I had become accustomed to being an outcast, even at such an early age. For some funny reason, I didn’t mind as much as I could have, perhaps because it was all I knew, or perhaps because I found ‘interesting’ ways of getting attention if I needed it.
There was one particular girl in my class who was overweight. Looking back, she probably wasn’t that much bigger than anyone else, but even slight differences among slightly cruel children can be the cause of becoming an outcast.
One day, at recess, they called her “fatso.”
And she, who had been accepted before, realized her fate and was hurt to the core, crumpling in a heap of tears, sitting on a curb outside the school building.
She wasn’t my friend before this incident… I hardly knew her. But when those classmates did that to her, I forgot about my own skinny-glasses-nerdiness and told them all to leave her alone. Pretty bold for an outcast. But I didn’t care. It was too much for me to handle watching them hurt her like this… My skinniness wasn’t really a source of insecurity for me (yet), but I knew her weight was something she was ashamed of, even at the early age of seven.
We joined together that day in second grade and were friends for a short time. By the next year, she had pretty much forgotten about me, and found ways to be accepted by our classmates. She tried her darnedest to be fashionable and be into all the ‘right’ music, and she did pretty well as far as not becoming too much of an outcast. I figured she had forgotten about how I stuck up for her way back in second grade, and I went on to find a new best friend.
It wasn’t until five years later, in seventh grade, that our paths would cross again in a significant way…
…to be continued…