It was the first day of junior high.
She was dressed in her finest, wearing her only non-screen printed t-shirt and her best fitting pair of jeans. Her hair was in a high pony tail. She was conscious, but she was confident.
It was the first day of junior high and up until that point she had gone to a private school. Up until that point, she had never had more than 14 other kids in her class. And now she had 7 classes of 30 students.
It was the first day of junior high and she was nervous.
It had started off wonderfully. First period math where she only had a little bit of trouble. Second period PE, where she felt glad the teachers hadn't made them change in front of everyone else (maybe she was actually more conscious then confident). Third period was Geography where the teacher was sweet. Fourth period was science where there were three other girls with her name in the class but she met a nice girl that she sat next to. Fifth period was theatre where the teacher was quirky. And sixth period was English where she felt the most confident.
It was the second day of junior high and she was ready.
But first period she forgot her ID and was forced to sit in on in-class detention.
Second period they made everyone change out, and a girl twice her height called her a "fat ass" to four other girls at the end of the rows of lockers.
She cried in the back of the classroom throughout most of third period because of what that girl had said.
But her parents hadn't loaded money onto her lunch account, so she sat hungry through fourth period.
In fifth period, she brightened up.
But in sixth period, when she was able to answer every single question that the teacher asked, the girl who had called her a fat ass during gym cornered her outside the classroom. "You're a bitch," she said. And walked away.
She had never heard anyone being called that word before. Sure, she had done her fair share of cussing in her day, from saying the word "crap" on the swing set of her private school, to calling a donkey an "ass". But she had never, ever thought that anyone said the word "bitch" to people.
Was she a bitch?
It was the first day of eighth grade. She had lost 40 pounds since that girl called her a fat ass in second period gym. She remembered her ID every single day. She had learned not to be so cocky in classes where she excelled. And she had learned to stick up for herself.
She was called a bitch, though. Time after time after time.
She was a bitch because she was smart.
She was a bitch because she knew the answers.
She was a bitch because she was nice and tried to help those in need.
She was a bitch because she wouldn't take no for an answer.
She was a bitch because she had gotten so used to being called a bitch, that she began to believe it herself.
The word followed her around for years to come.
As a high school senior, she was a bitch for telling her best friend's parents that their daughter wanted to kill herself. She just hadn't wanted to see her die, so instead she lost a friend because she had been such a bitch.
As a college sophomore she was a bitch because two of her friends had broken up, and she only talked to him, mostly because the she-side of the relationship didn't want to discuss it. But she was a bitch for talking to the friend she had known less time, and so she lost the long-term friend. She eventually lost the other one as well.
As a college junior, she was a bitch because she asked the boy she was seeing to be in a relationship, but apparently he wanted nothing to do with it. She was also a bitch for deciding to spend more time for herself to work a job she loved than mindless social interaction at school. And so she not only lost him, but lost a good deal of her friends as well.
As a post-grad she was a bitch because she refused to be nice to people who had treated her so cruelly.
She was the bitch in this case.
She was always the bitch.
And even though she had never wanted to do anything wrong, it seemed as if she were always the one paying the price. She was always the bitch, no matter how much she cared, she was always the bitch for caring too much or knowing too much.
It was in this way that she lost so many of her friends.
Ever since that second day of junior high, she had always envied those who had been able to make friends so easily. She would try and try and try, but it seemed as if no one wanted much to do with her. And even the friends that she did make wouldn't invite her out for any type of social interaction. The older she got, the more she saw her friends going on vacations together, going to Vegas together, going to the mall together, going to dinner together...always, ALWAYS without her.
Not only did she envy those who could make friends, real friends, so easily, but she also envied those who could keep those friends. In the span of 9 years between the first day of junior high and the last day of her senior year of college, she did not have any of the same friends for more than 3 of those years.
It was because she was the bitch. She was always the bitch, no matter what she tried to do.
I've never wanted anything more than to be somebody's friend, anybody's friend. But no matter what I do, those words from the second day of junior high seem to haunt me. Like from a song "witch, witch, you're a bitch".
I feel as if I've gotten so accustomed to hearing those words told to me, that I've started to take on that type of personality. I've proclaimed to be proud of my bitchiness. I live for it. But in reality, that isn't who I actually am. And I hate having to pretend as if it were. In reality, all I want to do is love and care about the people around me. And yeah, maybe I'm a hardass and refuse to take no for an answer, refuse to let people who have hurt me back into my life, but how does that make me a bitch?
Somehow, I've decided that I've heard it said so much, that I've decided to become it.
I am a fat ass.
And I am a bitch.
And that's how everyone I know sees me. As this bitch of a thing that I know that I am not. And so everyone will whisper under their breath, no matter what it is I do, and say "Gosh, what a bitch." And that's what I am, because no one will see me as anything else. Not even my friends or the people who love me after some time. They all see me as the same thing in the end.
And no matter how much weight I lose, no matter how nice I try to be, no matter how much a I care about people, and no matter how hard I try...that is what I will always be. And in the end, people will always leave me because I am the bitch that cared.