I waited until everyone was gone to recess. I wasn’t keeping anyone waiting. No one wondered where I was.
I was shaking when I approached her. I’d never liked her. She was always shoving her culture down our throats. It didn’t help us. She wasn’t good at helping.
But I was ten years old, and I thought I was doing the right thing. All the after-school specials and visiting theatre groups that spout moral tales told me that I should tell an adult.
So I told my teacher. She said she would handle it. I left and found a place to eat my lunch alone. I watched the others play and I wanted to join in, but they didn’t want me there. They sneered at my presence and rolled their eyes. My existence was irritating to them.
The bell rang and we lined up outside of the classroom. I didn’t know where to stand. At the front, within the safety of the teacher? Or at the back, outside of everyone’s notice? If they saw me, they’d say something. It was better to hide.
The teacher sat us down and announced to the class that no one was to bully me any longer. Thirty students turned to look at me. I tried not to cry. Some moved away from me.
They never spoke to me again, never looked at me, kept their distance. For the next two years, I was completely alone.