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She Ran

I can remember sitting behind her in the ninth grade. She was always quiet and reserved, staring blankly out the window as she listened to music or lost herself in her thoughts. She was always the one we picked on, the one in clothes that weren’t nearly as nice as the rest of ours, with shoes and school supplies that were beat up and reused. She never smiled, always looked down at her shoe laces when someone tried to engage her in a conversation, or simply shaking her head in a refusal to speak.

We’d call her mute, or a freak. Sometimes throwing things at her when she got really quiet… but that wasn’t the worst part. When the bus came to a stop outside her house, she’d stand up and rush towards the door. Once her old sneakers hit the pavement, she’d take off in a run down the road towards her old house. What cruel words were said after she was gone. Words that we would have said with her there, but somehow it just seemed to sting more to us when she was gone. We’d laugh at her run; make fun of how she would sometimes be so in a rush that she’d leave her books or her papers behind in the seat. It had been more than once that we’d even taken her books and wrote cruel things inside them.

One spring day, not long after school had just resumed from break, she went missing. No, not missing, but she didn’t get on the bus that morning. Or the day after, or the day after that. Some people around school said she had died, others had said she had ran away or moved. The worst of the rumors said that she had killed herself because of what we had said, and deep down, it hurt to have had made fun of her for so long.

During a bus side home one night, I overheard one of her neighbors talking to someone beside him. They talked about the girl, and how she lived with her older sister who had tried to commit suicide many times before. How the girl we picked on had found her during one of these attempts and was scared to find her trying to kill herself again. That was why she ran home, to make sure that her sister was still alive…

It was three weeks before we seen her once more on a bus ride home. She was silent still, her eyes locked on the window as the world passed her by. Everyone was quite, nothing thrown at her today, or no snide comments said out loud. All whispers. When the bus came to a stop, she slowly stood up and we all went silent. She gathered her books and calmly walked to the door. When she stepped off onto the street, she stood for a moment before walking, unaware of all the eyes on her backside.

She no longer ran…



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