. All she wants now is to have a normal life with two arms. Everywhere she goes, people stare. Even the parents who tell their children not to.

Her life wasn’t all miserable. She once had two arms and a best friend and she lost some of that. How was she going to be settled if everyone treats her like she a bubonic plague? She longs to be like those people who love their differences.

Unfortunately she wasn’t. Star had a long way to  come in making friends. She knew the school year was going to be terrible. It was not a hunch, just a It-Happens-Everywhere-She-Went-So-She Know- What-To-Expect-From-Everyone-feeling.

Chapter 1 : The Doom of School

On August 20th, Startasia went to WaterBear middle school. It was a new experience. As different as it might be, the expectation of the mockery, laughter and stares was still high inside of Startasia.

The moment that Startasia stepped through her classroom there was a long pause and silence. The stares were worse than ever. She quietly sort  of tip-toed to the back of the room to l take a seat. Then a lengthy girl with so much lipstick- enough to be Miranda Sings- approached her. Startasia gave an awkward smile.

“Yo Ms. One-Arm, this is my seat,” said the lengthy girl, “and I don’t want your disease rubbing off it!!”

“Kamielle Loof please report to the main office,” said the loud speaker. The lengthy girl groaned, wiped her raven black hair, twitched her freckles and walked out the room. Some girls were smiling at Startasia, other people were just staring at the empty space where her left hand used to be.

Just sat down and someone already hates you. Wow, nice going. Why couldn’t I just be homed schooled? My mom will love me with one arm and won’t say I have a disease.

Startasia ’s thoughts were interrupted by a little girl with a big smile on her face. She came towards Startasia and said, “I think you’re really cool. I’ll make sure you don’t explode before the end of the school year.” Then the little girl disappeared and left Startasia clueless.

It turned out that in the classroom they sat in Alphabetical order due to their last name. Bear being Statartsia’s last name makes her front and center, exactly what she wished not to be. The day went smoother than expected. People did not stare much. It turns out every new girl gets the “stare” for a moment.

Algebra was a piece of cake. History was fun. Literature and Science were breezy. Writing was awkward with one arm. Startasia was actually pretty smart. Some people thought the mind problem was as big as the arm problem.

Lunch. The small recess of devotion for gossip, friends, and social level to be in one room creating tension in the air as a tornado of words bounce off the walls. It was chaos. It was art. It was beautiful chaos. But Startasia sat by herself and eating with speaking to no one .

A girl with dark frizzy hair with freckles and brown eyes sat next to Startasia and said, “Hi.”

It was a magical time when Startasia smiled and forgot her lost arm.  The girl introduced herself as Orchid. Startasia smiled at Orchid and said “Hi. I’m Startasia.”

Orchid responded, “I know how you feel about your arm and it’s ok. Nobody’s perfect. Love yourself and freely determine who you are. No one can hurt you unless you let them hurt you.”

Startasia was upset. The only conversation she can conjure up was about her arm. why didn’t people just talk to her about normal stuff? Stuff like manners, love, or maybe even gossip. Why is her arm the thing people care about?

Tears slowly glisten down her face. Startasia got up and went in the bathroom.

From then on, Startasia ate in the bathroom and studied there as well. Sure, it was disgusting, but it was better than focusing on her arm. She sat on the floor against the bathroom stall. Drenched in tears and thoughts. Her head down at her knees. She thought of those people with two arms and cried harder.

She felt the whole world against her just for being different.

Chapter 2: The Past Is Still Present

Today, when she went home she raided the fridge, watched TV, wiped her tears and spoke not a word about school to her parents. Her mom Cecilia was home doing yoga and barely noticed her own daughter upset.

As Startasia scurried to her room smiling at her grades, she heard of more people who had to flee the beach because of numerous shark attacks. She felt a sharp object poking through her stomach, in her gut and right through her soul. The sound of that word shark revived a memory she had hoped to banish year ago.

It was a fun day like no other. She was playing in the water with her best friend Oyact. His brown hair was drooping over his eyes and his brown eyes were shut tight. Playing Marco-Polo. A woman yelled shark and everyone left the water. It was actually her and her husband playing with their kid. She back in the water with Oyact and was back to playing. The small fish nibbled Startasia’s feet. She felt a strong tug and thought it was her friends playing with her. Then she fell rows of teeth twisting at her arm. It was painless. As she looked at her arm she cried in terror of the amount of blood she saw, the lacking arm and the weird feeling that it did not hurt. She heard Oyact yelling for help as she saw him being dragged down to the ocean floor. She could barely moved as she was paralyzed in fear. Oyact’s body was never found. Sometimes she called that woman, “The woman who cried shark.”

Startasia was lost in her memory. She never forgave herself for the death of Oyact. It was a time in her life when her life was just so damaged.

Orchid snuck in Statasia’s house and watched her quietly on the stairs reading a book. She found it strange that it was unlocked. I mean, come on, you can pick a lock with a stale cheeto if you wanted to. Such poor security, thought Orchid. With a clear of the throat from jumps back and shrieks to see the girl who upset her in her house uninvited.

“Look, I’m sorry I about the lunch thing and the sneaking into the house thing even though you house can use some work with the security. I Know I probably should explain. I know how you feel because I have the same thing.”

Startasia responded, “Stop saying stuff like that you. You have no idea what it is like to be me. Being stared at to death just for being different.”

“Just let me talk. The only reason you are upset is because you think everything’s your fault.”

“Just get out, it’s illegal to break into people houses.”

“The only reason I know what you’re going through is because I’m prosthetic. I’m missing an arm as well.”

Chapter 3: The Truth Is Revealed

Orchid took off her robotic arm and placed it gently on the floor. Startasia gasped in shock. She never knew there were others like her.   Orchid rolled her sleeve to show the missing arm. Was this a joke or a prank? Was it true?

Orchid smiled. “I was there on the beach. I was in the water too. I held up Oyact. I helped you to the shore and went for more people. no one was there except the sharks. They bit me as well. I saw you and called the ambulance.”

“You mean to say Oyact is alive?” Startasia asked.

“Tried to tell you that day at lunch but you were too upset. Oyact is my brother. He is just fine. He always wonders about you and thought you were dead too.”

“But if you were there on the beach. How come you were not at the hospital?”

“There was massive amount of people in the hospital so I was transferred to the other side of town to Newton hospital for blood control.”

“But what about that little girl who said she’ll make sure I don’t explode?’’

“Oh, her? That’s Lizzy. She says it to everyone she doesn’t recognize. Se is kind of weird you’ll have to get use to her.”

Oyact walked in the room with a big smile. Startasia was wobbling. Her legs could not hold her up. She fell to her knees and had tears in her eyes.

Orchid responded “You know, if you keep crying like that you are going to die of dehydration.”   

Oyact was there standing breathless. The amputees hugged.  Startasia’s mom walked in and said, “Wow a family reunion and I‘m invited.”

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