My momma told me that some people are different.
They're just not like me, like my friends, like my peers.
They're just different.
Momma said that it doesn't make them different; they're just more special than other people.
At school one day, after school had opened for a few weeks or so, our teacher introduced a new student: his name is Jack.
She told us he was a very special boy, and that we had to be careful to be extra nice to him.
A lot of my classmates weren't very happy about that. I heard Mary Ann say she was going to "have a little chat with him" during recess.
At our school, "have a little chat" means bad things.
It's not like a rule or anything.
It's just something every body going to the Halow School understands.
Jack didn't though. When Mary Ann and her lumberjacks hopped over to him during recess, he only smiled amiably at them.
Mary Ann punched him in the face and said some mean comments.
I heard them while eating my snack. They weren't very nice, and they hurt too.
The strange thing was that, throughout it all, Jack didn't utter a single word.
He just kept smiling, and even laughed when Ann spit in his face.
I didn't understand why, and when I went home that day I asked Momma.
She said that he was a special kid, and that he needed special care because he was different.
When I asked Momma why every kid didn't receive special attention since everybody was special, she told me that kids like Jack were dis-ab-led.
She said dis-ab-led people didn't think like normal people did, and that was why they were special.
Dis-ab-led people needed special care, she said, so that they didn't get in trouble because they didn't think like everybody else.
The next day, I went to school again and saw Jack being bullied. I wanted to say something, but I didn't know what.
I also didn't want Mary Ann to spit in my face.
Like yesterday, Jack took all the words in like Pappa's chicken noodle soup. He seemed to really enjoy all those bad comments.
After those two days, I began to watch Jack, or, as Pappa likes to call it, observe.
I noticed that Jack never talked: not once. The teacher never called on him to participate like she did the rest of us, and he didn't have any friends because nobody liked him.
He was a strange kid, I realized, but special too.
Jack seemed amazed by the simplest things. One day, when everyone was inside because it was raining, Jack ran out without a raincoat.
Mary Ann and the other kids laughed at him, caling him dumb and re-tard-ed ("he's probably autistic," one of the nerdy kids said laughing - everyone else told him to "shut up, you nerd"),
but I watched him like Pappa said I should when I didn't understand something.
He was jumping around like a jumping jack in the rain.