Personal Essay

Shannon Powers

   I saw the tall blonde girl coming my way, I could tell just by looking at her that it was a dye job. Here were way to many of those, and a natural blonde like me was out numbered. I expected nothing more then a simple 'what are you doing?' or a 'hi bitch'.  Instead I got something different more pushy then insulting, it was that line that said; 'give me that because I'm older and I own the school yard.'


  I should have expected no less from an 8th grader at Sharswood Elementary. Our schoolyard as always was loud with the screaming of younger girls. The older girls were gossiping all over the place. I had picked a place where no one was the painted square called the quiet area, it was nearest the tree and shade in the hot schoolyard.  I always avoided the other girls, I was always a target of awful names.


  "No I got the hula hoop first and just because you tell me to doesn't mean I'll hand it over," I said. I may have been just a 4th grader telling off an 8th grader but I was getting tired of the bullying. The girl looked at me like I was something awful she had stepped in with her brand new designer shoes. Obviously I was the first one to say that and she didn’t like it.


  Behind the girl were some of her friends, all of them were bigger then me. I suddenly got the cold feeling of someone with ice down their back. I realized that this wasn't the end of the conversation. The school watch ladies yelled that it was time to go in..... Saved by the yell... I thought thankfully. 


  This was just another bullying case in a long line of it.  This went on for years, sometimes with the same bully for years. I dealt with it, think like poker I would say, ‘ Just gotta deal with the hand you’ve got, wait till next round maybe it’ll change’. It never did. As I got older things only got worse. On one occasion, I had been late getting to line and my class went in. Walking by people always made me nervous (it still does). You never know when someone’s going to call you names that just shouldn’t be used anywhere.


 I had been right to be nervous. When I saw the tall girl with blonde hair (Another one?)  I thought Well hey she’s just gonna walk by you don’t flip… Then the girl started to get closer and I thought it was clear in her posture she was going to ram her shoulder in to mine. I was in for a lousy surprise when her fist made contact with my left arm. 


  I was too in shock from the sudden unprovoked violence to do or say anything back. I just kept on walking and when I got to class I told my teacher who sent me to the office. I sat on the polished wooden bench listening to the phone conversations and getting glares from the two receptionists. I’m not sure if the color of the office was made to be friendly or warm but it was neither. When I walked in to the principal’s small office I was hoping for some help instead I got something totally unexpected.


 “Well why weren’t you in line?” She asked in a voice that said ‘ I couldn’t care less’ or ‘ I’m just here until something better comes along’.


 “I wasn’t feeling well so I walked a bit slower and my class went in.” I said warily. She always made me feel worse coming to her. She always blamed me for my misfortunes, like I was always the cause.


 “Well I’m sorry but I can’t help you. Since you weren’t in line there’s nothing I can do.” And with that she sent me off to class. I was beginning to think that, even though they tell you to come and tell them if someone is bullying you, they didn’t really care. Life went on I got bullied more and more. In 7th grade I stood up for my self, even then it didn’t stop though. I’ll never forget the one thing that has been bugging me since it happened.


 I was in 8th grade and we were all lined up ready for math class the teacher opening the door. I was talking to someone. Just a random conversation continuing from out side when Harry McDowell opened his mouth. Harry was a tall boy with dark blonde hair. To me he wasn’t all that cute and from what I heard no one else thought he was.


 “Why don’t you just shoot your self Shannon?” he asked in that ‘I just want to make you cry cuz I’m an asshole” kind of voice.


 I didn’t answer. I turned my back on Harry and shut everyone else out, staring through the window in the door. It was such an odd coincidence that I had thought that very same thing sometime before. Why don’t I just shoot my self? I asked again in my head answering in a voice that sounded both sad and confidant at the same time:  because I’m an Aunt now, I love my parents and my sister, and killing my self would hurt them. Kill my self? Hell to the No! I learned that even if you do fight back physically there is nothing I can do when they hit you with a mental racking ball.