My entire life I had been sheltered, whether it be school or social interactions. I was born 15 years ago at the embarrassing size of a pill. According to my mother, Gloria, as I was developing in her womb, my cells were compacted so tightly that it halted growth once I began to form. She had stopped having her period and ultimately went in for a check-up.
The doctors performed an ultrasound screening and nearly missed me. They predicted I would need to be surgically removed seven months later, extracted from her womb and placed in a capsule for research. My mother went against their practices and successfully ended up pushing me out into a paper towel. That's the story of my life and I'm sticking to it.
As I grew up, life was extremely difficult. My father couldn't handle the stress of raising a miniscule child, so he eventually left before I even knew him. I didn't learn to walk until I was 4, I didn't learn to speak until I was 7, and I still had never left my house by age 10. By this point, I had reached my maximum size of 3 inches, much larger than we had ever imagined. I stood slightly lower than a credit card on it's tall size.
When I was 11 years old, my mother began to slowly adjust me to the outside world. Taking me for slow walks through the yard in her hands, sitting me in the gigantic car, it was a terrifying experience. I had never seen anything outside of the ginormous house I had lived in, so seeing trees, new people, the sky, and cars was a shock to me.
Over the next few years, I began to feel more comfortable with the huge world around me. My mother had been teaching me basic phonetics and mathematics for years, so I felt like I was on top of the world at that point. I knew what color an orange was, I could tell squares apart from circles, and I occasionally knew how to spell. I was ready for anything. That is, until, my mother suggested I begin private teaching lessons with my older sister, Brittany, at her high school.
"School? Like... actual school?" I said looking up at my mother from the kitchen counter feeling both fear and confusion.
"Yes Ian, school." She said facing away from me, making dinner. "I looked into it last night online and one of the teachers at Brittany's school offers private teaching to kids with disabilities like autism."
"But I don't have that!" I yelled back, trying to remember if I ever learned what autism was.
"Do I have autism? Is this why I am so small?" I thought to myself briefly.
"You don't, but you still have a physical disability." She replied. "I sent her an e-mail last night about you and she said she would be more than happy to teach you."
"B-But you teach me good!" I blurted out, stumbling on my words.
My mother rolled her eyes. "My point exactly." She turned back around to me while wiping her hands on her apron. "Listen, your sister and I have already discussed it and you'll be starting tomorrow."
I stood there speechless. My entire world was about to change tomorrow and I couldn't fight against it. I felt insanely overwhelmed and helpless. "Fine..." I said after a long, breathy sigh.
"Good." She said slightly giving a smile. "Now let's get you washed up for dinner." She picked me up by the back of my tiny red shirt and lifted me to the giant, scary kitchen sink.
"Ugh, god. You know I hate this!" I yelled over the loud trickle of warm water.
She gently dangled me next to the stream of water while I gently rubbed my hands in the enormous waterfall. My mother shut off the water and lightly set me down on the dining room table in the other room.
"So humiliating..." I muttered, drying off on the soft tablecloth under me.
"Brittany! Dinnertime!" She hollered from the kitchen.
Brittany was my 17 year old sister and only friend growing up, although nowadays, she's become more of an enemy. She had long, wavy blonde hair that she inherited from our father, as my mother and I both had straight brown hair. Brittany had freckles across her nose and under her eyes with two dimples underneath. The only similarity between us was our green eyes.
Instead of the sweet, loving sister I had growing up, Brittany was now a snapchatting, rumor-spreading bitch. I loved her, but at the same time, she picked on me relentlessly.
"Brittany!" My mother yelled again.
"Coming, coming!" Brittany said annoyed, walking through the hallway in her socks, texting along the way.
"You know the rule, no phones at the table." My mother commanded as she set the table.
"I know, just gimme a minute." Brittany sassed back. Brittany set her phone down in front of her, nearly on top of me.
"Hey!" I snapped back.
"Sorry, move next time shortie." She said rolling her eyes.
"Brittany, be nice to your brother." My mother said from the kitchen.
Brittany rolled her eyes and spit out her gum from her mouth. "Bon appétit, Ian." She said dangling the chewed white gum above me.
"Ew, fuck off!" I said falling back.
"Kids, quit it or you won't be eating." My mother spoke loudly from the other room.
"Sorry mom..." We both muttered.
My mother brought out two plates of food. Tonight's dinner was chicken, rice, and green beans, one of my favorites. Unfortunately, my mother would only make two plates of food every night, as I would have to share with my sister.
Brittany looked down at her food and picked up her fork. "Hey mom, what would you do if I just impaled Ian on my fork?"
"M-Mom!!" I yelled in fear.
"Brittany. Cut it out." She said through her teeth with an unapproving look on her face. "We need to talk about tomorrow."
"What's to talk about? I'm bringing tiny-boy to school for show and tell." My sister said grinning down at me.
"There's a lot to talk about. First, you're only transporting him to and from school. Once you get inside, you are to leave him with his teacher, okay?" My mother instructed.
"Okay, okay. So I'm supposed to put him in my locker?" Brittany asked acting like a smartass.
"No! Could you stop for one minute?" My mother asked, losing her temper.
"Fine... go ahead." Brittany said, pushing her food around with her fork.
"You are to go down to Ms. Robinson, make sure she's in there, and leave Ian with her. At the end of the day, you are to report back there and bring Ian home. Got it?" My mother instructed.
"Yep." Brittany said looking down.
"Repeat it to me." My mother said, crossing her arms.
Brittany sighed. "YouaretogodowntoMs.Robinsonmakesureshe'sin thereandleaveIanwithherAttheendofthedayyouaretoreportbackthereandbringIanhome. Got it?" She said in one rapid take.
"Good." My mother said, going on to eat her dinner.
I watched as the two women ate their meals, feeling sick from the anxiety that awaited me tomorrow.