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no more pain
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Brad poked at the preppy eighth grader’s belly “hey, fatso I know why you never get in trouble, your too ugly to do anything”. She tried to fight her tears; this was not true she was busty, brunette, and plain but not ugly and fat. “No she’s too stupid she don’t know how to have fun,” Donavon interjected. She knew this was false too, she was a ‘straight A’ student, but it still hurt. “Hey Jesus Freak you ready to fight me ‘cause you won’t get to high school if you don’t,” Angela pestered. “If you go out with me you don’t have to fight. We all know you want to cuz you never say yes to guys,” Chelsea pestered. Chelsea was right she never said yes when guys asked her out because they never did. “ I have no quarrel with you,” Ashton Lebby replied her voice quivered as she forced herself to make this true. “Jesus freak” “loser” “nerd” “fatty” they taunted as they left, shoving, smacking, and kicking her. Brad picked up the spiral that Ashton had been writing a Christian story in and ripped it to shreds, throwing in her face.
Ashton sank into the far back corner of the girls restroom near the cafeteria, heavy, large, wet tears fell from her face. She was sad and depressed, just like she was everyday since she started public school. This time she couldn’t keep in the pain and hid so that no one would see her cry. Every year she went to a new school and hoped for new experiences. However, each school was somehow worse than the one before it. She wanted to curl up and fall asleep, never to wake up again; instead, she reflected on the past few years.
She started public school at the beginning of the second semester of the fifth grade and only made one friend. At the time she couldn’t imagine how life could get any worse; now she wished for those days with a friend to talk to. In the sixth grade She went to the middle school her elementary carried over to.
School was like it was before except that after lunch upper classmen boys taunted her about the cross that was always around her neck. They sexually harassed her and lied when she snitched. When Theresa, the only friend she made in public school, moved, Ashton had to wait for her mom by the front of the school. The boys waited out there too and bothered her worse than they did in the cafeteria. They scared her, chasing her yelling, “I want you. I want you, now.” She was terrified and thought school couldn’t get any tougher. Now she wished guys appreciated her robust figure. The school authorities did nothing so Ashton’s mother switched her to the local school that Ashton could ride the bus to.
In the seventh grade she made a few friends, but not many. They discussed difficult topics like religion and ended up offending a small gang of girls. The gang bullied Aston and her friends; they degraded all of they’re beliefs and threatened to kill anyone who accepted them. Ashton feared for her life everyday and eventually quit hanging out with her friends. She was near depression and she was sure she couldn’t run from her problems this time. Near the end of the school year Ashton was accepted into the MST magnet she was so thrilled. Now she realized it was a big mistake. The teachers yelled at everyone for the few who were failing instead of teaching the material and the students were just as mean and twice as stupid than at the other schools.
She composed herself as she looked at herself in the mirror with hate for all the mean people. She thought of how much she complained but never did anything about it; how much she dreamed but did nothing to make it a reality. “No more pain! Next year things will be different. I’ll make sure of it!” She promised herself. She chucked her Bible, the remnants of her story, and her cross necklace, the source of her pain, in the trash. As she left she snatched up the necklace for no particular reason.
Over the summer Ashton had thrown out all her preppy clothes. Bought heavy makeup for her eyes and light makeup for her face and mostly black clothes. She abandoned all her church shirts and all signs of religion besides one necklace. She quit snacking and exercised everyday. She was going to be accepted; she would have friends and be a “normal” Punk/Goth teenager. She wouldn’t let her parents make things worse by crying to them when times got rough; it was time for her to grow up.
The punk beauty, Ashton Lebby entered high school for the first time, her mind full of hatred for preps and determination for a difference. She wore a black Happy Bunny T-shirt that said “cute but psycho, things even out” and black jeans with heavy, brown boots. She wore a leather dog collar and a pink wristband. A cross on a chain was the only hint to her godly past yet somehow suited her best. Her foundation was pale and eye makeup was thick and dark. She made friends with “cool” teens who weren’t afraid of anything: the law, their parents, or death. She liked them but she longed to have the friends she had in the seventh grade.
She thought having “cool” friends, looking good, and not being religious was the key to happiness. But she was still depressed and she felt lonely. She saw all the happy couples however she knew a boyfriend was not the answer.
One day while Ashton did her make-up in the school restroom, she saw the cross around her neck. She wondered, “Who am I? What am I doing? When will I be happy? Where do I belong? Why haven’t I thrown this stupid cross away?” she thought about it for a while. She washed the make-up off her face and absentmindedly walked out. She found herself at breakfast club, and prayed. She let her heart out to God like never before. She felt great warmth and joy and as God hugged her and gave her answers.
“You are my child. You got lost but I was always close. I am making you happy. You belong in my arms. You love me and I love you.”
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR BELOW
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Reader Count & Comments
15 Jan 2007
thank. i was afriad everyone would be like my teacher and not catch the importance of hte cross
29 Oct 2006
I really loved this story! I really liked the fact that she kept the cross--didn't know why, but kept it anyhow--and that it brought her back to God.
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