I was wearing a midriff showing shirt. (Yes… I changed into this shirt at school. Yes… my parents had no clue that I changed clothes before and after school and washed the pound of makeup off my face everyday. My mother would have killed me if she saw me in it). Somewhere between the cat-scratching and lame girl punches Vonya got a hold of my shirt and pulled it over my head. About 100 people got to see my hot pink training bra.
Of course I was the talk of the school for that one. Even in high school people asked “Are you the girl that got her shirt pulled over her head in a fight in middle school?” Yes that was me. Doesn’t anyone remember the 26 points a game I scored at each basketball game? Or the MVP award I won for volleyball? Nope, I was the girl who showed the world her training bra. Awesome…
I decided I would learn how to fight in case that happened again. And it did…two more times that year. Not for a slam book this time. Brandy picked a fight with me because her boyfriend told her I was cute. How is that my fault? And Ronnie hated me because I took her place on the basketball team and she rode the bench that year. That year I became a tough girl. I would get in these fights and something in my brain snapped. I would tell myself to stop and that I was hurting them but I kept hitting them. I was done being the girl who just took it. I decided to hit back. It seemed like a better way for me to deal with conflict than to just pretend like nothing happened or to just allow people to treat me like dirt.
I went through a couple of suspensions and detentions for fighting or threatening to fight someone. By the end of my eighth grade year I knew there was no hope in begging my parents to send me to public high school. My personality had changed so much in those two years that the little sweet girl who left that Catholic school was unrecognizable. I hid much of who I was from my parents because I didn’t want to face the fact that I was going against the values they had instilled in me.
I enjoyed my last summer being a public school kid before I started Catholic high school. I dreaded each day of that summer that went by knowing I would have to interact with all those same kids that I left in seventh grade. I was grounded all the time it seemed like. I was sneaky and definitely could not be trusted. I broke my parents trust in me on numerous occassions. My mom would ground me from the phone and I would buy a phone at the store and keep in under my mattress and plug it in when my parents would go to bed. I would get caught and be grounded two more weeks.
August rolled around and I went to school two weeks early to start volleyball practice.
I flirted and flirted and flirted some more until I got noticed by one of them. My plan of attack: gets any many boys interested in me as possible. I would bat my eyelashes, come out in my short volleyball shorts and smile all innocently. Yes, I was one of those girls you would have loved to hate. It worked. Pat, the senior quarterback asked me out. To be honest I didn’t really like him that much. He was nice and treated me wonderfully. But all I knew is that I needed to have a boyfriend, preferably an older one with a lot of power in order to defeat the rumor which I knew was coming.
Amanda ended up going to the public high school but Marissa and her fan club were at the Catholic high school. I saw all the same kids that I had left two years ago. Since I started the year dating Pat they were all nice to me to my face. I remember about a month into school my new friend Jill, who I had met at volleyball practice, said she heard a rumor about me. Of course I knew what it was. She asked me if it was true. I told her no and asked who she heard it from and she told me Lexi. I said “Who is Lexi?” It took me a week to figure out that Lexi sat two seats away from me in Spanish class. I had never even met this girl and she was passing this rumor around? She didn’t even know me!
So I went up to her in school and started pushing her into a locker. She was so scared, I could see it in her eyes. And she literally ran away. I felt a sense of victory. It didn’t help at all. The rumor still spread. The three girls that were responsible for making sure everyone knew were Lexi, Aleah, and Callie. I hated these three girls with passion.
That year the rumor spread like wild fire. However, I didn’t really care. I didn’t hang out with any freshmen except Jill anyway. Jill and I both were dating seniors and we pretty much lived for sports and hanging out with upperclassmen. I kind of hid behind that veneer of safety. The seniors didn’t really care about the rumor and obviously it was not true if I were dating a guy. Duh! I just didn’t let menial freshmen gossip bother me and I actually believed I was better than them. I would go throughout my day and pretend like nothing penetrated my tough exterior.
Freshmen year was pretty uneventful. Then came my sophomore year. To say it was the worst year of high school would be an understatement. I would not wish what I went through that year on my worst enemy…