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Fatso ,Stupid, Whopper!, were just some of her nicknames. Her real name was Peyton and she was the outcast. She had shoulder-long sandy blonde pigtails, she wore denim overalls with usually some type of floral long sleeve shirt underneath, a pair of beat-up tennis shoes, and yellow bulky geeky glasses covered half of her face. Although some will point out that she was noticeably fifteen pounds overweight, and the fact that she was in the lowest level of education did not help her situation at all! She was the center of all humiliation throughout elementary school. Everyone teased her, beat her up, and tried to break her, what they did not see is that she was already broken.
I never really knew Peyton. I could tell that she did not like the way she was being treated, because she tried her very best to avoid being abashed. She would sit in the corner of every room she enters, and never talk to anyone, not even when called upon. I could tell Peyton had a care for animals, because she never eat meat, and always brought her lunch. The one thing that I knew about is that she was highly allergic to peanuts. I knew because I remember in first grade when Peyton’s face swell up like a red balloon and she was sent off to the hospital, and that was the end of Penult-Butter Wednesday. Sympathy is all I ever felt for Peyton, but since I was immature and did not want to join her humiliation I never took the opportunity to get to know her. Even though I never called her one name, well at least not to her, I could fell the tension when we were near, I knew she thought I was like everyone else.
But one day I was fed up with all the teasing, and the shoving, and the insults. It was June and I was in the fifth grade. Peyton walked into the cafeteria and just like every other day Peyton walked into the cafeteria with her brown paper lunch bag clutched in her fist, and it would get very quiet then whispers and giggles would fill the room and one person would scream out “ watch out her comes gigantor”!, but she would just make her way to her cold lonely corner.
But this day was different, she brought a salad for lunch, but forgot her dressing. It just so happens that Mitch, you classical jock, had peanuts for lunch. So when Peyton innocently got up to get some dressing for her salad, Mitch sneaked over to Peyton’s table and slipped two chunks of crushed up peanuts over Peyton’s salad. Not only was this not funny, this was rude, and plain out cruel. I told him that he was a jerk and that he was not funny. Running over to her seat out the corner of my eye stood a very frightened Peyton with fear in her eyes. She sat down , I guess she thought I came to pick on her and for the very first time I heard her speak “what do you want?” I did not know what to say, so I just sat down, and watched her slowly squeeze the low-fat Ranch dressing over her salad, pick it up, and shake.
I could not let her eat it, not only was it wrong, but since I was there she would assume it was me who tried to kill her. She picked up her spoon scooped some salad, a piece of lettuce on her spoon had a peanut at the end, boy could I feel the pressure. Literally an inch away from her mouth. I stared and she stared back, all I kept thinking was I could not let her eat this. I remembered the time in first grade when her face was swelled up and she started to breath like the grudge, I remember them telling us the next day that we could not have Peanut-Butter Wednesday anymore, I remember Mitch screaming “why not?”, and I remember Mrs. Higgins telling us that she got sick but that she was fine now. What if she dies, oh noo, that can not happen, I will not let that happen! But I was running out of time.
I smacked the spoon out of her hand, then in a flash I picked up whole salad and threw it across the room. I picked up a piece of lettuce from the floor with a peanut on it. I told her it was Mitch, she turned around, punched the wall, and ran out with tears dripping from her face. By that time everyone looked like a ghost had punched them right in the face, it was as silent as a mouse. Until Mitch and his posse started to giggle like hyenas, I grabbed my chocolate milk, walk towards his table, and doped it all over is big head. I ran after Peyton, who had went into the girls bathroom, and locked herself behind a stale.
“Peyton I know your in there. I am sorry, but you know how Mitch is.”, I said trying to comfort her.
“Like you did not get a laugh out of it, just go away!”, she replied.
“No I did not, I went over there to help you.”
“Peyton that fat girl, Peyton the stupid girl, oh and do not forget Peyton the allergic girl!”, she said.
I did not want to argue with her, and I thought about leaving. But instead I crawled under the stale, and told her I was very sorry for everything. Even though all I ever wanted to do is be nice to her, but I never knew what to say.
Then she looked up at me and her big brown eyes dug into my soul and said “it was my father.” I was confused, then she went on to tell me that her father had died that day in first grade. On his way to pick her up from school he skipped one red light, and BOOM! A truck ripped into the side of her dad’s car, making him fly ten feet like he was Peter Pan killing him instantly. She told me that food helped her forget about the pain, but the pain just kept coming back like a boomerang. She said that since she was going to die anyway there was no point of trying in school. She also told me that she had tried to end her life, but it never worked.
I felt crushed, just for never taking the opportunity to get to know her. I cradled her in my arms and told her that her father would want her to live, do good in school, and that I was never going to let someone be cruel to her again.
“Like you can stop them” she said, “they will just pick on you too!”
“ Well I guess I will just have to become a fat stupid Peyton too!”
We laughed for a few minutes. But then she showed me her hand, and I told her that she had to go to the nurse. Peyton had fractured two of her knuckles, then the nurse called her mom to pick her up, and take her to the hospital to get x-rays.
That was the last time I saw Peyton. But my teacher told me that she moved to Delaware with her mom, and that she told them to tell me thank you and goodbye. I got a good deed award that school year, and I was put on bully patrol. Mitch got suspended for five days, and three Saturday detentions. Peyton was as normal as an human can claim to be. I learned that day that no one should not be treated as an outcast.