That Girl

You pass her in the hallway,

think nothing of her,

the same way she thinks about herself.

Her hair is style in a bob,

the hairstyle that her mother always requested,

the hairstyle she would vow to never wear again.

There isn’t anything extraordinary about her:

brown eyes, and brown hair,

she is a bit tall for her age,

nothing worth remembering.

She goes to the same school as her older sister and younger brother,

everyone who passes her points and says:

“That girl is so-and-so’s sister.”

Both her siblings possess a name-

but to the world she is known as

“That Girl.”

 

It started in first grade.

Her beginning as, and the creation of “that girl.”

A club was dedicated in honor of a mutual hatred of her.

In the club, they used her real name,

this is when she preferred to be associated by “that girl.”

This reoccurring club caused that 9-year old girl

to write that she was,

always alone,

and that she should be alone forever,

and she began to wonder if she was born like that.

Later she created a chart of “Friends or Foes” in her journal,

as the pages turned, the number of foes

gradually began to

outnumber the

friends.

 

In Middle School, the club remained in existence,

with even more members than before.

Uncomfortable in her own skin,

she wore clothes that were labeled “XL,”

even though she was barely a small.

The loose fit made her feel as if she was able to hide herself a bit more

and draw less attention to herself.

Things seemed to be going a bit better,

but then another rumor was created.

 

In defending one of her friends from a racist remark,

the bully turned to her and called her

“an anorexic white trash piece of shit,”

words that she vividly remembers to this day,

along with the saliva that spewed out his mouth

as his lips formed around the words.

That girl and anorexic became linked.

 

Because of this, a social worker inquired her eating habits.

That day, that girl decided to wear her black sweater

because she began to become interested in boys,

and it was the one piece of clothing that she liked on her.

The social worker looked at the girl in the sweater

and was able to see how thin she was,

she asked the girl if she wore black because she felt depressed.

After leaving the social worker’s office,

the girl would hear whispers around her,

“That girl is anorexic”.

 

She never wore that black sweater again.

 

Her Drama teacher would watch her walk across the stage

telling “that girl” that she should be a model.

The attention and the eyes analyzing her body made her uncomfortable,

She hated being associated with the word “model”.

She reverted to wearing clothes that could fit three of her inside.

That girl will never believe that she has the physique of one,

and that comment reminds her of the words

that spewed from the boy’s mouth,

who has probably forgotten about them.

 

Before entering high school, she chopped off her hair

to become more invisible.

She heard the rumors though,

“That girl is gothic.”

“That girl is ugly.”

She decided to remain quiet,

hoping to fade into the background.

She was teased for being “so white,”

she was already created as an Other

before she was able to provide herself with a voice.

She eventually grew out her hair, wore more form fitting clothes

in an attempt to bring more positive attention towards her.

 

She became friends with a boy,

mistook their friendship for something more,

and confessed her feelings for him,

he replied “that’s cool.”

She thought that her embarrassment was over,

but he then asked her for advice to get with her current best friend.

That best friend dated everyone of that girl’s guy friends, and crushes.

That girl felt betrayed for trusting her,

but believed that she never had a chance with those guys,

anyway.

 

Sophmore year she found a boyfriend.

She told him everything; he was bullied too,

she thought they shared a connection.

He used and abused her.

He knew what to say and how to say it.

He was the first boy that called her pretty,

she let flattery take over.

She began to hate herself every time she clicked send,

but she didn’t stop because she craved the approval.

 

The girls that she sat with at lunch claimed to all be her friends.

The two girls that sat to the right of her brushed their food crumbs

all over her, every day.

Her other friends watched

and continually claimed that the “next time” they saw it happen,

they would confront them.

Well next time came,

and kept coming,

but the words were

never

delivered.

 

People talked to her when they needed favors,

and she was always willing to help them.

That girl was smart academically and helped many of her classmates.

She knew almost a secret from everyone;

but they would always choose other people over her.

They were embarrassed to be seen talking to her.

They went out and never invited her,

and she sat quietly watching them reminisce.

 

Her ex wrote a blog entry about her,

using it as a device to appeal to other girls,

he didn’t use her name, but he didn’t have to.

He claimed that he taught that girl a lesson about herself.

That girl only learned how to hate herself more.

 

That girl never received an apology; except once.

 

 

That girl never showed the hurt that others caused her.

 

That girl still remembers

every word

that was ever slurred,

and the pain that she felt.

 

That girl has come across many of the people that had tormented her

and watch them act as if no wrong had ever been done.

That girl never uttered a word to those people.

 

That girl used to believe that she

deserved every

cruelty that was bestowed upon her.

 

That girl is me.

 

I know how much words can hurt.

I know what it feels like to feel alone in crowded room.

I know what it feels like to wait for karma to come around.

I know what it feels like to be alone.

I know what it feels like to hate yourself.

I know what it feels like to wish you were someone else.

 

I know how strong this has made me.

I know how hard it is to tell yourself every morning that

you deserve to be loved.

I know that I am a million times stronger than those who have done wrong to me.

It is a constant battle, and every time it appears over,

it sneaks upon you and consumes you,

but you always have to fight.

 

I am not those words they called me, I am not what they defined me.

 

I am ThatGirl.

ThatGirl that will haunt you cause although you were cruel to her,

she was nothing but kind to you.

ThatGirl who was kicked, beaten, but never defeated.

ThatGirl that was knocked down, but never fell.

ThatGirl once invisible, now invincible.

ThatGirl is me.

Rubber

“I’m rubber and you’re glue

Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you,”

Was the saying we were taught to say

Because it was believed to make everything okay.

Yet if you constantly stretch out the same piece of rubber

You will surely discover

Tearing beginning to form and what once bounced back

Will soon begin to stick to seal that crack.

The rubber that once was is no more.

It will be found in a different state than before.

 

The glue gun fires although you have your hands up

Screaming, “I surrender!” to a word war you didn’t startup.

Next thing you know, you are a walking arts and crafts project

Because you are and will continue to be their favorite target.

Colored with words and slurs:

“Slut! Whore! White Trash! Cunt! Did you see that fucked up face of hers?”

A paper mache product of images

Because they have the power to determine what your image is.

 

“I know you are, but what am I?”

Is another response that adults supply

To us, not knowing that they will gladly

Tell you who you are. And sadly,

You believe them, the lies are who you must be.

After hearing the same statements again and again, you agree.

And soon you find yourself attending your own baptism,

The taunts that they say becomes the water that you will bathe in.

 

And one day after you are baptized

You will wake up and realize

That this is not you but real lies.

There is no need for you to undergo a metamorphosis

Because you will fully understand this metaphor for what it is:

 

In elementary, a club was formed based on the hatred of me,

I could not be a member because I had yet to learn how to hate me.

In middle school the club re-emerged, but it wasn’t until high school that

That I found myself wanting to greet its members with a welcome mat

As I quickly found myself becoming nothing more than the answer key

For everyone’s homework and for a certain insecurity.

Food would be brushed onto me as my friends sat by

Saying that they would speak up next time, yet that is when I

Said good bye because I only wanted to be with people who did good by me.

Those who I thought were my friends all chose to oversee

Making me feel alone oversea.

 

My rubber’s latex lost its elasticity

Because my late ex became lost in ecstasy

And for a long time I thought the problem was me.

A sixteen year old girl who hoped that he

Could be the glue that would hold me together

When all he did was stretch me further to get her

Out. A part of me desperate for positivity

Hoping to find a break from negativity.

 

He would call me beautiful

To ensure that his needs would be full.

I knew that he did not care for me, yet

I found myself stuck in his glue net

Because I convinced myself that I was lucky

To finally have someone look at me

And utter

You’re beautiful, all while ignoring the mutter

Of a request that would always surely follow

Because I thought he was filling the part of me that was hollow.

 

When the relationship ended, I held myself at fault

Causing more pain to my wounds by simply adding more salt.

I must have done something for people to constantly treat me badly,

It’s a thought that I still have to shake off from this day.

Because the truth is, once glue is dried, it can be peeled

Right off. And everything that glue concealed

Will finally be revealed. The rubber that was once stretched out

Snaps back into place and the rubber is about

Ten times longer

And perhaps ten times stronger.

Will-Power

People always talk about will-power when it comes to dieting. How difficult it must be to restrict yourself from your favorite foods. You must prevent yourself over-indulging in that chocolate cake or the 9 oz. sirloin. Everyone knows that will-power is often associated with hunger, yet how come we only discuss will-power when it comes to the hunger for food? How come no one discusses will-power when it comes to dealing with people? People fill a different kind of hunger, one that is innate in every human being; the inescapable feeling of loneliness. The void that you temporarily filled for me but I foolishly believed would be a permanent fix. I am at the brink of starvation, the hand that used to feed me is the same one that shoved itself down my throat and removed all the nutrients while I was in mid-chew. Now everything that I eat tastes stale because of the saltiness that you left in my mouth. It would be so easy for me to send you a text or call you, but this has become a testament to my will-power.I must fight every urge to contact you since you are the one that left me. I don’t know if you are practicing will-power since you have yet to contact me. A part of me cannot believe that you are relying on will-power since you were never good at abstaining from something that you wanted. I gave you the power to do what you thought best, I told you to do what you will, meanwhile my will was for us to power through and the reality is that I was powerless and now I am alone with my will-power.