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Meaning of JIllian
Meaning of Jillian: Sweetheart, youthful
“Jillian,” my mother shouted from the bottom of the stairs, “You’re going to be late if you don’t come right now!” With a sigh I ran my fingers down my long curls hoping to impress everyone with my new look. This year will be different.
I will not be disrespected by the entire grade.
I will not be humiliated by my rude teachers.
I will not be alone. This year I will make friends.
As my mom lets out a long exaggerated sigh, I slipped on my shoes and ran down the stairs.
So seeing as she won’t even be driving me to school, I don’t understand what the rush was all about.
In fact, as soon as I went downstairs she headed up and passed out. It’s better than usual though. Usually she doesn’t get up at all. I ran to catch the L train and headed for Bluttney High School for another dry year. Unfortunately things hadn’t exactly gone according to plan for the first few periods. No one looked in my direction in Science, Literature or Math class. No one noticed me to even see my hair at all. As I stumbled into the lunchroom completely disheartened I heard two familiar voices behind me.
Liana and Manny excitedly ran into the lunchroom, ecstatic to share their summer horror stories, the boys they drooled over and how pissed they are to be spending yet another year at Bluttney High. Well at least they had each other.
As expected, they sat down completely into their conversations and I followed them to their table.
Just like last year. This is how the next few days went, and then the next few weeks.
Until one day Corrine, the quiet new girl, walked up to my locker and said:
“Can you move” she tapped her foot impatiently and I was shocked that she would address me so rudely. She seemed so nice I hadn’t expected that from her so, I just stared at her completely dumb founded.
She rolled her eyes “You see that” she pointed to the locker to my left, “That’s mine. I’d like to get to it before class starts.” I finally snapped out of it and moved out of her way. She began to unpack her book bag, letting its entire content drop to the floor. She wore the usual uniform, a khaki skirt and white shirt, and fixed her braided ponytail in her mirror. I saw that she carried two textbooks, two binders, and a folder in her book bag. Without thinking I said: “You don’t have to carry all that home.”
She turned to me with a confused expression on her face; she wondered why I was still here and what I was talking about.
“Your bag, you don’t need all that stuff,” I clarified.
“Why would you say that?” She turned back to her locker and began getting her stuff together.
“That girl Manny, she doesn’t take any of her books home. She takes like one folder; I don’t even think she does her homework at home.” I’ve spent enough time around Manny and Liana last year to know that was true. She does all her homework in school, she makes sure of it.
“Oh okay,” she turned around and focused on applying lip gloss so, I just walked away.
When lunch rolled around Liana and Manny were out of sight. I sighed and sat at an empty table by myself. Corrine plopped down in front of me, I looked up and she gave me a friendly smile. I suddenly got the impression that she was very moody.
I was happy to have someone to sit with me so, we talked as if we have known each other.
I found out she wished to cure cancer, which was ironic because she hated science class. We talked non-stop for the rest of the lunch period. Since then we were pretty close. I stopped looking for Liana and Manny everyday at lunch and we walked to class together in the morning.
Until the morning Corrine was late.
Since my first day of school LAST YEAR Allen has been the mean little troll that keeps me
up in class. Since I had been hanging out with Corrine, I haven’t noticed him much but, today…
“Jillian!” He had that grimace on his face that made me squirm, he was looking for trouble.
I ignored him but, he spit on me. The mean girls around me giggled like he was the funniest, cutest boy in the world. I almost threw up when I heard their pathetic laughter erupting from their trampy bodies. The teachers in the hall said nothing but, I know they saw. I know they hear the evil in his voice. So much for the no bullying rules they enforce so much.
I picked up my books and tried to run to the bathroom to wash his acid off of my skin but, he cut me off. He made me a game; I could see in his eyes that he anticipated my next move.
“Jillian’, he whined with mock sorrow, “I thought we were friends.” He made one more attempt to attack me when suddenly...
He let out a weak whimper as he slumped to the ground. Corrine knocked him to the floor.
“You better watch out Allen”, she said through gritted teeth, “You will be sorry if you EVER do that again.”
She dragged me to the bathroom and wiped off his spit. That’s when I realized why things hadn’t changed for me. I had a new look and a new attitude but no courage.
And if I was going to survive in this school for the next 4 years, courage was something I was going to need. To change the way they saw me. To make my peers see me. I needed to make courage part of the meaning of Jillian.