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The popular girls.

By , Statesville, NC
SHAME:
The painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, or, ridiculous.

"Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to."
Mark Twain

There was this girl in my Civics and Economics class that I took my freshman year at Statesville Senior High School, Her name was Tara and she was African-American. She was a senior in a freshman/sophomore class, and as if that wasn’t bad enough that was her 2nd time repeating the class. She was failing, but not because she wasn’t trying. This time she was pregnant, and not by her own choosing. She had been raped by an older relative.
Now, Tara was very smart, but having Morning sickness and having to skip class for that and prenatal checkups did nothing for her grade point average. Having over 30 days of absences basically secured the fact that she was going to have to repeat her senior year. Again. Everyday during the 3rd block class she was made fun of, ostracized, and, ridiculed, and when she wasn’t there gossip poured through every ear in the room. The words of hate usually made it back to her and when they did, you could see all of the hurt, pain, and, shame just wash over her face like a tidal wave.
Now speaking of that shame I remember feeling ashamed because of that situation. Tara and I weren’t friends, we were merely acquaintances, but we talked a lot. We talked about everything from music and sports to clothes and fashion. We usually stayed with our separate groups of friends, but when they weren’t there the boundaries were broken and we could talk.
The reason for my shame came from one of those days that Tara was too sick to come to school. I knew as soon as the Blonde Barbies walked in and noted her absence the gossip, rumors, and hate filled note passing would begin.

Things like “Guess that dirty whore was too “sick” to come to school today.” Or “What stall is she puking her filthy nigger brains out in?” were some of the rude and terribly racist comments I heard and never rebuked. I would always feel horrible and terribly ashamed by the time that 4th block rolled around. Several times after comments like that were made I wasn’t even able to look Tara in the eye.

About a week later Tara was absent again. The Blonde Barbies were already writing the first gossip filled note of the day, and I decided I had had enough. I was no longer going to allow such racism, intolerance, and hate for something as simple as a pregnant 18 year-old Teenager go on anymore. Right before that disgusting note was passed I ripped it out of the perfectly manicured hand of the “Ring-Leader” of the Blonde Barbies and ripped it up right in front of her. After I was satisfied I threw it right in her face. I asked her how she liked the emotion shame. She replied meekly “I don’t.” and I said “If you continue this idiocy then you will be experiencing a lot more of it.” I stalked off and hoped that would avenge Tara’s semester of pain.

The next day the Blonde Barbies walked in. They were quiet and they kept their eyes on the white board the whole entire time. They never bothered to look at Tara nor I. Even though they never apologized for the shame, anger, and, pain that they had caused Tara I knew one day they all would look back on that day and realize what shame truly meant.





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