Welcome to Part Two of my six part mini-story, "Watch"! I would just like to say before I begin this next part that I am amazed by the amount of comments I have received from my first part, which, if you have missed it, can be viewed here. This next part gets very dark, and um, intense, real fast. Also, I hope you all have an great National Pi Day. With that, I hope you enjoy this next part!
Eighth grade year, I sat outside of class with five other members from various clubs—chess, debate, film, and photography—practice our speeches for the annual public speaking competition.
The treasurer of the film club, Luke, glared as me as I romped around the hallway, reenacting an incident that had occurred at the last writing society meeting. “Melody, do you mind? We’re doing up against high school people, for crying out loud—“
“Oh, for Pete’s sake, Luke, hush down.”
Peter, from the chess club, snapped up groggily from his premature nap. “What in the name of—“
"What's with all of these sayings? Why are we —? Gosh, we sound old." Everyone in our group burst out into spontaneously laughing. My stomach lurched so hard that I didn’t notice going headfirst right into the lockers and falling straight down onto my back. The giggles coming from me echoed the hallway. Sunlight shining in through a ceiling window hits me like a beam of the spotlight. I could have sworn that I felt the Earth rotating underneath me. The world must look and take care of all its children.
Years had passed since my little five-year-old incident, but my relationship with my brothers and sisters remained unchanged: distant and uncooked. Who could blame them? Mother and Father gave birth one after the other, with the four. They all slid into the world—a baby boy, a pair of fraternal twins, and a girl—through my mother. My parents balanced out the four to all be in the same grade. They were juniors, who ran rampant and amok among the house. They wouldn’t have the time to notice me.
Amy, with that confident smile she wore to every debate tournament, asked, “Why is everyone else in your family in the same group for the competition?”
Peter snickered. “I suppose it’s because Ms. Clay doesn’t want to have to waste paper for permission slips. Man, that lady is such a tree-hugger. Not that it’s bad or anything; she just goes overboard.” The others nodded in assent.
I glanced over to where my brothers and sisters were seated. The four of them were on the footsteps of the stairs, chiding and smiling. My heart stopped. I gave a small smile tinged with sadness at the scene. Monique, with her feline and photographic eye to detail, spoke up. “Hey, Melody, don’t mind them. If they ain’t going to pay attention to you, they’re not worth your time.”
“I know, but…” I sat up from my position and sighed heavily. To the people in the group, my friends, they knew me like an open book. Luke give me a timid grin to me. I nod and say, “Let’s get back to work.”
Several minutes later, my brother Nate walks up to my group. “Hey, quiet down, okay? Your group is being too loud.”
“Minutes ago, yes, we were. But now, we are not,” Amy groveled. “In fact, if I see the situation clearly, your squad is being a bit too noisy.”
Nate grumbled and puts a hand to his forehead. “Aw, man, who am I kidding? Eighth graders are the dumbest bunch of all. You all need maturity lessons?”
“Excuse me, please knock it off, Nate.” I stood up and turned to face him. He was a good foot taller than I was, but that fact hadn’t fazed me. “Don’t talk to my friends like that.”
“What are you going to do about it? Tell Mom and Dad? I know you don’t have the heart to tell them or any other adult because you’re such a sycophant around me and everyone else in the family.” My head went down and I felt a trail of guilt lead toward my friends. Gosh, they must be embarrassed at me, I thought.
Nate pointed an accusation finger and dialed it back and forth to the people in my group. The other three in my family came up and backed him up. “All of you are in bottom-feeder clubs, that’s what. Nobody wants you.”
My teeth were clenched tightly together, as were my hands. I saw that Nate was trying to tempt me, to frame me, that my group was the one making trouble. Do not feed into what they want.
The next several moments and hours that followed did accomplished what my fears did not want to happen otherwise. Everyone in my group huddled together, trying urgently to stop this argument that had broken out. My siblings did not want peace; they wanted some fuel for their rage. They wanted dirt and sweat. No one else was out in the hallway, and I did not know what to do. The battle was friends versus family. I felt as I did when I was five years old, and blood trickled down my elbow: terrified. My body and voice was petrified.
Then I remember being called to the principal’s office. No one in my group was banned, but Nate had to endure a week’s worth of in-school suspension while the others in my family suffered detention. Plus, my siblings were out of the speaking competition. When Mom and Dad came to pick us up from school, they were not pleased. “Why can’t the five of you just get along?”
My parents did not see into the big picture enough. The scenario was worse than that. It was my group and me against my siblings and the world. Even when the four of them eventually came into my room, the four people who were yelling to hurt my second family—even when I was hurt and angry—I forgave them. They weren’t always ones to be ticked off by anger easily, and they were not perfect people. I accepted that. I accepted them, good and bad. That was the still the reason why I had continued looking up to them. All of this anger and envy which had encircled my system from that day was let out. There was no point in keeping grudges or feelings like that. I needed to be kind and forgiving.
My group had one third place overall at the district speaking competition. It was something worth speaking of, but nothing that my siblings raved on after that day. To them, I still was not good enough. Then again, I only had to learn to trust what was in store for me. Great things will happen, for the world takes care of all of its children.