I was so excited as the fourth grade was beginning today, after a long break. I reached school and realised our classes had been shuffled. My good friends had moved to the other sections, but nevertheless I was looking forward to meeting my new classmates and make some new friends.
There she was Jeanie! The most popular girl of the third grade! She was one of my new classmates. Another girl standing in a corner caught my attention. She was Sweeny, the new admission. A bit rotund, Sweeny did not seem friendly at all. Soon after the initial introductions, our classes started, and we all got busy.
I made new friends and Jeanie also seemed pretty nice. She was always laughing and friendly with everyone. She always reminded me of “Barbie”, as she was so pretty. As the days in the fourth grade passed Jeanie and I became best friends. Well Jeanie was everybody’s best friend and everybody liked her. Sweeny tried to be my friend, but I had no time for her. Being with Jeanie was exciting, she always had something fun to talk – about Jake or Sweeny or Toni.
Jake was funny because his clothes were weird.
Sweeny was funny because she was too fat.
Toni was funny because she was too pretty!
Sometimes something would nag me from the inside that this was not right, but I ignored it.
As much as I enjoyed spending time with Jeanie I realized that she always had her way if I did not do what she wanted, and that she would be upset with me. But well life was fun, and it was okay to agree with friends, wasn’t it?
One day I wanted to surprise Jeanie and without telling her I went to her house to play with her. There she was on the phone talking to Toni about me.
“Myra is such a loser, I don’t even like her that much”.
Here, she was saying the same mean things about me that she used to say about Sweeny and Toni.
Tears welled up in my eyes, and I ran straight back home. My mom was working in the garden, and she asked “What happened Myra?”.
I hugged my mother, and told her everything while she sat quietly and listened.
“Why am I feeling bad? She has other good qualities too. No one’s perfect”, I whimpered.
“Myra, meanness is something that overpowers all the goodness in a person.”, Mom explained.
I stared blankly at her not understanding a word she was saying.
Mom took a beautiful picture with bright happy colors that I had painted and splashed black all over it. Then she asked, ” Is this still bright and beautiful?”.
I stared at the picture. It was all black. All the colors were eaten up by black. It was not pretty anymore. I shook my head, I understood then what mom was trying to tell me.
I knew what I had to do. I had to stay away from mean friends. I was not a mean person, but maybe I was becoming one with her.