Scene: Elicia, age 15, sophomore year.
I know you may not realize this, but I am a big girl. I am 5'8" and at the time weighed about 138. I was also strong, am strong. This may not seem tall now, what with models everywhere, but it was tall, add into the fact that I walk strong and full of confidence.
Story: I walk into the girls bathroom at lunchtime. It is full of girls doing the normal societal circle when a fight is about to begin. I am still surprised that I didn't hear the all too familiar chant: "Fight, Fight, Fight."
A girl, sophomore, was very tiny, a cute little blonde girl of about 5 feet and weighing no more than 80 pounds. She is crying as another girl, about 5'5" weighing, I would guess, 120 is being prompted by other bullies to beat the girl to teach her a lesson. The girl's supposed crime: calling the other girl a slut. While I don't know if this is true, it didn't matter. What mattered was a child, in my eyes, even though we were the same age, was crying and scared and ALONE. (I hate when someone is scared and alone)
I step into the middle of it all, like a superstar I might add, and say, "What is going on?"
The bully, who I don't think really wanted to be a bully, but had fallen prey to her "crew" said: "She called me a slut."
I turned to the little girl, she profusely denied it, but again, it didn't matter, words hurt, yes, but this was really scary. She was surrounded by no less than 30 girls and about to take a beating. (I ask: have you ever been beaten so badly you ended up in the hospital, if not, please refrain from psychobabble and lasting scars)
I said that the girl didn't say it, the bully argued, her friends egged her on, and as she was about to charge, and after she let me know that it didn't concern me, I had no other choice. I said: "Well I called you a slut too, and I am sure this girl got it from me, so I guess your fight is with me."
The little girl stopped crying, the room went silent. This was it. The girl had to make a decision. She knew me, knew of me, and her friends did what was right, finally, and they said this was stupid, and they walked away.
Not as glamours as my stories portray it, but it was something. The little girl nearly collapsed into a ball of thankfulness and the bully herself was happy. (She didn't want to fight, she didn't want to hurt someone, and was simply caught up in the all to familiar trap of peer pressure, she told me this later in the day in period 6, yes, we really did know each other.)
Now you may be wondering, how is it that I, little ol'Elicia, could do what I did. I took a stand. It didn't matter to me if I got my ass kicked, I knew I was doing the right thing. Now of course, I could have tried something more peaceful, which would have worked as well...But this is not about Elicia the Peacekeeper, this is about Elicia the person willing to take a stand.
If I could go back in time: I would want to try something more diplomatic and save the threat of force as a last resort, but this is life. We are all flying by the seat of our pants. We can think about what we did, we can regret, we can rejoices, and we can become better.
Be brave, be bold, but also, be kind.
Peace out. I hope to catch you on the flip side. XOXOX Elicia.