Do you believe in fate, or destiny? Or do you believe that every decision you make in your life determines your future?
I guess I’m not really sure what I believe in. For most of my life I’ve been told what to do or what to believe in.
I can think of an overall of three people that had left my school, Preston High, because of bullying.
Funny thing is, I was involved in all of those situations.
In ninth grade, we had what was most probably the hottest day at school yet, and Patty Leviton came to school in a red and black striped tank top and shorts. My friends found it disgusting.
They said that she had flabs under her arms that shouldn’t be shown to anyone at anytime. They said that it should be illegal for people “like her” to even wear shorts. They said that she was too “overweight” to be taken seriously in that get-up.
I laughed along with them, agreeing to everything they said – as always.
That day in the cafeteria, my best friend, Katie, publicly humiliated Patty in front of everyone. There was this moment of silence where Katie looked over at me expectantly, and then everyone looked at me.
I had so many choices to choose from…
I could’ve stood up for Patty in that moment, but then I’d risk losing my friends. So, I made the easiest choice; I stood up and poured my entire soda over Patty’s head.
The same kind of thing happened to Jack Melton and Sarah Umen.
We made fun of Jack for being the skinniest kid in our school. We bullied him on a daily basis: calling him all kinds of names, taking pictures of him and making him the joke of the school website. Laughing at him as he walked past us.
It took Jack a total of four weeks before he left Preston – the quickest yet.
Sarah lasted a lot longer at the school, although I’m pretty sure she lost her dignity before that. We bullied her for being overweight, for so long.
Katie and I once caught her in the bathroom after lunch, retching so hard in one of the bathroom stalls, I was sure her intestines would’ve come out if she tried any harder.
Katie, who was trying so hard not to laugh, motioned for me to take my phone out and record her. Again, I could’ve said no, but instead I put on a smug smile and did exactly as she said.
The video footage got about 400 views on the first night it was uploaded onto our website and I was praised by my friends for the following few weeks.
Even after all the remorse and guilt I felt for doing all those things, I never once stood up for myself and I never once let people know how I felt about it. Even though it made me seem heartless to most people. Until Kasey Hopman.
At the start of eleventh grade, she was our schools new resident “fat girl”. Yet, everytime we brought her down or bullied her or commented on her weight, she’d smile and walk away with her head held high.
To say I hated her, would be an understatement because I loathed her. She thought she could just walk away like she owned the place.
One day, in biology, we got a project that we had to do with a partner. I looked at Katie and smiled. But my smile immediately dropped when our teacher said that she’d be choosing the partners.
Imagine my astonishment when she partnered me up with no other than Kasey Hopman.
“Hi, Emma,” Kasey said with a smile as she plopped down in the seat next to me. I could feel the steam leaving my ears.
Everything got worse when Ms Perrish announced that we would be partners for the rest of the year.
Kasey turned to me, this time with a smug look on her face, “This should be fun.”
I banged my head against the desk because I already knew it was going to be a long year…
To be continued…