My name is Cindy Johnson, and I'm a freak…at least I feel like one. Although Momma says I’m beautiful, other people look at me like I'm uglier than sin. You see, I was born with one leg shorter than the other and I have a very bad limp. I go to high school, but if I had a choice, I'd just stay home and read romance books all day. At least, through the writings of others, I can escape to a
Funny thing is, I have a crush on the HS Quarterback despite knowing I stand no chance with him. His name is Cory Neil and he’s polite, but I know it’s only because he feels sorry for me. Knowing Math is my strong subject, he called and asked me to tutor him. I was so blinded by his attention, I agreed because he was so sure he’d lose his place on the team if he failed the class. Anyhow, I arranged to meet him in the library because our house…well, let’s just say, it isn't a mansion and I decided I’d be much more comfortable without him seeing how I live. Oh, don't get me wrong, my dad does his very best, but we've not had the best of luck which is how we ended up with me at a new school and people less forgiving than those I grew up with. Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if people thought before they spoke?
Anyhow, Cory asked me to Homecoming and that made me angry. Why would he ask someone who obviously can't dance unless he was dared by his friends? I’m not stupid and I immediately knew I was the butt of someone’s joke. I absolutely refused to go and he pretends he doesn't understand. Yeah, right!
I don’t think I've ever wished for anything as much as to be normal and go to the dance with Cory, but no matter how much I want things to be different, I’m who I am. Yes, maybe I let my “Shortcomings” define me, but I just can’t afford to open myself up to more ridicule and hurt. He doesn't seem to want to accept my answer, but I've already made up my mind. He can take the pep squad captain. She seems to like to remind me daily that I’m nothing but a gimp.
If you want to know who Cory takes to the dance and how this story ends, you’d better pick up your own copy of Shortcomings and read the entire book. Although this is listed as a young adult offering, the story has a message that each and everyone can heed, and maybe make this world a lot less intolerant.
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Note from Ginger: I wrote this book with the hopes that people would learn that staring and saying unkind things aimed at those who are different often makes them feel less than they really are. Their “Shortcomings” are not of their own choosing. My grandson is “different” in that he was diagnosed with autism, but he is the kindest, most loving child in the world and my greatest gift in life. The thought of him hurting because of someone’s ignorance makes me see RED!