There were two things that got your A$$ whooped in my school:
1) Looking like a nerd.
2) Looking like a nerd with a permanently raised hand.
Let me give you the visuals first: At thirteen, I’d accrued an incredibly large gap from adolescent thumb sucking, glasses as thick as coke bottles and a head of poof perm; due to my mother’s try-it-at-home experiments. It also didn’t help that I was extremely talented in reading/writing.
That being said, I was in for it.
Earlier on in my school career, I’d moved from the boroughs of New York City to the burbs’. The third grade teacher at my elementary school placed me at a table in the back of the room, until they could scramble up a desk for me. Immediately I was the center of attention. Girls’ high pitched whispers glazed the bellows of the boys, all pondering the same question: Who was the freak?
This might not have been their inquiry. In fact, my twenty-three and more sensible self will tell me that the excitement arose solely from having a new face around. However, my nine year old insecure self was immediately frightened. Agitated with the urgency of needing to know whether I was liked or not, I came to a conclusion: I would stand my ground; I would be an individual and set my own trends.
I was doomed.
Kristin Hall was the first to speak, “I’m the flyest girl around here and if you want to get in good with anyone, you have to join my sorority.”
“Sorority, what’s that?” I asked.
The other girls who’d accumulated behind her snickered, “It’s something my mom was in. It’s when a group of girls all hang together and does whatever they want for fun. You can only hang with us though.”
“No thanks, I kind of want to get to know everyone.” I breathed.
Kristin placed her hand on her hips, swung an evil glance around the room to the rest of the students and smirked.
“Fine, do what you want.”
Little did I know, Kristin’s glance would define my entire primary AND secondary school career. It seemed as though everyone was afraid of her and since I’d rejected her invitation, I was the enemy.
During lunch, I’d sit under my favorite tree for the next two years beckoning for this phase to pass. I hoped that it would all be over. While catching up on The Babysitter’s Club and Nikki Giovanni, in the shade, the girls would walk past and throw insults for no reason at all.