Three girls stand in line for lunch, two whisper secretly back and forth. The third examines her shoes pretending she doesn't notice. At the end of the day, she boards the bus full of worry and anxiety. Silently she rides home, talking minimally with her seat mates. As the bus pulls away, she shuffles up the driveway kicking small pebbles into the grass. Opening the front door, she finally let's all of her feelings go. In between tears, her mother hugs her not knowing what exactly caused her daughters tears. Her mother stares down into her daughter's blotchy red face and asks about her day. The girl swallows hard and fiddles with the zipper on her jacket. Slowly she shares about the whispers, the stares, and how she was excluded throughout the day. She tells about how the girls take advantage of her friendship by stealing her pencil sharpeners and her answers on the most recent assignment.
Wisely her mother allows her daughter to share and comforts her through her pain. She offers words of advice on how girls act sometimes as a result of jealousy. Her daughter feels better just because her mom listened, and they go back to their regular routine, pushing the school situation further from their minds.
The next day the girl boards the bus again feeling a bit better, but with that pull of worry on her stomach. She goes to her class, does her work, and hopes for the best. At lunch the line scene plays out just as it had the day before, and she returns to her worry and anxiety. By the end of the day, the girl holds herself together long enough to go home, cry in her mom's arms again, and feel better long enough to get in bed and wait for the predictable events of the next day. The girl continues on with her friends and their hurtful actions. She continues her comfort sessions with her mom each night. Yet each day, she doesn't try anything to stop feeling anxious or worried. She continues to stand with the same friends. She continues to remain silent when she feels upset. She continues to allow others to trample on her spirit. Unwisely, her mom tries to give her daughter what she hopes will get her through each day, but does not tell her to take a stand and hopefully stop how she is being treated. She does not encourage her to involve her teacher and others at school.
Three months later when the girl can no longer push through until she gets home. She can no longer stand alone and take the constant criticizing. She can no longer be silent. The tears erupt and she finally shares every single offense that has been done. Those months of mistreatment pile up in the air, and she lays her head down to pray that this means it will end, that the hurt will disappear.
As her teacher listens, she wonders how this will fix overnight. She wonders if the other girls will even understand how their actions have affected their "friend" day after day. Her teacher knows that those actions will be addressed, but hopefully in a manner that allows the girls to realize the pain they have left their friend with. She prays that everyone involved will change in some way. The girls that excluded the third girl will be able to recognize how their actions affect their friends. The girl feeling hurt by her friends will know how to share with her friends and her teachers before she reaches the point where she can't continue on. Hopefully with time, healing will come and new thinking will emerge.
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