One true friend. That's all I needed. And here I was, a full year into the programs and still grappling over whether my "friends" could be trusted or not.
Maybe I wasn't really "gifted." Maybe I had gotten in on "the matrix." I heard the teachers talk about it before. The matrix was a separate scoring sheet for testing non-Caucasian children. It was supposed to make things fair for Latinos, Blacks, and Asians who perhaps had not been exposed to the fine nuances of American culture and would inevitably score low on a standard IQ test as the result of it. "Oh, yes!" said one teacher, "This child had the IQ of a rock and still made it in because of the matrix." I tried to hear the rest of it, but the swinging door to the lounge had shut and now the voices were mumbled. Was it me they were speaking of? For the rest of the day my hands wrote my notes in gibberish. I didn't belong.