There was a young lady

The brightest in her class,

known for her brains but always seemed to finish last.

Aside from her smarts

She had beautiful parts,

sparkling eyes, a precious smile

She never ever let her work pile.

She was flawless,

so it seemed,

never conveying her past, which she kept seamed.

No one asked about the scar upon her neck,

although she wouldn't dare tell the stories of her wrecks.

Secrets hidden in her clutch, she always carried so tightly,

A photo of her father

a can of pepper spray,

she never revealed, not even slightly.

Her father knew best, that was no doubt

but in her earlier years she cared for no spout.

Matilda grew up and began to understand the importance of life

She grew wiser and banished her horrid strife,

This is the story of Matilda Cottom

And I will be revealing her true past from top to bottom.

The Tale

"Matilda!" Her father yelled. There was no answer from her bedroom. Her father had just came home and seen her report card (one C, two D's and an F.) Before her mother left Matilda had perfect grades, she would cry whenever she got anything below a B-, but now she didn't care. Her father went up to her room and flung the door open.

"Matilda Cottom!" he yelled, but Matilda was 5 blocks away getting drunk at her friend's house.


She rose up and hit the alarm, panicking. Matilda had been having the same dream for 2 weeks now. The memory of that very night kept replaying over, and over again. Matilda was 22 now, in college, far away from home. She got up, got dressed, grabbed her clutch and went to class.

"Hey Matilda, over here." Someone called. School had only began 3 week ago but Matilda was already extremely popular. She dressed and carried herself so elegant that everyone wanted to know her, some people thought she was so elegant that she was rich and stuck up.

"Hi guys." She smiled. Glancing at them and immediately opening up her books to take notes. The professor began to discuss class and started with the topic. Matilda always dreamed of being a journalist/writer so she took special interest in her English class, making sure she payed extra attention. The professor ended his lesson 20 minutes earlier that day but didn't end class until he discussed what tomorrow's discussion would be about.

"Alright class, for tomorrow I want everyone to think about something in their lives they have experienced, it could be good, bad, whichever you prefer. I want your experience to be about something you're comfortable discussing but also something no one would ever know unless you told them personally. "

Instantly, Matilda went into a daze. She didn't know if she wanted to talk about the night she always dreamed about when she was only 16. She knew people had this great image of her and if she confessed her past they may not feel the same way about her. She had a decision to make.

Matilda went back to her room and called her best friend Mick.

" I don't know what to do!" she exclaimed. "We're having a discussion in English class tomorrow about an experience that no one knows about. "

"Stop." insisted Mick, knowing what she meant by "experience."

"You only need to talk about that if you're completely comfortable."

"I know," Matilda said, almost crying. But Matilda wanted her class to know exactly who she was. She took several deep breaths and began to write her experience part by part on paper. She thanked Mick for his advice and ended the phone call.

Matilda showered, studied, ate and went to bed super early that night. She counted sheep before she finally fell asleep.

She awoke before her alarm even sounded, got dressed, grabbed her clutch and went walking along a pond. Her phone rung, it was Mick. She loved MIck's company and greatly appreciated at a time like this. She started to look at her paper and walk to class.

"Hey Mick, it was nice talking to you, class is about to start now." She said relaxed and then ending the phone call. She walked into class, greeted everyone and sat at her seat.

"Ok class, let's get right to it, this is a participation grade, so any volunteers?"

Matilda was so nervous, she hesitated to raise her hand and the professor called upon another student.

"Alright Hilary, let's hear what you have to say."

The student went on about her trip to Las Vegas. Making Matilda more nervous. When the girl sat down Matilda quickly raised her hand.

"Could I please go next?" She said with a smile, in fright of waiting to long and chickening out.

"Of course," said the professor.

Matilda grabbed her paper and stood at the front of the class.

"Well hello, My name is Matilda Cottoms for anyone who doesn't know me. I wasn't so sure if I would be able to go through with this, but here I am," she said giggling.

"I spent most of my teenage years with only my father, my mom left us when I was only 14. I was never told why she left exactly. But it angered me. I was always a terrific student up to the point when my mom left, my grades declined, they went from A's and B's to D's and F's and that's not just because I moved up from middle school to high school." she said laughing.

"My father always tried to keep my head on my shoulders but I turned into a complete mess. One night I remember, it was the day I got my report card in 9th grade, I left my report card out on the kitchen counter and snuck out of the house. I went to my friends house, I got drunk for maybe my 5th time then. But this time I passed the limit. I could barely walk, I don't even know how I remember all these details to be honest, but I was walking back home and ran into a group of older teenagers, there were 2 girls and 3 guys. They stopped me and asked where I was headed. I ignored them and kept walking. Hey slut, i'm talking to you. One of the girls yelled. I turned around and told them to mind their business. The same girl turned around and pushed me, she push me so hard I dropped my clutch and I fell. I got back up and took out my pocket knife. I'll use it if I have to I said screaming. Well good they all said, laughing. Two of the three guys tried to grab my arms but I cut and kicked them. The two girls both pulled out their knives. They swung and tried to cut me. One of the blades missed me, but the other got me, got me right here in my neck. " Matilda said, showing her scar. The whole class stared in amazement. She continued. "I grabbed the pepper spray in my clutch sprayed it and ran as fast as i could. I could see my father from where I was running, when I got to my door steps I collapsed and passed out. I woke up in a hospital bed and told my father sorry and I loved him." Matilda stood in front of the class for 10 seconds before anyone said anything.

"You've got some courage." Said the professor. "But many I ask you, why you chose that experience to share? There's no judgement here." He said smiling.

"Well we all have some kind of past, some that we might not be so proud about, some that we refuse to share, but that past does not define who we are today. I know what most people think of me, i'm some kind of stuck up, preppy rich girl. But you can't judge someone based on their appearance. We all know the saying you can't judge a book by it's cover, I just this is where this is going." She said with a smile.

When class was over Matilda went to her room and packed her bags, she could not wait for her Christmas break to begin.

"BEEP BEEP!" Her father's car horn sounded. She quickly grabbed her bags and ran outside. She was so excited and could not wait until she was home with her family and friends, relaxing, far away from her school.


The main character of this tale was Matilda Cottom. She was appropriate for the message of the story because she had an unpleasant past. The message of this tale was to not judge a book by it's cover/don't judge a person by their appearance. Matilda was a beautiful young lady, she was elegant and very much classy. By looking at her, you would never think that she's endured such vulgar actions. Matilda is simply stating that no one should be judged by their appearance nor past, even if it's positive. For Matilda, her appearance was positive so people looked at her this way, her past was negative and she hopes that no one looks at her negatively based on that. She wants judgement to be made upon who she is today and who she will be tomorrow. In today's society, everyone is judged upon their appearance. Do they look nice, do they look poor? Do they have money? Why does she dress so inappropriate? These judgement are made on an everyday basis, despite if agree/disagree with it or not.