Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Waaaay Back When-sday, Episode 4

Well, well, well......I think this is my 200th post. That's pure craziness if you ask me!!!! And, since I didn't celebrate my 100th, I feel obligated to point out and make note of the 200th.

Yeah me!

OK, enough of that crap, on with the show.

Every week I post a story from my past. Or my way back, if you will.

This week......

Fourth Grade

I was a shy kid. Beyond shy actually. My teacher would send home notes with the students for our parents. "Your kid won't shut up." "Your kid won't do his/her homework." "Your kid spit on a lunch lady."

That kind of stuff.

My teacher sent home this note..."Your kid hasn't talked in months."

Heck, to be honest with you, I'm surprised she noticed. I was a master in the art of wallflower. I was a 4th grade ninja stealth warrior. (that might be stretching it a little)

Anyway, I was quiet and shy. I had a small handful of friends, we were renegades. The weird ones nobody would talk to.

One thought she was a kidding. She would spend recess galloping and whinnying (sp?) around the playground.

One wanted to be the leader of a rock band, but a rock band without musical instruments. She had no intention of starting a band, just wanted to say we were one.

My strangeness was how shy I was. I wasn't the kid that pee'd her pants, that got head lice, or the one that acted like a horse...I was just quiet. No one knew what to make of me.

Because of this, I was bullied. By the girls. Not the guys, they thought I was cool. But the girls hated me. (Probably because the boys didn't, now that I think about it. )

I did have one normal non horse, rock band leader friend. We didn't hang out after school or on the weekends, just at recess. But we talked, we played, we did what 4th grade girls do.

One day, out of the blue, this friend hated me. When we said goodbye the night before, all was well. But the next day...hatred spewed from her eyes.

I was hurt, and I couldn't explain the behavior. It's not like I talked about her behind her back..heck, I barely talked at all. I figured it would blow over, or she'd eventually tell me what was bugging her.

I was wrong.

The following day she walked up to me, with two other girls from our class. One scared the crap out of me, she was cool, dressed well, didn't care what people thought of her...she was what I wanted to be. So I guess in 4th grade, that's scary?? The other was a girl I'd only seen once or twice before. We weren't in the same class, didn't ride the bus together. I don't think I even knew her name.

When the three of them walked up to me, I was sitting on the bike rack, minding my own business (= hiding from the world). Jamie (my ex friend) and Sarah (the scary one) on each side of Rachel (the one I didn't know). I thought it odd that Rachel's eyes were closed....I thought it odd that the other two seemed to be leading her around like she was blind.

I thought it odd when they walked up to me smiling. And I really thought it odd when Jamie took Rachel's fist and hit me in the face with it.

Yep, you heard me right. They led Rachel's first, while her eyes were closed, into my face.

I just stood there. I didn't know what to say or what to do. I put my hand up to my mouth and nose, and came back with a hand full of blood.

Rachel opened her eyes to see what she'd made contact with. I hadn't let out a sound, so I can only imagine what she thought she hit. I could tell she definitely didn't expect it to be a human face. :-)

The three of them ran. Probably had something to do with the look I was giving them. Mot can tell you what that look is. I've been told it will turn a person's blood to ice, and make them pee their pants. But, neither has ever happened, so it's unconfirmed.

I started walking towards the 4th grade door, when the bell rang. Recess over. I stood in line with the rest of my classmates. No one noticed the blood flowing freely from my face. Heck, they probably didn't even know I was there in the middle of them. (Ninja stealth master, I swear!)

The doors opened, and children filed away to their classes. I walked to the end of the hall, and started to clean myself up at the sink.

The teacher that sent the note home to mom must have noticed I wasn't in class, because she came out into the hall looking for me. She took me under her wing for the rest of the year. I guess I became her pet project.

She was unhappy to say the least. "Who did this?" (notice she didn't ask what happened)

"Some girls, it was an accident, I'm OK." My acting skills were less than swell, and she didn't believe me, but didn't ask for more information.

After lunch, I wandered out towards the tennis courts. It was as far away from the building as I could get, without technically being off school grounds. I was only there a few minutes before I noticed Rachel coming my way. All I could think to myself was, "Man, I hope she tries to hit me again! I'm in the mood."

She didn't try to hit me, she tried to befriend me. She apologized for what happened, and swore she didn't know what they were doing. She told me the three of them had been taken out of the lunch room, and to the Principal's office. Jamie and Sarah confirmed she had nothing to do with it, and they let her go. (I can only assume someone saw what happened, and let Mrs. Smith know. Either that, or she was with the CIA. Hey..I had the imagination of a 4th grader, what can I say!!)

We talked for five minutes or so, then the bell rang and recess was over.

I didn't talk to her again during the remaining months of school.

Two days before 5th grade started, my mom handed me the telephone. "It's a friend of yours."

It was Rachel. She wanted to know what classes and teachers I had. We talked for quite a while about moving up to the junior high building, and what 5th grade was going to throw at us. For the next 4 years, we were inseparable. If I wasn't at her house, she was at mine. We took karate together, we played sports together, spent the summers at her grandparent's lake house every year.....the works.

She moved to Omaha in 9th grade, and we talked a little here and there. But the friendship faded with the distance put between us by her parents moving. After high school, she got married, then divorced, then married again (to a good guy in the Coast Guard) and moved even further away.

What a strange friendship. It all started with a punch in the face. Huh.


Sass said...

I'm checking in, because I haven't in so long...and I find it amazing the stories I'm just happening upon today.

You sound like an exact description of my 9 year old. Shelby is painfully shy. I don't think it's fear or anything, just...she likes to observe and kinda stay "in her own head."

I have NO desire to relive some of those 4th - 6th grade memories. ;)

Brook said...

We moved every year growing up, it was at times torture. The only note I remember from a teacher was "Brook needs to start wearing a bra". I was in 5th grade at a catholic school in NY(where I am from). One of many embarrassing moments.

Nej said...

Sass - I'm still painfully shy. I've always taken jobs that force me out of my shy box. Ugh! :-)

Brook - It's funny, when you're a kid, boobs are embarrassing. When you grow up, people go through surgeries to get them. :-)