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When I was little, I used to feel like I was such a loser. I was the “fat” kid as early as fifth grade, and I hung out with dorks. I liked them, but they weren’t cool enough. In a school with 100 (stuck-up, rich, Jewish) kids per grade, everyone knows everything about you. Everyone knew how uncool I was. But they also knew I was in every advanced class you could be in in elementary school.

6th grade was when I decided to make myself cool. I started shopping at Nordstrom instead of Target, bought a flatiron for my hair, and some pretty ballet flats instead of Asics.
Then one day, in Hebrew class, we were taking a vocabulary quiz. I, of course, knew every answer. The teacher left the room to make an extra copy, and made us swear not to talk. I didn’t intend to break my promise. Then the prettiest, skinniest, most, quite frankly pdeveloped girl in our grade turned around from her seat in front of me. “Hey,” she said, “how do you say ‘strong’?” It was the perfect opportunity. I could be “in”. In a split second I whispered her the answer, “chazak.” She smiled at me, but it wasn’t what I expected. It wasn’t kind. It was like I was a puppy who had just obeyed a command, but she wasn’t going to throw me a treat.

This continued, once a week, for the rest of the year. About halfway through, our seats were shuffled. Now, I was next to the biggest gossip, and behind the biggest bully. I wasn’t going to deny him the answers, though he needed about 5 per quiz. The gossip next to me quickly caught on to what I was doing. The scariest moment of my life, perhaps, was when he said “I’m going to tell.” I had always been such a good kid, straight As and never been in even a scuffle. I had to save myself, which was easy--all it took was a piece of gum each time he caught me cheating.
Eventually, the “popular” kids took me in in 7th grade. I was a friend. I was invited to the sleepovers, and to get ready with them before bar mitzvahs. They taught me about boys, got me my first ever boyfriend. So, it only lasted 2 months. But he was the most popular boy in our grade, and he had chosen me. I was astounded at how easy it was to get them to like me. Straighten my hair every day, wear a padded bra, and don’t sound too intelligent when talking. They were shallow, but I was popular. And when nobody tells you that there’s anything better, that there are other things in life that can make you happy, that’s the greatest feeling in the world.



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fadingintogray said...
today at 10:39 pm:
Great story, but it had a little bit of a curt ending
 
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