Essay by ThemisHigh School, 12th grade October 2003

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I am weak. I may look like someone who stands tall with inner strength but inside, I am frail. Like a little leaf that's easily blown, I am vulnerable.

I live in fallacy. I hide behind a mask of sunshine.

Yes, I smile and laugh a lot. I look like someone who doesn't have a care in the world. It may seem that I bathe in happiness, but are you sure that there isn't a shadow lurking behind all these? After all, it may be just a façade.

Any person who knows me would tell you I'm emotional. Very emotional. Cries at the shallowest of things, may get angry for no particularly clear reason. Nobody understands why, for there are a lot of things that they don't know.

I usually tell people about my family problems, and the story-telling session always follows the same vicious cycle: I suddenly tell them something about my family- they'll all look shocked- they'll ask me how was I coping with all that- I just shrug as if everything was just peachy-keen.

Finally, they'll all conclude that I don't mind that dumb family business at all. Of course, that's what I always let them think. I wouldn't want them to be burdened by some useless things like that after all. Or so I think.

But then you'll wonder: If I'm so in desperately need of solace, why in heaven's name won't I let them know what I really feel? That's easily answered. They'll never be able to understand what I've gone through because they've never been there. You think everything will be alright once I've let it all out, don't you? Well, guess what? I advice you should think twice. Things like these may seem harder than it looks, especially if you're surrounded by...