Narrative Essay

In the second grade, children appear happy and carefree. Imaginations run wild with creativity at its peak. Hands rise into the air enthusiastically; it is a competition for the teacher's attention. But most of all there is thought to be no fear. And yet some did not know about a small strawberry blond and her torturing bully.

Happily, I skip down hallways of white displaying artwork, the colours painted by the smallest of hands exploding with energy. I push open the ladies washroom door, exposing almond floor tiles and greenish bathroom cubicles. On the inside of a stall, my fingers lightly brush across the faded tales of vandalizing generations before.

Peeping eyes hover above, and an unfamiliar voice calls out, "Hello, down there!" It sounds mature and feminine. A blush creeps across my face as the girl's curious eyes look at me, ripping apart my privacy as if it were a piece of paper and throwing it into the trash. Involuntarily, I flinch from the harshness in her voice, "What's your problem?" I lock my knees together in an attempt to cover some of my bare skin. Fidgeting with my shirt awkwardly, I try desperately to imagine myself with my family in the comfort of my home. Yet, I cannot easily dismiss my unpleasant reality. Tears build in my eyes, and begin to stream down my cheeks. "Stop crying, you baby," she commands angrily. "I said, 'stop crying!' " The hovering eyes are gone, but loud, stomping footsteps take their place. They stop and large, black boots appear at the bottom of my stall. What does she want with me? Why won't she go away? What is she going to do?

Suddenly, the metal stall walls transform into a cage and overwhelm me. "Knock, knock. Can the little baby come out and play?" she laughs at my disposition. She pounds her fists on my confinement walls and screams, "Get out of there now!" One final blow separates the obstacle between us and I see my captor once and for all. Long blond hair flows from this giant's head with cold eyes piercing into mine. She looks at her whimpering prey with satisfaction and victory. "There we are. Crying will get you no where, little princess, mommy and daddy aren't here to protect you," she cackles, grabbing my arm roughly and pulling me out of my stall.

Days turn into weeks, and weeks into months. Cold eyes supervise my every move, choking my life. I've stopped using the school washrooms. Her voice echoes in my head, 'you better not tell anyone, or else.' At lunch she takes my snacks and money. My stomach growls all day, but if I eat my lunch she will yell at me.

Wandering cautiously around the school, clinging onto my friends as usual, I notice my bully is nowhere in sight. Fresh air enters my lungs as I feel the warmth of the sun again. In an attempt to conquer my fear, I take a fateful step into the girls' washroom. The silence soothes my ears and eases my panic. I feel more like my old self as the day comes to a close.

Hands shaking and voice trembling I tell my mom about the situation at school.
"No! Mom you can't. Please, don't tell the principal!" I plead with my mother. My body shakes as I envision her angry face. I see my family, they are crying beside a tombstone. Fresh flowers litter the newly dug grave. The letters of my name are etched in the rock.

"Good morning, Jennifer," says my grade two teacher, Mrs. Sharp cheerfully. "I hear you have been having some troubles with an older student. I hope that buddy system the principal suggested is helping." I gulp and manage a slight nod. Is this circulating around the school? How many people know now? "Come with me, Jennifer," Mrs. Sharp says while taking my hand. "Our destination is the intermediate section of the school. Have you been there before?" Realization hit me; we are going to see her. My throat goes dry, palms are sweaty and my grip tightens on Mrs. Sharp's hand. My feet are dreadfully loud, every step like a brick smashing onto the ground. She could hear me from a mile away.

'She would be waiting for me and when the teacher isn't looking.' From behind Mrs. Sharp, I gaze vigilantly into the foreign classroom. There is a man with grey hair wearing a colourful, striped vest. He stands in front of rows of grade seven students sitting in desks, giving a lesson. He spots us and gives my teacher an inquiring look.

"Yes, she has been absent for about a week now," says the aged man to my teacher.

My mind blanks out, their voices turn to whispers. Is she okay? I imagine her sullen face and her skinny body hungry for the fear of innocent children. She lies sick in bed, medicated for an unfortunate case of withdrawal.

"I had a lovely chat with the principal," she says through gritted teeth. "I thought I told you never to tell anyone," she threatens, pushing me up against the school walls. I can feel her arms violently shaking and her heavy breathing on my face. The large veins pulsing rapidly in her temples, cold eyes piercing into mine, and crouched brows inject fear into my quivering body. My friend, who is my buddy for today, stands off to the side, her eyes nearly popping out of her head, watching the whole ordeal.

With my friend, who is my witness, I am forced by my mother to see the principal again. He says the bully has a history of harassing students and Kay Bingham is the only school in the district she isn't kicked out of. Apparently, she is also having troubles with her abusive family.

In my mind, I see myself cowering on the tiled floor in the school washrooms. Now, I see her in my place, crying and calling for help. Her arms extend, reaching out to me. Frantically, I try to grab her hand, but an angry man, who looks remarkably like her, pulls her away. She screams, struggling for her freedom. The thundering of his fists viciously pounding on her still body brings tears to my eyes. She silently mouths a good-bye as her body fades into the surrounding darkness. Like permanent imprints of the past, the blood of her wounds is stained on my hands.

I close my eyes and see her angry face. She stands at the end of an empty school hallway. The hallway fills with people and I push them out of the way as I run towards her. I open my mouth to tell her that I know about her family and how much I want to help her, but nothing comes out. She turns her back to me and exits the hallway through a white door with a sign that says, "Welcome to High School". I couldn't run fast enough to catch the closing door. My hands furiously pull at the stubborn locked doorknob. She is gone, her image fossilized in my mind.

Childhood is a time of ignorance. There is a daily routine consisting of finger painting, mommy-packed lunches and naptime. But not everyone can enjoy those simple pleasures. The introduction to the harshness of reality can strike at too young of an age when a child has an unloving environment. Though their actions are hurtful, we must recognize that they are reaching out to us, needing love and attention. Regretfully, I could not help this girl though her memory may some day serve a purpose.