Sticks and Stones

September 29, 2008
By Mandee Mathis, Cordele, GA

I walked past them with my eyes downcast; I prayed they couldn’t see me. I wondered if I could wish hard enough, would I become invisible to them? I knew it wasn’t possible, but secretly I hoped it was.
For as long as I could remember they had taunted me, laughed in my face. They called me harsh names; names that they thought were amusing. But they weren’t. The names cut me deeper than you could have imagined.
When I was little, my mother had told me that ‘sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.’ I laughed bitterly, those words were a lie. Who thought that phrase up, I wondered. Obviously it was someone that had never been hurt before. I knew firsthand that cruel words spoken in anger always hurt. No matter how funny the other person thought it was.
I put my hands over my ears, their shouting was becoming louder. It was becoming the only thing that I could hear.
It was then that I knew. I had become the monster that they had said I was. I had become that vial and ugly person that they kept calling me. I had promised myself that I would never let that happen to me. I would never give in to them. I told myself I never would. But I did. They had one. I had become that person.

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