The Overcoming

December 12, 2008
By Sarah Pfister, Gurnee, IL

It was finally the day of the presentation. He got his poster board. It had been decorated with pictures of an old man with white hair and glasses. Around this old man were little cartoon characters, one of the characters being a cat in a top hat. The boy looked at his work with pride, then rolled it up into a cylinder and shoved it in his bright red backpack.
“I’m leaving now Mom!” Jonas shouted.
“Have fun at school dear!” his mother shouted back. Jonas smiled, and then gently closed the front door. Jonas was a quiet, well-mannered boy at the age of ten. He was very skinny, and not very strong. He wore a red t-shirt, with faded blue jeans and some old and dirty gym shoes. Everyday, he would walk to school. Today, while he was taking his walk, he could not stop thinking about the poster board he would be presenting in class that day.
“I hope everyone will like it!” Jonas said to himself, cheerfully. When he finally got to his school, and made his way to his classroom, he pulled the poster board out of his backpack. Jonas rolled it out onto his desk. Almost immediately, a group full of students crowded the area around his desk. ‘Wows!’ and ‘Cools!’ were heard everywhere, and that made Jonas all the more proud. All of a sudden, there was a slam at the door. Halfway through the entrance of the door, there was a tall, fat, pink boy. He was wearing dirty blue overalls, with a red and white striped shirt underneath, and big, stylish and new shoes.
“What’s all da’ ruckus?” the boy said, as he chewed on a jelly-filled doughnut. The classroom went silent. Everyone was waiting for someone else to say something.
“Check out Jonas’s awesome poster!” said a student, his head popping out from the crowd around the desk. The fat boy pushed through the crowd to get a look of this “awesome” poster. He made it to the desk. His big, large head loomed over the poster. Bits of jelly doughnut dripped down from his mouth onto the colorful pictures decorating the poster. The fat boy stared for the longest time.
“Hmmm…it looks OKAY.” he finally said, “But I think mine’s better.” As he said this, he whipped out his own poster board on top of Jonas’s. The poster was black, with red writing, and decorated with dark, scary pictures. In big white letters at the top left corner of the poster, was the name “Porky Robinson”. The crowd of kids glorifying Jonas’s poster, were now admiring Porky’s. Porky bragged and bragged about how hard it was to put so much detail into a little poster like that one. Jonas wanted to retrieve his poster board, so he tapped Porky on the shoulder and said, “Could you move your poster please?” Porky turned around slightly, and glared at Jonas.
“…please?” Jonas said, quietly. Porky, still glaring at him, took his poster, and walked over to his own desk, with the group of glorifying kids, following him closely behind. The crumbs of the jelly doughnut that had gotten onto Jonas’s poster had stuck to the surface and made it all sticky and gross. Jonas desperately tried to wipe it off, but it just wouldn’t come off. Before he knew it, the teacher had made her way into the classroom, and begun class. They were going to be presenting their posters. Jonas was first to go. He got up out of his desk, holding onto his poster, and made his way towards the front of the room. Porky, sitting in the back of the room, snickered to himself as he saw Jonas standing in front of the room, holding up his beautifully made poster board.
“Can I start?” Jonas asked the teacher, who was sitting in the back of the room. She nodded, and got out her pen and paper, ready to take notes on Jonas’s soon-to-be speech.
“Okay, I did my project on Dr. Seuss. He was a gre- ”
“Dr. Suess?! Aren’t you a bit too old to still be reading Dr. Suess books?” Porky had interrupted. Jonas was caught off guard.
“Dr. Suess is m-m-my idol…” Jonas stuttered.
“Your IDOL? You must be a big baby then!” Porky shouted, as he laughed hysterically at Jonas. Being the immature class that they were, everyone else had begun to laugh along with him. To keep this whole “joke” going, Porky kept spouting off more insults at Jonas. Jonas was standing at the front of the room shaking, and speechless. I-I-I-I don’t know what to do! Jonas thought. His self-esteem and confidence were slowly being destroyed by this idiotic, selfish fool.
“Children! S-s-stop it…” the teacher tried to say, desperately holding back her laugher. Jonas was so embarrassed. He stood there at the front of the class, almost on the verge of tears. Nothing like this had ever happened to him before. Within only five minutes, he felt all alone in the world. Everyone was laughing at him. He felt useless. A loser. A freak. The bell rang. This torture had finally ended, or so Jonas thought. For the rest of the day, other students mocked and made fun of every little thing Jonas did. The way he ate, how he tied his shoes, and many other pointless things. The teachers wouldn’t do crap about it; because they were too busy laughing a long with the kids. The last bell of the day rang. Jonas ran out of the classroom, with his poster, left the school, and went home. He came into his home, crying. His mother took him in her arms, trying to provide some comfort, from the horrible day he had experienced.
“Its going to be alright Jonas…it’s going to be okay…” his mother said, as she patted his back with her gentle hands. But Jonas knew it wasn’t going to be okay. Those little brats called students, and those terrible people called teachers would just harass him again and again. He didn’t want to go back. Jonas didn’t want to return to school. He didn’t want to relive this day again. But he had no choice. He was going to have to go through this torment everyday until summer break.
From that day on, Jonas had completely changed. He wasn’t the happy-go lucky kid everyone knew. Jonas always kept to himself during school, talking to almost no one. If anyone did try to mess with him, he would give them a good long glare, that would scare them into not messing with him. If anyone DID mess with him, he would just ignore the stupid, ignorant fool. After all, he got used to getting teased and made-fun of. Now at the age of fifteen, Jonas is in high school. Acting and behaving the same way he has been ever since that “incident” in middle school. Jonas also had changed the way he dressed. He now wears darker colors (mostly black), because those colors intimidate the other students, so that keeps them away from him. Although he has become shyer, he still managed to meet some new friends. Jonas’s new friends are very hyper, and out-going. They are basically the complete opposite of Jonas. He doesn’t understand how he got around to meeting these types of people, but he enjoys being with them nevertheless.
“Hiya Jonas!” shouted a girl, sporting bright pink hair. Jonas heard her calling, waved to her, then made his way to the round lunch table she was sitting at. There was four other people. Two girls and two boys. These were all Jonas’s “new” friends. The pink haired girl name was Polly. She wore very vibrant colors and was extremely giggly. The other two girls were twins. Both of them had long black hair, and wore a black dress with knee high socks and buckle shoes AND had the same type of personality. Their names are Dahlia and Iris. The other two boys at the table were very rowdy. One, who was making a mess of his lunch, was named Richard. He had brown spiky hair and a bunch of piercings on his ears, wearing a white button-up shirt with a bright red tie and black pants. Another boy was standing in his chair, pretending to play a guitar. His name is Nick and he had let his hair grow out super long. He was wearing a simple black t-shirt and baggy jeans.
“Hey Jonas! What’s up man?” Nick shouted.
“Nothing much, just eating lunch…” Jonas replied.
“Hey DUDES! Have you heard about the costume contest the school is holding!? Jonas, you should totally enter it!” Richard interrupted. Jonas looked at him, with a look of terror in his face.
“N-n-no, I don’t want to…I’ll embarrass myself…” Jonas stuttered.
“But Jonas,” Dahlia said, “You love making and wearing costumes!”
“You HAVE to do it!” Iris added, “It’s your calling! You’ll regret it if you don’t do it!”
“They’re all right Jonas! I’m helping run the contest, so I’ll be there with you! There’s nothing to worry about! You need to become more open! Show your true-self! Have no fear!” Polly stated. As the others began to go on talking about other things, Jonas pondered the thought of the contest. I do love making costumes, Jonas thought, I’ve been doing it ever since seventh grade, and I a lot of people really love my work…maybe I should do it…Jonas slammed his hands on the table. Everyone around him, looked up at his face.
“I’ll do it.” Jonas said. Within that moment, all six of his friends cheered.
A month had passed, and it was now finally the day of the costume contest. Jonas had checked and rechecked his costume to make sure that everything was in tip-top shape. His costume was of a warrior. Jonas had sewn together dark green tunic, and bought some chain mail to wear underneath it. Much detail was put into this costume, to make it look as real and legitimate as possible. Since the contest does not allow real weapons, Jonas made his own sword and shield out of wood. Anyone looking at them would think they’re the real deal. I don’t want to screw this up, thought Jonas, I’ll just hope for the best, and see what happens.
It was time. Polly, who was the voice-over for the costume contest, called his name over the intercom. With his legs shaking, Jonas stepped out from behind the big red curtain, and stood in front of the whole school to show off his work. There was a look of awe in everyone’s face. The whole audience was blown away by this masterpiece of a costume he made. Cheers and applause erupted from the audience. Jonas was not expecting this. He was completely shocked. Never in his life had he ever felt this type of happiness. He was being admired. Not insulted.
I…I don’t feel scared to stand up in front of people anymore…Jonas thought. The terrible feeling of shyness that was resting in his stomach had suddenly escaped. He felt lighter. Like the whole weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders. He had done it. Jonas had overcome the shyness he became adapted to during middle school, and has now replaced it with the happiness and joy he feels being adored by so many people he doesn’t even know. He had finally done it. The pain was over.

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