by Hannah Bright
Words. Is it possible for someone to be afraid of words? Yes. I am. So much hurt and so much pain is caused by words. I am terrified of them, well some of them, like the words that hurt – the hurting words, but I love healing words. Those rare, beautiful words – the words I have not heard spoken to me, not yet anyways. What are some of those healing words? Well, some could be: “I love you”, “I care for you”, “You’re beautiful and special to me”, and the rarest of them all, “You’ll never be alone”. Those words are foreign to me. What was is like to have even one of them spoken to you? I have not even the slightest idea. My life has only been full of the hurting words, the words that scare me and have scarred me. But, oh, the longing of healing words! Just to hear them, even once, would be magical. That is my dream, and hope, and wish. Anything just to hear those words!
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. I reach my arm out of my warm covers to turn off my annoying alarm clock and push off my covers and stretch, trying to wake up for the long day of school. I climb out of bed and go into the bathroom to quickly brush my teeth and comb my long, flowing black hair. Carefully, I apply just a little makeup – not too much. I run back to my bedroom and change into jeans and a plain blue t-shirt. Nothing special. Nothing to draw attention. I don’t need any more than I have now. Grabbing my backpack and a warm jacket and running down the hall into the kitchen, I hurriedly grab a banana for my breakfast to eat on the bus, which would be here any minute. I have no idea where my parents are; I decide not to try to find them to let them know I am leaving. It would be okay. As I jog down the driveway of my house the school bus pulls up and honks its horn. I jump on and made my way to the middle and snag a seat by the window and place my backpack on the seat next to mine so no one could sit next to me. I shrug down in my seat, waiting for the bus to stop at the next stop. The next stop is what I dread. This is the horrible thing that started every school day. Screech! The bus halts to a stop. The doors swing open. I hear footsteps of someone getting on. I close my eyes and shrink further down in my seat. Step. Step. Step. Step. I hear someone approach my seat. My heart pounds wildly in my chest. “Why, I think someone left a bag of dirt on this chair. I wonder if they practice being this ugly.” I hear a person say. I know exactly who it is. I slowly open my eyes and see Rosalinda standing in the aisle of the bus pointing her finger – pointing her finger at me.
“I have a name, Rosalinda.” I tell her, scared, my voice trembling.
“Hmmmm. Oh, yes. Your name is a boy’s name, isn’t it, Harper. Why are you here? I thought the zoo was closed for repairs.” Her voice is loud and clear. Well, that’s Rosalinda. She is the biggest bully in the school, and I just happen to be her favorite person to pick on. I am now in 11th grade, and she has been picking on me since before high school. I shrink back in my seat, look out the window, and sigh. I try not to let her mean words get to me, but they always do. Hurting words always stay, while healing ones fade like mist in the bright, early morning. Today was going to be another long, harsh day.
I hear the bus driver yell back, “Please take a seat, Rosalinda, or all of you will all be late for school.” With a huff and a puff from Rosalinda, she complies and sits down in the back of the bus, which is her “territory”. After she is seated, the bus rolls on to school. Today is the first day back from Christmas break, and I have been hurt severely by her hurting words. They stay with me all the time. They never go away.
Being in a big school, you probably wouldn’t expect anyone to notice bullying because everyone would be too busy, and that’s mostly true for my school, except someone does notice how people like Rosalinda have been treating me. I am not sure who it is, though. Sometimes, they leave little notes in my locker, telling me how they feel bad for me, and how they are going through the same thing. I find that very sad, because I don’t know who they are, so that means there could be tons of people struggling with the same things I am and going through just as much pain. Even though I am not positive on who writes me these notes, I have a pretty good guess on who they might be from, but still I’m not so sure.
There is this boy at my school – Oliver. He’s not popular or unpopular. He’s just normal. But when he walks he has a very distinctive limp to his walk, and he sometimes comes to school with busted lips and bruised eyes. I feel bad for him, even though he makes up excuses that he fell down the stairs or something. How typical. That’s just as annoying as “The dog ate my homework”. It’s a classic. I just know something is wrong in his home life.
“Hey, Harper! Did your parents ever ask you to run away from home? Don’t think. It might sprain your brain. Don’t you love nature, in spite of what it’s done to you?” Rosalinda’s insults peck me like a bird pecking for food. I try to brush them off, but I can’t ignore what she just said.
“Stop, Rosalina! Please just stop!” I say, very annoyed and hurt by her words.
“Why are you so stupid today? Anyhow, I think that’s very typical of you.” She spits back. I am walking back from lunch and Rosalina will not leave me alone. I want to hide. I want to escape. But she will not let me. I walk to my next class, my eyes looking at my feet, trying not to pay attention to Rosalinda.
I can’t do this anymore.” I tell myself. It is after school. I am standing in the girl’s bathroom at school, avoiding Rosalinda, staring at myself in the mirror. Rosalinda’s bullying has gotten worse and worse. I can’t stand the name calling. I can’t stand the gossip behind my back. I can’t stand anything anymore. It’s too much. I have no idea what to do. I take a deep breath. I grab my backpack and run out the door. I keep running and running, not caring where my feet take me.
I find myself at the park. My vision starts to get blurry with tears in my eyes. I spot a park bench and sit down. I pull my feet in close to my body. I take deep breaths and just sit there.
I sit alone – unnoticed, tears glistening in my eyes. Will anyone ever love me? Will anyone ever care? I have been surrounded by lies, which clouds up the truth. I think I will never be loved or cared for by anyone. I sit alone – unnoticed, tears pouring out like there is no tomorrow. Will no one comfort me? Will I always be alone? I look up teary-eyed as I hear someone approaching. He limps when he walks, so I immediately know who it is. I see him standing there in front of me. He sits down beside me and says, “I will always care for you and I will never leave your side.” He hugs me and pulls me in close. I start crying again.
“I knew it was you,” I say. We sit together – unnoticed by anyone else, holding on to each other, telling one another that they will never be alone.
Words. Healing words. Those rare and beautiful words. Finally.