It’s Friday. You know what that means. Time to write it all out and let the words tell it like it is. 5 Minutes, no editing, no overthinking, no backtracking. Then we link up with The Gypsy Mama and share in the community what the prompt pulled from us.
This weeks word is: ENOUGH
She was cruel.
I knew that, had in fact learned the hard way.
Perhaps it was because of her angelic features or the way she would sit perfectly straight tilting her head toward you when you spoke. As if blessing you with her thoughtful gaze.
For whatever reason, you never would have assumed how cruel she was. Cruel in the way only 5th grade girls know. Her pink plastic barrettes perched piously on her blonde curls, she would narrow her eyes like a predator selecting her prey.
If you happened to be the victim of her assault you were doomed to eating lunch by yourself or sitting on the steps during recess pretending to be thoroughly involved in the inspection of your shoelaces, eyes cast down, hoping to GOD that no one notices you.
I knew this because I had been her best friend. We exchanged the silver heart necklace with best friend etched across it, each of us taking one half. Each of us only making the necklace whole together. We wore Espirit pajamas with stripes in teal and hot pink like 80’s referees. We decorated our Caboodles with glitter puff paint and stickers, etching our names together as we smacked our Bonnie Bell pink freeze lip shine and sang along to New Kids on the Block. We tried coffee together for the first time, each of us gasping and adding so much cream and sugar it turned a milky white and we poured every last drop down our throats until the thick sludge of sugar rushed at our lips. And all the while I was terrified.
I already knew I wasn’t enough. Wasn’t quite cool enough, pretty enough, rich enough. But I hung in there, masquerading as a cool girl. I wasn’t cruel, I justified. I simply turned a blind eye when I saw her comment on someone’s clothes, or their obese mother, or their disgusting bologna sandwich. Anything was up for ridicule. And her words would take on a syrupy sweet voice, her long lashes batting sweetly over eyes wide as if surprised. “Oh, you’re going to eat that?” “Wow, that looks just like an outfit I saw my cousin wear last week. She’s mentally retarded, but so sweet. She doesn’t know better.But really, it’s totally cute on you.” “That’s so cool you went to Disneyland, your mom must really love you to take you there since she can’t fit on any of the rides.”
It lasted a year. Never having to worry about where I would sit or who would be friends with me. And then the flu, and a week of fevers and midday infomercials, with worksheets sent home in a yellow folder. Fractions.
I returned with all my worksheets to find myself ousted. Just like that. Fractured. I knew that when you cut a whole in half it is never enough.
In 5th grade, there was no safe place.
No one was outright mean. But they were cruel.
The circle of girls would close every so slightly, their backs turned so you would have to stand awkwardly at the fringes staring at the back of their scalps or walk away while pretending you suddenly forgot something as your face flushes hot and your heart thrums. The voices hushed and giggling after you pass.
And you wonder why you aren’t enough. Even at 33, sometimes you wonder.
Sorry gals, I went a tad over 5 minutes this week. Consider it 9 minute Friday. Ok, now go see the amazingness that is the 5 minute Friday linkers. So many delicious words here.