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The Secret

By , Reykjavík, Iceland
When I was younger, in fourth and fifth grade, I had to keep a little secret. I didn’t like this secret, I hated it really. I didn’t know what to do with it. I just wanted to tell someone, someone that could’ve helped. But I never did. Because I promised. And when you make a promise, you keep it.
It all started when I came home after school one day. I thought there was nobody at home and walked into the kitchen. There I found my sister, she is a year younger than me. That was odd. My teacher was sick, so I got to go home early, but why was she here? I sat down beside her at the kitchen table. Then I finally noticed she was crying.
I asked her what was going on, but she wouldn’t tell me. I asked her again, and squeezed her hand, but she still wouldn’t tell me. It wasn’t until I had been sitting there with her for an hour, but then she finally gave in and told me everything. About how some girls in her class made fun of how she talked.
The thing was, my sister lisped; she couldn’t pronounce the ‘R’ sound right. I myself had actually never noticed that, she had talked like this all my life so I never heard it. But she was trying hard to say it right, went to a speech therapist and was making a lot of progress.
I asked if I should talk to the other girls. She said this wasn’t a big deal and I should just forget it. They would probably forget it too the next day.
But the girls in her class didn’t. She was an easy target and they weren’t going quit so soon. So they made fun of her. Every day for two years. They laughed at everything she said, even though she wasn’t saying it wrong. They made other kids laugh at her too. It was their fault she stopped making progress with her speech therapist. She stopped practicing, she just gave up. It got so bad at some point she just stopped talking. Which was so unlike her - she used to talk so much, the real problem was to shut her up!
My sister made me promise not to tell our parents or older brother. She tried to act normal around them, but they still noticed there was something off. They just didn’t figure out what.
I found my sister crying so many times these two years. I hated how helpless she felt. I wanted to do something, but I didn’t want to betray her. I talked to her, and tried to teach her to stand up for herself. But that’s a lot easier said than done, especially when you feel like you’re up against the whole class. I tried to make her start practicing with her speech therapist again, but she just didn’t see the point. And I even tried to talk to those girls, when things got really bad! But they started pointing fingers at each other and not one admitted. They all promised to be nice to her though, but of course they weren’t.

Eventually though, people stopped laughing at their jokes about my sister. They stopped encouraging them. And then finally, the bullying stopped.
But I’ve never felt as terrible as I felt those two years. I’ve never felt as helpless. Angry. Even guilty for not telling anyone. Couple of weeks after the girls stopped, my sister told mom and dad. They were heartbroken. And a little disappointed, why hadn’t I said anything to them? They made her see the speech therapist again, and she started making progress again. She started talking more, and practicing her ‘R’ sound.
But still. It’s been 5 years, and she isn’t the same. This changed her. She’s more closed, more afraid and cold toward the people she doesn’t know well. She trusts few and hates to speak in front of people.

I know these girls were young, probably didn’t really know what they were doing and maybe even feel bad about this today. But they never said they were sorry, they never explained their coldhearted behavior and never earned their forgiveness. They left her with scars, when they didn’t even get a scratch.




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This article has 8 comments. Post your own!

AudesEsseInsignis said...
Feb. 27 at 8:57 am:
  This is a tragic story, and I feel very sorry for what your sister has gone through. Fortunately the bullying has stopped. It’s good that at least she had you to talk to instead of telling no one, I myself know how hard it is to have no one to talk to, so it’s good she had you. 
 
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SaKarias said...
Feb. 27 at 8:53 am:
„This story is amazing, it‘s this open door to your feelings. Though this happend kind off a long time ago it shows how well you still remember it and how it effected you as well. And because I knew you guys at that time it‘s so hard for me to think about what you two were going through. I never realised it. But I wish I knew because I would have wanted to help you through this. It‘s a good thing that you were there for you sister and that everything aventually blew over.... (more »)
 
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redweirdo said...
Feb. 27 at 8:51 am:
  „I like this a lot. It is very interesting and well written. I understand what you were saying and how you felt, it touched me and I would feel the same if it was my sister. “ 
 
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Akiana said...
Feb. 27 at 8:43 am:
  I‘m so sorry you had to experience such a thing, same goes to your sister. I‘m happy it ended, but I‘m sorry it lasted for so long, I bet the pain was sharp for both of you. I hope she doesn’t give up on the speech therapy, and I‘m sure after everything your sister has been through, compared to another person that has never gotten through rough times would never be able to handle the half of what your sister can even though she should never have to. Each me... (more »)
 
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KaTie98This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Feb. 27 at 8:41 am:
  „This story was absolutely amazing! It‘s not long and it‘s not perfect but it left me thinking of  the people who get bullied and  they are left so hurt but the bully has it so good and acts so cool like nothing has changed!-But it has! The bullied person has changed, and sometimes for life. And people who bully others they are also responsible for their own pain, they might not notice it right the way but they will when they start regretting it. And everyone... (more »)
 
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Beta Dagný said...
Feb. 27 at 8:40 am:
This was a great story that you have put on this website,and what an honor having it as one of the top storie that is wonderful. I liked the story alot and it takes alot to have the coruage to do such a thing I myself hate bullies I was bullied and know alot of people that have been and keeping a secret like that must have been awful not being able to tell someone to help your little sister.But it was great the it stopped and so what if she can´t pronounce the letter r ... (more »)
 
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Ómar said...
Feb. 27 at 8:22 am:
What a great story you've got there. congratulations on gettting it to top todays stories. I like the plot of it. it was sad for the girl. I hate bullies myself but i think like the older sister taught her to stand up for herself. people should do that more often in the real world. but an amazing story by an amazing writer. looking forward to the next story. -Ómar 
 
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The-Amazing-Walrus said...
Feb. 27 at 8:16 am:
Almost all bullies make fun of others because they have insecurities of their own. Instead of holding a grudge you should pity them, and maybe even help them.
 
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