Copyright 2012 by Rena Edgar
Curling up into a ball and hiding was not, by any stretch of the imagination, one of Gail Scott’s favorite pastimes. That did not mean, however, that she wasn’t good at it. Throughout her fifteen long years of life, Gail had become a master of this forsaken art form.
With her plain appearance and sprinkling of freckles, she was not the sort who particularly stood out. Unfortunately, it was precisely this that made her the ideal target for certain female peers. They relished in the girl’s waning self-esteem and equated her shy mannerisms to weakness and her caregiving nature to being a veritable sucker. She had always been soft-spoken and nurturing, but, even in the earliest of grades, this translated into “pushover”. Her aversion to fighting back helped to keep the teasing from ever losing its appeal–to them, at least. Wolves on the prowl, they viewed her as game and made sport of seeing what it took to bring forth tears. She wasn’t afraid to talk to others—secretly, she craved social interaction—but experience with her aggressors taught her to be wary of it. She was always fine with teachers or strangers in passing, such as at the grocery store. Sadly, when it came to befriending others, she gave up trying to get a word in edgewise. After all, what was the point when they only responded by treating her as mess at the bottom of one’s shoe?