KINDNESS PAID TENFOLD
If you were a little chubby and surrounded by bullies in sophomore year, you could perhaps relate to me.
They called me “Fat penguin.“ No matter how much I hated that nickname, it stuck like glue that everyone in school including the teachers forgot that my name was Kirstie.
I joined this prestigious public school where most rich kids schooled from after the persuasion of my aunt. She figured that I was going to fit in perfectly and mingle in the crowd with the help of my cousin Rex who was enrolled in the same school.
Excited about making new friends because it was my first time in the States, I tried getting closer to Rex so I could know what transpires outside class.
He unlike me, was the smoking hot baseball captain with an athletic build and the Romeo of the girls. He wouldn’t associate with someone who had chubby cheeks, a little fat here and there.
The school became a nightmare for me! People drew insulting piggy cartoons of me, called me names, and teased the hell out of me. Those petite girls whom everyone adored were the ones that gave me the nickname. I remember my desk-mate referring to them as the Sofia girls.
No one wanted to associate with someone everyone picked on unless they wanted the same fate I had. Rex did not stand up to protect me and had even told me not to tell anyone that we were even related. He would drop me off two blocks from school and I would walk. I figured his motives so I didn’t give him any headaches.
How could I even tell anyone at home especially my aunt? I had just lost my parents to a car accident and she had taken pity on me to look after me. I wasn’t going to create a rift between her and her only treasure, no way!
Some of my classmates thought I was from the Middle East because of the way I dressed which attracted a few people from that place who talked to me occasionally.
I would sit alone in the dining hall, the library and even sit at the back during the music class because I had no friends, though there were those I would talk to.
One rainy morning, I asked Rex if he could drive me to the school directly. Very surprised when he said yes I was! There was grave silence in the car and somehow I got uncomfortable wondering if I had made the wrong decision.
Arriving at school, I ran straight out of the car after making sure that no one had seen me with him. I was sticking to the rules he gave me.
The urge to pee became stronger and I made for the bathrooms in a rush. After the burden of easing myself, I washed my hands at the sinks and that was when I heard someone throwing up in one of the toilets. I knocked and asked if they needed help or they were okay but no one responded.
Taking a few steps behind, I waited if the door was going to open any sooner. Five minutes later, Mia the leader of the ‘Sofia babes’ walked out with a deathly pale face. She was sick, her face told it all. I rushed to support her as she stood on wobbly legs but she pushed me away. Not until when she was almost hitting the flow and I rushed holding her, yelling for help and getting her to the sickbay.
She had hurt me a lot when I was a newbie in school but I wasn’t someone who kept grudges and everyone deserves a second chance. My late mother had taught me to bless more those who hurt us, persecuted us, or even plotted evil against us. Those values were the ones that kept me moving when they poured me a pail of water in the dining hall when they drew those cartoons of me when they bullied me or called me names when they spread false information about me.
I still recall the last words she said to me when I was turning seven, never let the darkness of the world shadow the goodness in you!
That day that I helped Mia marked a turning point in the way everyone treated me at school.
When she got well, she thanked me for helping her back then even when she had pushed me away. Jayme, one of the soccer players on the school team became my best friend and even did his best to protect me until we completed high school. He was shocked to learn that Rex was my cousin but even took part in the hilarious scandal when his friends bullied me.
I remember him helping me when I was huddled in one of the corners of the music room crying my eyes out when they had poured that ice-cold water over my head. He had embraced me brotherly and even offered me a ride home to change my clothes. He did the kindest thing for me no one had ever done for me since I joined the school. That was how our friendship started.
A month to prom, the school was going to hold drama competitions for the region. I missed using my vocals so much but there were better people than I and I dared not queue for the audition that the principal had prepared as they chose those who were going to represent the school.
That afternoon as I walked to the gym lesson, my phone vibrated and I took it out checking my inbox.
It was one of those oldest videos we had a shoot with my friends before moving to the States. My eyes filled with tears as played it. I missed the carefree olden days with my friends, Jacob, Hannah, and Faith.
Lifting my eyes from the phone’s screen, all eyes in the class were glued on me. I didn’t know why they gazed at me like that until I saw Rex smiling broadly at me.
That video had been sent to my aunt when my parents were celebrating their twelfth wedding anniversary. For the first time in public, he admitted that we were related and even hugged me. I could make out all the shocked gazes of those who were in the room.
Jayme winked at me that I laughed for real the first-time and not the practiced smiles I usually wore.
He had sent that video to all the contacts on his phone and that was why everyone was shocked that I could actually sing. The joy I had as I stood on that stage with almost two thousand plus people watching me and even listening to me showcase my talent with full vigor and confidence was unimaginable. I remember the deafening applause when I hit the highest notes. No situation is permanent! That day marked the beginning of my music career.
Lastly. Don’t get tired of doing good because you will be paid tenfold. There are reasons why certain situations come into our life. The toughest are the ones that make us the strongest.