I am trying to jump back in the Fiction Friday bandwagon. Baby steps are necessary. This week's prompt is:
Describe a time your character was wronged; even though it was insignificant to the one who wronged them, your character never got over it.
My motto in life is "forgive and forget." Sure, I don't literally forget. But I do not hold a grudge. I try really hard to put myself in the other person's shoes; not to justify them, but to understand why they do what they do. I forgive because it is the right thing for me. I have enough stress dealing with my daily life and current obligations; I do not want to burden my soul with the additional weight of hating someone for their transgressions.
So why is it that I can't get over a stupid incident that happened twenty-seven years ago?
I was 12 years old, in seventh grade. I was at a new school, where I hardly knew anybody. The place was so big and had so many people. I felt out of place, and much of my first year I spent it roaming around the school fields, alone or with one or two new friends. I had a crush on a boy. He had the prettiest smile. I was too shy to even speak to him, so I adored him from afar.
One day, another boy I knew from riding in the school bus asked me to be his girlfriend. This boy was mildly amusing, although quite pretentious and slightly dumb. He wasn't my first choice, but I was flattered, so I said yes. The next day, he paraded me through the school yard at lunchtime, only to dump me the next morning. I was confused by that, and kept wondering what had I done to make him not like me anymore.
It turned out he had made a bet with some other boys that he could make me his girlfriend. Within a week he was dating somebody else. All I could do was ask myself "why?" Why was I only good for a joke? What was it about me that made me a target of ridicule? I was so painfully shy back then; there was no way in hell I was going to ask him these questions. So I never knew why. I never confronted him. I never had closure.
I have gone through more significant and more painful things in my life. Yet, this is what I have never gotten over. How come the memory of this prank still bristles my ego so? Why have I allowed it to become such a defining element of my personality?
The person who snubbed me like that was so inconsequential, so meek. Maybe that is why it stings so hard after all these years. To be fooled and rejected by a popular boy would have been embarrassing. To be scorned by a third-tier loser was even worse, for what does it say about you when the lowest of the low rejects you?