Slamming her locker she looked at the words outlined in red, permanent marker like blood from a fresh kill. She could feel the stares from the other kids in the hallway and as tears crested the corners of her eyes, she hunched over, hands in her pockets and walked past her audience. They should yell “Dead Man Walking” she thought to herself. She walked down the main hallway, past the smirks and laughter which always tasted her back like the tongue of a vicious serpent.
Was she the words they called her? Was she really that bad? The only friend she had was someone she didn’t even really want to be friends with and even she didn’t like her that much. What had she ever done? She couldn’t even remember when it started, just some distant memory of that girl standing in the gym shouting, “Don’t pick her. We’ll lose if we have her!” Was it 4th grade? Maybe 5th? It didn’t matter. It still felt the same as that first time and even that girl haunted her wherever she went. Saddest of all was she wished she were that girl. Perfect hair and a perfect boyfriend. Everything…perfect.
Maybe even if she had parents who understood but how did you explain to your own parents that no one liked you. Especially when they were just as hard on you as everyone else. She shook her head before pushing the door open to walk outside into the sunshine, the school’s last bell ringing in her head like a million forevers. She crossed the street and walked onto the side street which would take her home. The final mile she liked to call it. It was the only place she felt truly safe. She pulled out her huge sunglasses which reminded her of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and put them on. They only cost her $2.99 but they made her feel glamorous. She pulled her iPod from her purse, put the earphones tightly in her ears and scrambled until she found the song she was looking for.
She looked behind her and smiled. No one.
Turning around, she cocked her sunglasses and then put her hands on her hips.
Instantly she was on a runway in Paris strutting her shit as the crowd went crazy and her fans applauded. She walked to the end, stopped and gave her signature pouty lipped smile. She had shown them all. She wasn’t that bad after all. She was beautiful. She was amazing. She was gorgeous. She was fabulous.
Right…Left…Right…Left…she pranced back and forth on the same stretch of sidewalk until the song ended.
Finishing her runway walk, she turned the corner of her street walking tall. She could see her house in the distance. She stopped and started the song over again.
Maybe today wasn’t the day. Maybe she should wait. She might just prove them all wrong after all. Maybe one day…she’d even prove it to herself. Maybe. It might just be worth waiting around to find out. At least for another day…
Bullying is serious. Very serious. But so is your life! DO NOT give into the bully! Shove their nose in your success! Putting together days adds up to a lifetime. It’s worth waiting around to see what excitement is in store for you. Who knows. You might even end up being a supermodel!
Be yourself. Be unafraid…Be your own unexpected luxury!
*Photographs courtesy of Velvet D’Amour.