Go with it

April 11, 2011
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“Ohhh! We’re half way there. Woah! We’re living on a prayer!”

At track we get tired, very annoyed with our workout and tired. Today we were assigned a mile and a half of Indian runs. When we made it three fourths of a mile everyone started singing the song everyone loves so much, Living on a Prayer.

We finally finished the run and it was time for abs, or abdominals, the part everyone wants to be better at to get the flat stomach almost everyone dreams about.

“Chipmunks!” Our coach yells at the circle of high school students surrounding him. “Two minutes!”

Students groaned all around at the long amount of time. He didn’t like that.

“Alright fine, four minutes for complaining!”

Faces turned red with heat, it was 75 degrees outside, the end of the track season, May 31st. The people on the team left were the ones who made it to shorelines. Shoreline’s isn’t too hard to make it to, but it’s hard enough to get the people that are worse out of the mix.

“We are!” Meggy yelled.

“Champions!” Stank yelled back.

“We are!” Meggy yelled again.

“Goats!” Maria yelled.

The whole team burst out laughing. Even Coach smiled.

We don’t have a bad or mean coach, he just wants us to work hard, and when he see’s us skipping our workout, that’s when we get in trouble. But this, yelling about being champions and goats, he’s used to this. I grew to be used to it too, to them calling themselves goats. When they don’t even know the meaning of it, it was annoying at first but, you can’t control what people say.

It all started a few months ago, when Lewis made up the word Goat. Lewis has always called his girlfriend “Goat”, it’s been her nickname, that’s all he calls her. She hated it but he’s not exactly fond of changing his mind. So when the rest of the group started to laugh about it, everyone would say to one another, “Ya Goat!” Then Lewis started to make up the meaning of it. Kind of like a dirty s***. So Demmy brought up Maria, see out of my friends, no one likes Maria; I’m the only one that’s actually friends with her. I’ve grown up with her and I’m with her every day for sports. I know her, and sure she can do some shitty things, but I have too. She was brought up one night when all of us were hanging out, and Lewis said, “Maria’s a goat too! A dirty goat!” Which made everyone laugh because that’s just the type of person Lewis is. Then Meggy is one of the girls Elle doesn’t get along with anymore, too many events happened and Elle was developing heart problems because of it, they decided she was one too. The word Goat was flying down the hallways at school, like a tidal wave. Lewis and Demmy would yell, “Goat!” when they passed Maria in the hall. It never seemed old to them. Finally my friends stopped talking about Maria, besides two girls, Elle and Hill-climber. Elle is a loud ditzy girl; she’s always happy and wanting to do something exciting, but she doesn’t want to move to get there. Hill-climber is Lewis’s girlfriend, she’s the original goat. Hill-climber isn’t her first name but no one knows her by her first name, it’s a rare occasion that anyone even calls her Ashley.

Anyway a few weeks after track started Elle and Hill-climber started writing stuff on Facebook about goats, they would tag Maria and Meggy as goats in pictures, this is what got more people’s attention and all of them talking about it. After this Maria and Meggy called themselves Goat number one and Goat number two trying to act like they didn’t care. They were even talking about making t-shirts and Datt was going to make a shirt that said Goat herder. Goats were all I heard about, at school, track, you name it. Then, right when they were calming down about it, the day they were starting to calm down, Hill-climber wrote, “Goat,” all over Maria’s locker. This started a whole new chapter, I was furious.

“Go tell your immature friend to stop vandalizing my locker!” Maris yelled over to me.

“Do you honestly think I can control anything that girl does? Trust me I’ve tried, it doesn’t work.” The truth was I agreed with Maria, this was ridiculously stupid. Hill-climber doesn’t even go to our school, she doesn’t have to deal with the effects of her actions, and no one has to deal with their own actions towards Maria in our group. They don’t deal with it because they aren’t in her grade, our grade. They don’t have to see her. I’m the one who gets to deal with their actions, I suffer the consequences.

At track some things got better, people stopped asking about it and Maria stopped joking about it as much. It was nice for a few days, people weren’t talking about it in school anymore and if someone was talking about it I tried to block them out.

Even at track it wasn’t bad for a day, I felt refreshed. Then Hill-climber decided she was going to come to our school next year. This gave her the perfect excuse to come shadow Elle for a day. So she made the arrangements. Soon enough, the day before she was supposed to come, people started to hear about it. People were talking about her, and the “Goats,” they were rehashing everything I was trying so hard to forget about. That they were starting to forget about even.

**********************************************************************

“So who’s this girl coming tomorrow?” The team captain was even talking about it now.

“Some b****.” Meggy replied.

“The girl that started calling us Goats on Facebook.” Maria stared straight ahead as she stretched.

This is the only part of their conversation I paid any attention to. I finished warming up and started my workout. As was planned she arrived at school the next day. Little did anyone know, Maria’s mom called the school about the name calling. Hill-climber was pulled into the office, and she doesn’t even attend our school. I’m not sure what happened in there but it didn’t look like it fazed her. After this day things started to calm down, this was the last big event.

A while after the craziness people started to calm down. It was talked about less and less as time went on. Tracks better now without the drama and fighting, now it’s just a memory that they play around with. Things went back to normal, Meggy and Maria still call themselves Goats but it’s in a playful banter like friends do. These people are my team, always. “They are going to be with me for the next few years. Sometimes it’s hard for people to let things go, but shorelines is tomorrow so our coach is letting us off easy today. Which means my run is almost over and I can go home soon.

The more I think about it I realize the only person that kept me sane these past weeks was Kayla. She understands what I’ve been saying about this whole situation, and she agrees with me. Goat is a word, a word Lewis made up to mean something different. No one was trying to hurt anyone, maybe just piss them off. People assume because you’re friends with someone you’re going to act like them and you’re going to agree with them. Conflict happens in groups of friends, over the stupidest stuff sometimes, but just because you’re friends with someone doesn’t mean “you’re them.” Sometimes you ignore and stay out, other times, you just go with it.





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