Mikey has Tourette's. It takes kind acts from two strangers to help him accept who he is.
The boardwalk was crowded with people, shoving into me as if I was not seen. As my left eye began to twitch, I felt their eyes upon me. It was then that I believed that the shoving was intentional. They all were aware of my presence. They all were aware that I was abnormal. My paranoia led to my eye twitching more often. And the more my eye twitched, the more violent the shoving became. Soon I was knocked to the ground, allowing individuals to walk all over me. In each effort to get back up on my feet once again, I was shoved down to the boardwalk floor. Every attempt remained futile, but I was determined. I needed to be with the man carrying the yellow balloons.
Laying on the ground after yet another failed effort, a stranger reached out her hand to me. A smile lit up my face as I was assisted to my feet. With her hand in mine, the stranger led me through the crowd of people with ease. When we reached the end of the boardwalk we were completely isolated from the crowd. It was only the two of us. It was only us, and the man carrying the yellow balloons.
The stranger guided me to the man, who removed a singe balloon from his cluster. He handed this balloon to the stranger, along with a black marker. She then turned to me and placed both items into my hand. As we locked eyes, I could feel my left eye beginning to twitch again. A bit embarrassed, I glanced down. But she placed her hand underneath my chin and brought my gaze back up. The stranger smiled warmly and nodded. I then understood what needed to be done.
On the bright yellow balloon I wrote my secret that I had been too ashamed to ever admit. A great sense of relief swept over me as I released the balloon into the nighttime sky. I glanced back at the man and the stranger, two unlikely individuals who helped me realize that I should be proud of who I truly am.
I have Tourette’s and I am not ashamed.