I am in the fifth grade, and I am completely miserable . Sometimes I wish I could stop going to school forever. I just want to hide at home in a safe place where people will not hurt me, a place where I can cry and people will not laugh at me.
At school in class, I tremble in fear each time the bell is about to ring. Every time the bell rings and class is dismissed, everyone walks down the hall together and goes to their next class. It is a hall with a million kids all squeezed together between two walls of lockers. When I am in the hall with all the other children, I wish I could just disappear, so that I avoid being in that terrible hall with all the other kids. They are the ones who hurt me with words.
I always try to avoid them. But they always find me. They walk up to me and stop in front of me so I cannot walk. Other kids join in and they stand so that they are all together in a circle around me. Then they humiliate me, hurt me, and make fun of me. And they roar out in laughter at my expense. It is very cruel.
Everyone picks on me because I am not like them. They look down on me as if I am not quite as human as they are. I cannot do anything to stop the abuse.
My family is very poor, and all the kids at school know that all my clothes come from Goodwill. My family cannot afford to have pretty things. We have to let mom cut our hair and we eat a lot of noodles and only have meat once a week. That is why I have clothes from Goodwill. They give them to us for free.
The kids at school call me awful names like the “‘hobo boy,’ and ‘stinky bum,’ or else they say things like that I eat garbage and sleep under a bridge in the dirt. They always say that my dad gets ‘smell-fare’ checks in the mail.”
And at lunch today, someone I thought was my friend walked up to me and asked me if my family eats cans of dog food for supper because my dad does not have a job. It made him delighted to see me shrink in embarrassment, and he could see I was sad, and he knew that I would not say anything, because it would just make things worse if I talked back. So when my friend humiliated me I just stood there and took it.
My friend just walked away laughing. When a friend does that to me it feels like my heart is the heel of a barefoot that throbs in pain when bruised by a stone.
When the kids take away my dignity, I feel like I am standing in front of everyone totally naked. I am so miserable that I need to shrink down into a tiny ball and roll away where no one can see me.
But I just stand there as they laugh, my face is hot and numb in embarrassment, and I say nothing. After a while, I hear all the teasing words echoing off of the lockers, I hear them all around me in a cruel chorus. When I sleep at night, I dream of the laughing. It will never stop.
Sometimes I think that they are right about me—and I think that maybe I really am worthless because my clothes are horrible and I can never be like the other children. It is true that my pants cuffs are indeed too high. My shirt is also way too big. It has a hole in it, and it lost two buttons.
Maybe the normal kids are just better than I am, and they always will be. I cannot compete with them, and this is most likely the way my life will always be. Sometimes I look in the mirror and I hate my reflection. I feel that I am just no good and the sadness drops very heavily in my heart.
What hurts the most is that the teacher even looks down at me. Ms. White my English teacher heard all the kids in the hall picking on me, and she looked out her classroom door. She looked me straight in the eyes. When I saw her eyes, I knew that she felt the same way about me.
Her eyes were uncaring and they dismissed me. She simply turned and walked back into the classroom. She did nothing about the injustice that was happening. She truly did not even care about what the other children were doing to me.
When I realized this, I hid in a stall in the bathroom and cried for a long time. I just never thought a teacher would be capable of doing such a thing to me.