Invisible

****Trigger Warning ****

****Bullying****

2nd-place

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Riley walked reverently into  DeBlakey Prep.  Her heart pounding with excitement.  DBP was a prestigious magnet (public high) school that offered courses designed to attract the most talented students.  She WAS HERE … she could not believe her good fortune.  She had waited so long for this day,  wading thru admissions testing, waiting lists, and neighborhood quotas.  Well, there were not many from HER neighborhood here.   When it came to  socioeconomic status she was def at the bottom in this place.  For Riley it did not matter, she was eager to be immersed in the classes and clubs and to study alongside students who shared her passion for the art of public speaking.   She dreamed of all she could learn from this place!

Her decision to attend DBP had not come without a cost.  Prior to her arrival here she had attended PS12 Franklin Beenson High, a large bustling urban High School.  She had lots of friends there and some that went back to elementary school.  She would miss them terribly!  While they too would be sad, her friends assured her that they were glad for her.  This would be too good of an opportunity to pass up.  They had heard her give talks many times and loved the things she would speak of.  They were proud of their friend.

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Riley was a talkative girl so she made a few friends early on.  Su Xia, the Chinese exchange student was one of the first.  Riley enjoyed her sharp wit and even sharper tongue!

Hope Weiss was a quiet person and, in Riley’s opinion, the most un-celebrated talent in all of DBP.  Riley loved the few and far between times when Hope opened up and spilled a bit of that wonderful mind of hers!

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Then there was darling Brooke.  Brooke was like her .. from the neighborhood.  Her talent was undeniable!   When Brooke’s name would appear on the schedule for podium time Riley would sprint to get there on time to hear what she was going to say this time!  The most beautiful thing about her was that she did not seem to have a jealous bone in her body!  She encouraged everyone with her supportive words and kind attitude.

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The time for the first DBP SoapBox contest came around.  Everyone was gleeful at the thought of participating.  Each contestant drew a subject and one week later they all came back together prepared to present their take on their assigned subject.    When Riley drew “family” she breathed a sigh of relief.  Talk about luck-of-the-draw she knew about family!  Her speech was well executed and well thought out.    Her classmates listened and seemed to be enjoying it.

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She felt her heart leap with happiness when she saw 5 of her PS12 friends walk in to give a listen.  They stayed and listened to all the presentations.  When it was time for the vote the club leader gave them a vote sheet too.  Riley could not believe that she won.  What a crazy fluke that was.  Well was it that her friends voted for her … maybe but those were only five votes she needed more than that to win first place at the SoapBox.  Others had to vote too .. her classmates.  The club leader and the classmates all seemed pleased.

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BUT not everyone was happy.   Gianna stormed into Principal Noiao’s office.  She was furious.  She was unaccustomed to NOT winning.  “How dare they let that ignorant riffraff vote in the SoapBox!” she demanded.  “I insist you remove her winning status immediately.”  Principal Noiao looked directly at the fuming student and asked, “my dear what is the objective of public speaking?  Is it not to be heard?   How is it that we should only talk to each other and not to other willing ears?   Did they not listen to all of the speeches?  Were you denied the opportunity to also invite listeners?  No?  Well, my dear.  I can find there is no wrongdoing so the win remains with Riley.”

Gianna’s face was red with anger,”If you will not take care of it I WILL! Send that little PLUM packing back to her illiterate friends”  With that Gianna stormed out!

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Soon Riley began to notice a chilling in the atmosphere.  She would wave and speak but no one seemed to hear her.  At first, she joked inwardly, “I must be invisible again today.”  But the oppressiveness of her invisibility grew daily!

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Now understand it was not the same outside of school.   “Loved that message,” Zoe cheered.

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Out there her classmates were friendly and positive!  “Girl you nailed it.”

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She walked out of the commotion filled locker room.  The girls were laughing and babbling on and on about whatever popped into mind.   But not Riley,  her invisibility screamed loudly at her.  “You are nothing!  You have no value.  Go back to the janitor’s closet where you BELONG!”  She was so tired of it all.  Why didn’t anyone ever ask her what happened?  Agony and alienation sat on her chest like iron weights.  She sank to the gym floor under the burning pressure.  It made her angry to know that at any moment the tears would begin to tumble from her eyes.

Then something caught her eye.  A sign taped to a nearby mirror.   A student, obviously intending to inspire had, with a marker on ratty edged blue-lined paper, inscribed the words “Your value doesn’t decrease based upon someone’s inability to see your worth.” The truth of the words rang like a bell in her spirit.  Why was she so worried about these people seeing her value?  They were never going to see it and why did that matter so much?  With that question, a dawning seemed to rise in her heart.  “It doesn’t matter,” she spoke aloud.  “It doesn’t matter at all!”  She rose and dusted off her bottom.  She knew what to do, she was going home!  Not just for today but for good.  Back to the people who cared for her and recognized her value.

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Would anyone at DBP miss her?  NO!  She knew better than that!  Riley doubted anyone would even realize she was gone.    She nodded to herself because it did not matter.  No one could take away your value UNLESS you gave it to them!   Didn’t this mean that Gianna had won?  Yeah, maybe, for now, it might appear that way but Riley figured she might not get “hers” this time but sooner or later she will.   We all reap what we sow!

Riley’s smile shone anew as she set her face for home! She had indeed learned much from DBP!

(If you are being bullied GET HELP!  Tell someone!  There are people out there who care!  I will listen if you have no one else.)

 

< Previous Meanwhile: The Gift  / next Zoe’s Tears>>>

Short Stories (current) Table of Contents

******************* Credits ****************************

Big TY to Ra3rei for her lovely school

Sakura Modular HS ❤

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50 thoughts on “Invisible

  1. There is absolutely no help for bullyed people. The only help you can find is in yourself. The inner strength to continue to live in ignoring them and let them talk. Do your everyday activities and stay who you are. I never tell someone . Teachers and educational team did absolutely nothing for me. To change schools? For what reasons? A bully people is targetted everywhere they go to.
    I know it was my past. I was bullied at school until the second year of high school. I even was beaten a handle of times.
    Shitty people stays shit, no forgiveness, no mercy.
    I just take my distance with people now . I only have minimum conversations.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so sorry to hear what you had been through. If only you had the brave RosemaryMarie with her umbrella at your side back then. I wish every school had something like a Bully watch, a group of brave kids who would protect others.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I recently heard in my country things tries to move on for the best but in my era when I was at school, there were nothing for us except finding the ressources in ourselves and continue to live with. It was my only chance and my only help.

        I don’t know who is RosemaryMarie really I never heard about her but I am a fighter from my birth I had to fight struggle to live (I was born with the ombilical cordon rolled up twice in my neck I was reanimated) and I will die fighting in my way. I just wish kids won’t bear in silence what I bear, what my cousin as well when she was young and I hope I don’t hear anymore teenagers in suicides and teenagers who are killed at school just for being bullied for stupid reasons.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Yes I was low on the totem pole in my growing up years .. as an adult I refused to “stay in my place tho” .. now ironically I am friends with many to whom I was invisible before. When I stopped listening to the lies in my head (still struggle a tiny bit from time to time) is when I broke free.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. When I realise why people bullied me later because when I was the target of I was kind of blind and I didn’t know why, these people are so weak.

        I am so proud now be to who I am that’s the most beautiful lesson these past taught me. I think as a Buddist this time but they are right, all hard time has a lesson behind to be taught and they are full of wisdom.

        However now my behaviour also changed face to people in real , I don’t mix with them I just talk when I have to talk and nothing else. Even when you have “friends” they aren’t and that’s also a teaching, Life told me .

        I don’t stay in my place really it’s just a fake image I left. I was born as a fighter and when I was a toddler and even a child I was kind of rebellious , I let them think they got me , but in fact I am still there , standing still as a rock !
        “Je plie mais ne rompt pas”.
        I bend but I don’t break.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Because they are not in the “norm” and people hates everything which are “out” of their vision of the world. Poverty, disabilities, illness, high/low IQ people etc even a mismatch clothes can be a source of mockery.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well written! I like this inspirational story. I learned some few things in this story like ” No one could take away your value UNLESS you gave it to them!” This is so true and I agree. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really loved this. I was cheering for Riley, hoping she wouldn’t let this get her into a bad place. I get irritated when I hear of a child saying they were bullied and some people just kind of seem to excuse it by saying, “Children can be so mean.” My answer to that is that they don’t have to be. When I was seven years old, my older sister was being bullied at the bus stop by a boy. She started to cry and I lost my mind and hit that kid over the head with my Big Bird umbrella; bent it right in half. The bus was pulling up and the driver saw me do that and sent me home. But I would have done it again, had it continued. Luckily, I told my parents because they were both in when I got home, so my dad had a talk with the boy’s parents. The boy came over and apologized later that evening, but I think I got lucky with my outcome. I really feel for people who are bullied.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 😥 Although she didn’t stop seeing her own value I still feel it was a big loss for her if she had to leave her dream school. She had put so much effort into getting there.
    Too bad that telling someone that you’re being bullied sometimes isn’t enough. They can’t watch over you 24/7. They can’t make people start talking to you, make friends with you again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The difficult thing is that even the strongest start to listen to the voices that come in their head. The reason I encourage young ones to tell is that the pressure of that isolation will cause them to act out in very harmful ways .. HOWEVER the problem is not limited to the teens. Far surpassing teens in suicide (attempts and completions) is our elderly .. many feel marginalized and invisible. LOL I work with youth and I often tell them to go talk to their granny/grandpa because they have a lot more in common than they think. AS for RL Riley .. she is still kicking it 🙂 She will be fine!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am very sad she left the school, but understand. This topic is not an easy one to talk about yet you wrote it so well. It is interesting how non physical/passive aggressive rejection is just as impacting as getting verbally or physically acosted! Aa always your stories stir up many emotions and i appreciate you for that! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you as always Lee. I’ve worked with young people for more years on point with mitt in writing and some of the deepest wounds that lasts the longest left no scar physically. Wounds of the heart are the deepest. And the danger for even the strongest is that we begin to believe those words and repeat them to ourselves. Not good at all. Blessings and thank you for always being an encourager .. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am sorry she ended up leaving the school, but then again the school you went to is not the sole measure of your worth and nothing stops you from pursuing your passions even if the school doesn’t actively support the. Being miserable daily is an excellent reason to leave. No need to plug away unhappy. But I’m pretty sure she will be missed. By those who had been her friends. Shame they weren’t able to Support her as we would have wanted, life is complicated at that age. But they probably look back and try to learn from what happened by her leaving. Maybe not Gianna, but Brooke and Su Xia… at least that is my hope.

    And a valuable lesson Riley learned. I’m sure she is going to do something awesome later. It might not be big, it might be huge, but learning such a valuable lesson about self worth so young? She is going to impress folks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you make my point so well Rae … she had begun to believe this was the only measurement of worth … but if her purpose was to do something that made a difference she needed to measure by how much difference she made and not by the fluid opinions of her contemporaries… it is interesting to see what a chord this has struck with all ages (some very talented people have messaged with heart breaking stories) no matter how strong one might appear to be there are times when we buy into those voices in our head. I hesitated to write a darker story but in the end I’m glad I did. My long held conviction to be a support and encourager holds fast after this.

      Like

      1. Dark is hard, but sometimes we have to go there to find the lightness on the far side, or to understand things again. Everyone bring their own baggage to the stories they read,and I love how the message can change depending on the reader. All are valid, but different. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Bullies are evil people, I know from experience I was bullied all my life from elementary school to highschool the bullying never stopped I was called retarded just because I was in special ed they never tried to understand I would have explained to them why I was in there, but I doubt they would have listened. senior year came along and I got a little better at ignoring them but I still felt invisible, this story really hit home with me, being bullied sucked, but I learned that ignoring the bullies are better than letting them get to you or you saying anything to them, i really love this story though..

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I believe I see what you did there Lisa… ^_~ “The Crucible: Part II”… only instead of an allegory using the Salem Witch Trials for McCarthyism… (but we’ll keep that our little secret ^_~ )

    Very lovely and very brave piece. Bullying — in all its many different forms — is serious business and should never be taken lightly.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. No matter what generation we live in, there are, unfortunately, always bullies. Some things never change. I was bullied as a kid and man, it really does a number on your self-esteem.

    This was a great and inspirational story with a realistic ending. I wanted to shake Gianna and tell her to grow up, for Heaven’s sweet sake. Very rarely, though,,is there a champion to make it all magically better. Riley had to come to terms with finding her way out of a bad situation herself.

    Liked by 1 person

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