Everyone knows they’re smart when they’re little. Mommy says it all the time. Then you go to school and you realize you don’t know everything. Still, I knew I was smart. I always understood what the teacher was saying and I was usually the first kid in the class to finish my work. School was fun, and I thought that was a good thing.
Well, it is. But not everybody sees it that way.
In fifth grade, I had a group of girlfriends—neighborhood kids that went to my school. We went to each other’s houses, played outside all the time, went shopping together (as tweens are wont to do) and maybe even had a sleepover or two.
Somehow, out of the blue, I became the odd one out. As an adult, I realize this happens and that girls change a lot around this age. They can be mean and petty, and all-too-often, they turn cruel. One day, a girl in our group kicked me out of her house. The three other girls stood with her in the doorway and told me to go away, to go home, and to take my “proper English” with me.
This last part shocked me. It was hurtful enough to have my friends push me away, but I’d never realized they thought there was something wrong with the way I talked. I asked them what they meant by that, but they just jeered and called me names. Eventually, I walked home.
For weeks after that, I thought about what they’d said. Was there something wrong with the way I talked? With my vocabulary? Was I on the bad end of whispered jokes? Did everyone think I was dorky or stuck up… or both?
These questions plagued me for the longest time. To a twelve-year-old girl, this can be devastating. I had few friends, no close friends anymore, and I was constantly aware of every word that came out of my mouth and every question I answered in class.
I stopped answering as many questions and relaxed my language a bit, hoping to win over my former friends. But the taunting only got worse. Then came the prank calls and those horrible bus rides home. Eventually, I figured out that these girls were just mean.
Sometimes I wonder what happened to those girls. What are they doing now? But I don’t even remember their last names. Wherever they are, I don’t really care. I’m pretty sure they didn’t enjoy high school as much as I did and I seriously doubt any of them became authors.
It’s crazy, but I’m grateful to them for being so mean to me. If they had been a little nicer, or if had we had stayed “friends” but they made fun of me anyway, I might not have realized that they weren’t worth my time. Maybe I would have dumbed myself down for them. Because at that age, the only thing worse than not having any friends is worrying that you might lose them. But I’m glad I lost them. Because now, I’m smart and happy.
Smashwords page https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/115248
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fairy-tale-trap-emily-casey/1108076531?ean=2940032926436&itm=1&usri=the+fairy+tale+trap
Book Trailer http://bit.ly/sTw4JN
Next on the tour is: Cyn Balog http://cynbalog.blogspot.com/