Posts Tagged ‘outcasts’

She was. Completely and utterly a walking mess. One of the strangest girls I had ever seen and she was new to our High School.

I knew most of the kids that I went to school with from 3rd grade and now all the way into High School. We all lived in the same neighborhood, but over the last couple of years, they began busing kids in from all over the County. There were new faces almost every week and soon the school began to divide into separate groups.

Maybe all schools do this, but this was the first time I became aware of lines being drawn and I did not like it.

There were the cheerleaders who in Junior High looked just as awkward and fat as the rest of us, but something must have happened during the summer between Junior High School and High School, They became pretty and slim while the rest of us were still trying to figure out who we were and what we wanted to look like. They found the magic pill and weren’t going to tell us.

Suddenly they didn’t have time for me and our other friends. They were too busy bouncing around the grounds in their uniforms and I remember feeling jealous and hurt for the first time since Cindy Thayer stole my 3rd grade boyfriend away from me.

Another group were the brainy kids who did actually attend the debate class, along with the chess club and a few other things I had no interest in.

Then there was the losers and these were kids “with a past” that had been sent to our more affluent school. They came from “broken homes” and lived in “foster care,” of which I knew nothing about.

There were a few other groups and I bounced around between them until the lines were drawn. No one told me about these lines and suddenly my friends that I had grown up with no longer had time for me or would talk to me.

I ended up in the “parking lot” group, which is where we played music, acted cool and smoked cigarettes. I sort of ended up there by default but at least I made new friends who liked me. We spent many hours sneaking smokes between classes, talking about how horrible the world was and how adults didn’t have a clue, wrote bad poetry and read books on philosophy. I often climbed the big oak tree and was known to suddenly drop onto people walking past.

One day I heard some odd laughing while I was smoking. Daryl was on lookout for the principal. There were several girls who had surrounded some new girl and they were taunting her. I looked up and saw what they were doing.

Her name was Dawn and she looked pathetic. I don’t say this to be cruel. I say it as my first impression of her. She was very tall, large and had this hair that was frizzy and stood straight up. It was completely cut wrong. To make matters worse, she was wearing a plaid skirt and an over sized sweater and her plaid knee socks had crunched down around her ankles. She was crying and they were taunting her. The more she cried, the louder they got.

I had known these girls since 3rd grade and for a moment, I didn’t believe what I was seeing. I figured I was just dizzy from the nicotine and rubbed my eyes and looked again. Nope, I had seen it right. I looked up at Daryl, who was standing guard in the tree, and before I knew it, he had jumped down and was walking towards them. I put out my cigarette and followed him.

I felt nauseous at what I was seeing. These girls had turned into a pack of baboons and had now started to shove her. Dawn wailed louder and they laughed more. Daryl started to run and so did I. I didn’t have a plan of what I was going to do, so I followed him.

He walked up and started yelling at the girls to shut-up and leave her alone. Daryl was one of those kids “with a past” who had been put in foster care and didn’t know where his family was. He was lost, confused and only 16 years old. Many people judged him immediately, including the group of baboons, and he also had been shunned into the parking lot group with me.

Suddenly, one of the girls shoved Daryl and then put her hands on her hips and stuck her tongue out at him. “What are you going to do, dick head? Hit a girl?” she laughed.

Daryl looked at her for a moment. ‘Yes, as a matter of fact, I am,’ he said and shoved her back. It wasn’t a hard shove, but it was enough for her to have to step back a few feet to catch her balance.

It was suddenly deathly quiet as everyone stopped teasing Dawn and looked at the girl he had shoved. Daryl didn’t flinch and just stared at her. She started crying. Daryl grabbed Dawn’s hand and marched her to the parking lot.

I had watched the whole thing and I have to admit, when he shoved her, it made me smile. It was about time someone stood up to that bitch. I figured he would get into trouble, but he didn’t seem to care. I ran behind him. At one point I turned around and flipped them all off. They were still standing there with their mouths open. God I wish I had a camera for that shot.

Daryl brought Dawn to the parking lot and we all greeted her. She had a strange eye and I found out later it was a glass eye from a car accident. She was all wrong for our school and that made us like her even more.

Daryl ended up getting suspended for a week and nothing was done to discipline the baboons. That was fine with all of us because from that moment on, Dawn was never left alone.  We were all her body-guard of sorts, I guess. It just happened naturally. She eventually blossomed as the year wore on. She lost weight, grew out her hair and started wearing make-up.

I was wrong. Dawn was not pathetic. Those ‘perfect” girls were.

But there was one thing she and I would always do and somehow get away with it. On occasion, we would wander by the cheerleaders during practice and moon them. I swear the coach saw us and said nothing.