Thursday, January 23, 2014
Throughout my life I haven't really been a person who likes a lot of conflict and for the most part I've been able to avoid it so when I thought of being punched I was having a hard time finding examples to go on.
In terms of actual incidents I can really only think of one. It was back when I was in grade 10.
In grade 9 I became friends with a group of about 6 girls who I'd met during grade 9 orientation when we'd almost immediately hit it off. Having not had very many friends in elementary school I was thrilled to be beginning my high school "career" with a feeling of belonging. We had lunch together every day and goofed around, enjoying our time together. I felt important. I enjoyed their company and they enjoyed mine.
And then I entered grade 10. For some reason some people just don't like me or feel threatened by me or something. I'm generally actually a shy person and I wouldn't consider myself particularly cool and I was never really popular, but perhaps these girls were. I'm not sure. At any rate one day this girl "S" joined our group. I came to our hall at lunch and she was sitting there with everyone else. She immediately told me to go away. My friends, who I'd hung out with for a year at that point, said "no, stay!" She glared at me but I stayed.
The next day I received more glares and you could tell, for whatever reason, that she didn't want me there.
On the way to class in the afternoon her and another girl, found me in a stairwell and pushed me up against a wall. S told me to smoke a cigarette right there if I wanted to stay in the group. She tried to put it in my mouth and light it, I spat it out. I managed to slide away from the wall and as she held the loop on the back of my back pack I struggled, legs treading in the air until I fell to the ground and she threw my backpack at me. I leapt to my feet eager to get away. She yelled behind me "If you're at your locker after school you're gonna get it!"
Of course this was right before my last class of the day and I had no choice but to go to my locker after school. I hoped she wouldn't be there.
I remember leaving my last class, heart thumping in my chest, walking down the hall passing the blue, red and grey walls towards my locker and praying inside that she wouldn't be there. "Please God let her not be there. Please!" There was a lump in my throat as I neared and saw her standing beside my locker. "I told you not to come" she said. She looked harmless enough, blond hair, freckles and glasses but there was a sort of power and hatred flashing through her eyes.
I started to unlock my locker and she shoved me. I persisted, ignoring she was there. It cracked open and she opened it fully, shoving me into it and punching her fists at my chest and kicking at my legs but I pushed back. I got out of the locker. I gathered my things. I turned toward the large crowd of other students and headed towards my bus trying to ignore her. She shoved me with all her might and I lost my balance but managed to regain my footing and continued on my way. She came after me shouting "Run away you wuss!"
Once I'd gotten through the double doors towards the school cafeteria I'd lost her. Tears stung my cheeks as I headed to my bus to go home.
I didn't understand what we were fighting for. For the right to be friends with these people, my friends? Couldn't we share? How could she hate someone so much that she'd never even met? Was she jealous of me, of a person she thought I was?
In the end, with a set of new classes in second semester, I ended up on a new lunch later that school year and made a new group of friends. In time I drifted apart from that original group of girls. Ironically, after all the work she'd put into protecting her spot in that group, they also drifted apart from S. So I wonder, was hurting me really worth it?
This blog post idea came from a writing prompt from: