The Bowling Alley Bully

January 8, 2009
I'm standing in the lobby of the little bowling alley, just about the only place to go around here for any fun. It's still fairly new, they had finished it a few months before my seventh grade year, the year I was now in. My family, consisting of my mother, stepfather, stepbrother and myself, has gone there for some Friday night "bonding time". I'm not excited. I've gone bowling before and I was no good. To save myself from the embarrassment of another gutter ball, I've gone to the front, where the rental shoes and vending machines are, to get myself a drink. Away from the smell of dirty sock and sweaty palms, I stare at the dark star-covered carpeting as I wait for the soda to fall to the bottom of the machine.
Suddenly, I hear a voice from behind me, a friendly, recognizable voice, calling my name. I turn around with a smile, excited that someone from school was here that I could leave my family for. My smile and excited feeling fades as I realize that the voice belonged to my own personal bully, a fellow seventh-grader. And I realize she wasn't being friendly at all, she was being condescending. And she says to me "How's Beast Boy?" She wasn't there to ask me to hang out with her. She just wanted to make fun of me and my silly infatuation with a cartoon character, along with her friend. My face grows hot as I turn away from her, mentally kicking myself for hoping she was someone I could play with. I quickly grab my soda, and walk back to my family while keeping my eyes on the star field under my feet, trying to ignore the laughter coming from behind me.
I don't know how it all began. We used to be friends. We were in summer play productions together. We hung out sometimes. But during 7th grade we had begun to grow apart. By midyear we were strangers. As soon as she saw the "I heart Beast Boy" on my binder, the torturing began. I was soon referred to as "That girl in love with the action figure" (what?), if I was ever worthy of reference. That night at the bowling alley my mom spoke with her, and I was devastated, because I knew what would happen after, and it did. The teasing continued, though this time it was followed up by a witty statement about how I had to have my mom fight my battles for me.
Eventually the teasing stopped. I wasn't any fun to bully anymore. We grew up, we forgot. Sort of. It hasn't been completely erased from my mind, but it is in the background. The few times I've been around her, she's acted like a brat, but what can I expect? She is, however, in the good graces of my friends, and maybe someday she'll even find it in her to apologize for the things she said to me back in middle school. I would understand, I may have done the same thing if I was in that position. I was a geek, an easy target, and she was popular, with an image to uphold.

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