“Why don’t you clear up the spots on your face before you start looking at me like that?” His tone cut through me, a sharp knife being sliced across my veins. I tore my eyes away, cursing myself for staring and, what’s worse, for being caught. The snickers exploded from behind him as he turned to high five his posse in satisfaction. A new day, a new insult, as per usual. I hid the invisible wound, letting it rest in the back of my mind as I ran on forwards, fixing my backpack as it slipped from my shoulder.
I hurried into class, eyes fixated on the floor while I shuffled around to find my seat.
“Oh, what do we have here? Late again are we Kimberly? Now how many times is that already this week?”
“That’s three.” I said, hanging my head in shame.
“Only three? Well, you’re doing better than last week.” The class exploded into giggles as the teacher continued to mortify me, my cheeks burning like the flame of her ginger hair. I could feel the tears coming. Not now, I told myself, save it for later.
The cafeteria stirred as my ears caught random pieces of different conversations, the chatter endless. I held the tray tight while my eyes drifted from table to table, looking desperately for an empty space. Finding one, I sat down, stealing a glance at the group of girls next to me. The popular crowd, brilliant. I tried to concentrate on the food, but I couldn’t ignore the giggles as I saw them pointing their perfectly painted finger nails at me. I caught the words “hair” “ugly” and “gross” and stood up to leave, heart pounding as it broke into thousands of pieces. As I rose, my shoelace caught on the leg of the chair. It fell backwards as I hit the floor, the crash deafening. The chatter died down as everyone turned to see what had happened, making no effort to control their laughter. The tears very nearly came, but I swallowed them back. Later.
Frustration bled through me as I punched the floor, tears staining my face. The insults tore me up inside, so agonising, so painful. It happened every single day, I had learnt to deal with it, learnt to hide the hurt of the comments. I kept them locked up inside until I was alone, on my bathroom floor, emotions shattered. Why couldn’t I be pretty, or have perfect skin like the others girls? Why did teachers hate me? Why did I have to live in dread every single day, just waiting for the next load of abuse? I hid the bruises, covered up the scratches, sealed the internal wounds and kept going. Until I was alone that is, with nothing else but my thoughts drumming into my mind. I would wind up insane, tears spilling down my cheeks, pain exploding from within my heart. Why couldn’t I just be somebody else?
Bullying doesn't have to last forever. You can make it stop. Call this number to talk to somebody today. (1800 55 1800)
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