Updated: Oct 7, 2019
I wouldn’t call myself a bad person.
Have I done bad things? Sure.
Have I had bad things done to me? More than I can count.
So what if I do a few more? Especially to a person who’s asking for it?
I wouldn’t say that makes me a bad person. Would you?
It all started the first day of junior year.
Mom had just gone back to rehab, so I was stuck living with Grandpa. It wasn’t as bad as living with Aunt Jodi, who’s like five years older than me and has an alcoholic roommate. After that one month living with them, he explained away my bruises, telling the cops I was asking for it.
Grandpa’s apartment was nearly falling apart and made everything I took inside smell of smoke, but at least he didn’t pay attention to me. He’d watch tv and yell at me sometimes to bring him Applejacks.
Anyway, I wasn’t exactly having the time of my life when I started school again, and the first person I saw walking into the school was Emilie Young. She was prettier than ever in her pink minidress and shining blond hair. When had she gotten so tall and slender?
She drew every eye of the school, and when she passed me, she smiled and said, “Hey, Jodi.”
Jodi. That was me. The worst name in the world.
Mom said she’d named me after her grandmother who was the only nice person to her, but she was dead before I was born, so what did it matter to me?
Back to Emilie. Her beautiful, perfect self.
Yes, she liked me. I guess you could say that. We used to be friends, best friends, in fact. I’d go to her nice house with her nice mother and nice toys, some nice snacks always waiting for us. One time, her mom trimmed her hair and offered to do the same for me. We had the same hairstyle, and everyone joked that we were twins. Mom wasn’t happy. She said I couldn't do stuff like that without asking her first. That was back when she cared.
I didn’t say hi back to Emilie. I had no reason to. She had enough people drooling over her anyway.
I took the long way to class that day.
Our first class was English, one of the many classes Emilie and I shared. The teacher actually had Emilie come up and talk about all the summer reading she did. She’d read everything on the list.
I think it was then, watching her mouth moving, a confident half-smile on her face, the teacher’s eyes glistening with pride, that I decided I wanted to hurt her.
I wanted her to feel like I did, just once.
How did I feel?
Let down by everyone.
These were the emotions I needed Emilie Young to feel.
And I knew just how to do it.