My Mom told me to be bold. To stand my ground. To not care about what other people say.
But isn’t that what got me in this mess anyway? Her words? Those exact words?
I wore what I felt like wearing. I said what I felt like saying. I did what I felt like doing. And yet, Britney and her friends still made fun of me. They gave no mercy. Had no mercy. They bullied me until I couldn’t take it anymore, until that last bell rung.
And from then, I ran home and cried.
My Mom rubbed my back and said, “there, there, Natalie. Not everybody is nice. Honestly, there are a lot of jerks in the world. Britney may just be one of them.”
I sniffed, and said, “you can say that again.”
“But you can’t let them get to you! You can’t let them interfere in your life. Ignore them, Natalie. It’s like a pimple. If you ignore it, it goes away.”
I shook my head. Britney wouldn’t be like that. Even if you ignore her, she never stops. She’ll keep bullying you, or bad-mouthing you. She’ll spread rumours, or dedicate her life to isolating you out of the world. Her world.
“It doesn’t work like that,” I told, rubbing my eyes. “She doesn’t work like that.”
“Well, that doesn’t matter,” my Mom said. She set her mouth into a firm line. “Ignore her for two weeks. Not the next Friday, but the one after that, tell me how it went.”
She lifted my chin up. “I promise, it will work.”
So for the next two weeks, I ignored Britney. I ignored the rude remarks she made, and I ignored the way she would attempt to trip me in the halls. I pretended that I didn’t care.
But over time, I didn’t. I suddenly didn’t care.
It all started three days before the two weeks were over. I had done a great job at ignoring Britney, and by that time, she almost seemed to have given up. But not quite yet.
She was taunting me about the dress I was wearing that day, and I had just been ignoring her, like usual. She seemed pretty fed up with it, so she started to shout.
“Stop ignoring me, Natalie DeAngelo! Listen to me!” She screamed, and kicked me on the shin. Hard.
That was what got her suspended. And also, what gave me that nasty bruise, a rainbow of blue, black, and all different shades of purple. I decided that even though two weeks weren’t up, Britney was gone, so I would have to report to my Mom that her theory actually worked.
Beaming as I skipped home from school that day, I barged into the house, humming the tune to my favorite song. My face was getting tired from the stretching of the large smile, but I didn’t care. “Mom, you’d never believe what had happened today!”
My Mom looked at me, which meant that she was looking away from the plate of snickerdoodles she had made. “What happened?” She asked, smile in her voice.
So I told her. Everything. From how I ignored Britney, and how she kicked me, got suspended, and actually achieved my goal. “By the end of this week, she was barely bullying me. I doubt that from a week of suspension, that’s how long it is, she’ll still bully me.”
“That’s awesome! But Britney kicking you? That’s an automatic expulsion in MomWorld. I think I’ll talk to her parents. The last name is Winter, right?”
I smiled. There was my kind, protective Mom, who would do anything for me. “Yep. Her Mom’s name is Anaya Winter.”
My Mom thanked me, and after a minute, she was on the phone. I smiled again. My Mom was the best Mom you could get.
I took a snickerdoodle cookie when she finished the call.
I am so thankful to have such a kind, caring, and protective Mom. Her lesson to me, to be brave, bold, and stand my ground, was the best you could ever learn. One in a billion people get a Mom like me, and one in a trillion people get Moms who teach lessons that valuable. I am so thankful for my Mom, that I almost can’t put it into words. She’s just... fantabulous. That’s the word. Fantabulous.