Fortunately whilst I was still deep in thoughts I remembered the head girl (final year senior) at our school was from my neighborhood and this brought me joy and relief. I met her in the first week of school and she told me to talk to her whenever I needed anything. In those days Juniors were not allowed to cross certain boundaries or be found anywhere near senior classes. Before my encounter with the girls, I had crossed the set boundaries because of my relationship with the Headgirl which allowed me certain privileges. Could it be an additional reason for these girls’ hatred towards me? Because of the Headgirl niceness towards me, I ran to her immediately after the last class to tell her about my encounter with the girls. She told me not to fear and assured me that the girls will be dealt with accordingly. Well, she reported them to the Headmaster and they were punished. You think that’s how the story ends right? No, that was just the beginning.
The writing on the wall
I was full of joy when I learnt that they were punished and they will never bother me again. That day, I went home with the Headgirl and a group of Prefects as my bodyguards. To everyone’s surprise, the girls still waited for me outside the school gates as they had promised despite their punishment I confidently walked past their waiting area with a smile, screaming “Victory!!” inside, as I continued conversing with my “bodyguards”. I had a good sleep that night. I joyfully woke up the next morning and walked past the head girl’s house, so we could go to school together. It felt so good and I was excited to see what the day had in store for me. Something was definitely waiting for me that day but it was nothing I expected. We arrived a bit late at school, so my classmates including my friends were already in class. As I entered the classroom, I realized everyone’s attention was on the board. I turned to see what was on the board, the chalkboard had writings. No one said a word to me. I slowly put my bag down so I can get a closer look at what was written on the chalkboard and boom!!, there, was my name. It was written “Elsie ndi Hule anachotsa mimba”, Which means Elsie is a prostitute and she aborted pregnancies. The battle was just beginning I hadn’t seen the best of their bullying yet.
This reminded me of a bible story when a hand wrote on the wall but nobody knew who the writer was. These girls were smart, they realized they couldn’t physically attack me because of my association, so they decided to attack me with words. I could not report them because I was not sure whether it was them or not. I wasn’t sure whether I had made new enemies or my old enemies found a new way of bringing me down? For the days to follow, I had to wake up early so I could wipe off all the things they were writing about me. When they realized I was coming early to wipe off their writings, they outsmarted me and started writing on the wall with permanent markers. I could not do anything anymore and it was now all left for the whole school to see and gossip. It was one of the worst days of my life.
My whole life was about to change no one could protect anymore. I started losing friends, (you can just imagine how my 12 to 13-year-old friends felt about this). They believed the writings and advised each other to avoid me. I was lonely and often had to walk home alone, particularly when the head girl wasn’t around.. My life became miserable, I lost my confidence and self-esteem. The writings got worse with each day, my name was all over the corridors, study area and library desks. Well, I became famous for all the wrong reasons. I woke up each day with heaviness in my heart, having to go back to such a school. I couldn’t tell anyone at home but this was eating me up inside. The news somehow reached my mum, Like any mom to a teenager, she believed what she heard was true without hesitation. I vividly remember her response when I gave my side of the story – she said: “there is no smoke without fire”. While I agree with that statement this time the fire was not started by me. I could not defend myself because clearly, my mother did not believe that I was simply being bullied.……continues