Sorry for the delay of this post, the stay at home mother Groundhog Day had me confused about what day of the week today is. Please welcome Leighann, who perfectly captures the constant doubt we suffer, and why we kept going back for more.
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It was April Fools Day and I was in grade 6, I walked across town to meet my two girlfriends. We always met at the bottom of the hill and then walked up the rest of the way to school together.
Everyday I worried their giggles behind my back would get worse. They whispered and passed notes, laughed at the things I said, and purposefully excluded me. Today wasn’t going to be a good day. April Fools would give them a reason to be extra mean.
I shoved my hands in my pockets and kept my head lowered. I didn’t know what I had done to make them mad at me or why I was so unlikable. I tried to talk to them, to make them laugh, to be cool so they would like me the same way they used to but nothing worked.
I was the butt of their jokes.
I was being left out of weekend sleep overs.
I was being called names.
I felt lonely.
But I didn’t have any other friends.
I walked up to our meeting spot and looked around. Usually they were there waiting, talking with each other, looking through their book bags, laughing.
I was alone.
Tears rolled down my face.
They left me to walk by myself.
Then I remembered it was April Fools Day. It was just a joke! They were just playing a silly joke on me. Oh! Haha. Those silly friends of mine.
I rushed up the hill, ready to laugh with my friends about their crazy antics. Ready to forgive the past months of name calling, mean songs, horrible things written.
When I saw them my heart pounded hard.
I was scared. I was so desperate to have my friends back.
My palms were sweaty in my coat pockets and my backpack felt heavier than normal.
The first girl looked my way and nudged the other one.
She looked at me.
I was afraid of this one. She was bossy and bold and lied to her parents.
She laughed at me.
Grabbed the first girl by the arm and walked away.
It wasn’t a joke.
It was real.
I was invisible.
Invisible for games, for friendship, for secrets, and for sleepovers.
Not for name calling, fat jokes, made up songs, and taunting.
At home I would lie awake and pray for God to give me friends, to make the girls disappear, and ask him why this had happened.
I would cry when it was time for school and beg to stay home, asking why they were doing this to me.
And I wouldn’t know until I grew up.
Until it was time for me to have a daughter.
For me to tell her my story.
It happened to make me the strong, empathetic person I am now.
To those girls I am grateful.