The First Time I was Hurt

January 15, 2009
I was adjusting to the move- the move from Singapore to Kentucky, half a world away. This had been my third time moving in ten years. I had been born in Texas and moved to Kentucky at the age of two and Singapore at the age of eight- what a culture shock! The kicker was that I would have to adjust right back again.

I had left the middle of my third grade year and was now starting the beginning of my fourth grade year in August. It was totally obvious that I was new- I talked extremely fast, had an Asian accent, and spoke “Singlish.” (Singlish is basically the way Singaporeans speak English and a very bad habit.) but adjusting would take more than switching from aeroplane to airplane, s to z and u’s to no u’s. it’s not as easy as it seems.

My friend in the fourth grade was Natalie Westerling- sharing the same first name made the friendship special. We did everything together at school. Sometimes, her mom would come and bring lunch- and they would share with me. It looked like I would be fine. But it didn’t last.

One day, I saw Natty (there were three Natalies in our class that year and she went by Natty) with Kaitlin Digney. There was nothing for me to worry about- it was just friend-to-friend, no big deal. But I started to see Natty with Kaitlin a lot more- and more and more and more. Eventually, I knew that they had become best friends. The world was different. My opinion of America spiraled downward from there on out because things haven’t really changed since then. The day that I really was hurt, however, was the first day I was obviously rejected.

The class was to get into groups of three. I watched and tried to find a group, but everyone else was already situated. Even Natty and Kaitlin had excluded me, finding another girl. And so I was left alone in the middle of the room. The teacher overlooked me there, standing by myself.

What was I, second rate? Was it my ethnicity? After all, the town was ninety percent white. Or was it just me? Was it because of something I am that makes me a lower class than everyone else? What happened to equality? I realized many things that day- the cruelty of friends, the cruelty of the world, rejection, how real problems start to form, and how stupid I was being. It was stupid. I was stupid. I was stupid for trusting. I must be stupid for Natty to pick Kaitlin over me.

And so standing there, I began to cry. In the fourth grade classroom, I was ignored in a room full of people as I felt the first stab of reality that first time I was hurt.

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This article has 20 comments. Post your own now!

valentines215 said...
Oct. 21, 2015 at 1:16 pm
i need help with this idk what to write bout
boosiebung replied...
Aug. 29, 2016 at 4:20 pm
same fam
FilmLoverandWriter14 said...
Jun. 8, 2014 at 10:48 am
Very good job! Your memoir is really well written and I can really relate to that. In my 4th grade year I was excluded by my two 'best friends' and I felt alone and isolated. But in the end it made me much stronger.
Pink♥ said...
Apr. 4, 2014 at 5:30 pm
You need to work on this,alot!
Goerge said...
Dec. 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm

it was worse than i said it was that was overrated


Goerge said...
Dec. 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm

i did not like that memoir


lonelyLaviathin said...
Oct. 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm
the poem "in the war between no-longer friends"is about that feeling
lonelyLaviathin said...
Oct. 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm
go look up my poem "in the war between no longer friends". i get where you're coming from.
StephanieY said...
Sept. 14, 2011 at 11:56 am
Our Creative Writing teacher passed this out as an example and it was good i like it
RioU-B said...
Apr. 11, 2011 at 11:11 pm
i like what uwrote. My best friend sorta did the same. he doesnt talk to me any more. i dont no y, i dont care anymore. its his problem.
theatregirl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm
i like it. it reminded me of something similar happening to me, an dme feel like i wasn't only one that this has happened too.
Healing_Angel said...
Jul. 21, 2010 at 1:10 am
I can relate to being hurt. Try to add more detail.
Kat2292 said...
May 2, 2010 at 9:45 pm
I can really relate to this. After having my former best friend of 12 years stab me in the back, I know what it feels like. This story captures that feeling, and it's even better short because it kinda lets the reader know the experience can be hard to put into words. Great job!
Gabs(: said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm
I've lived in kentucky all my life so i related to this story, hehe (:
<невидљив> This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 15, 2010 at 4:53 pm
I think this is really great and nothing needs to be changed like some of the commentators have indicated... your emotions are well described and most importantly, it's so true! keep writing!
JacintaT said...
Jan. 26, 2010 at 5:34 am
I agree with BirdMan, about writing more to really make us readers FEEL the emotion. It was good though and it's so sad, knowing this happens every day to people. You're a good writer.
EcoWriter3 said...
Oct. 3, 2009 at 12:02 pm
This is really touching. I have gone through the same thing just recently (well, the exclusion part), and I can relate to your situation. I realized the same things that day.
Excellent job!
KatAnne said...
Aug. 19, 2009 at 1:09 am
I really felt your pain. I think you could have gone into a little more detail it would have helped the story along. Other than that it was great. Good job!
BirdMan This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 7, 2009 at 3:17 am
I also agree, I don't mean to be rude but I feel that you could of sunken more in depth to some of the emotion. A move like that is a HUGE thing, (I can only imagine). And after reading this I am not entirely sure how you felt about it.
banana said...
Apr. 26, 2009 at 4:43 pm
the idea and thoughts behind this piece are great. however, i think you could make them more effective if you took a more heartfelt approach to it. try writing it like it's the day after you were hurt, and try to capture every emotion you felt, so that readers can feel it too.
Otherwise, great start!
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