You in your small corner and I in mine. (A Shortbread Short Story)


Corners can be cunning, they can fool you. It seems that they would be safe, they look small, dark, secret and surrounded by walls and hedges and edges. They’re not though. Traps that’s what they are, well mostly.

Yesterday, in the playground when that pig Terry was chasing me the corners fooled me again. I didn’t have time to think that was the problem. I didn’t see him and his disgusting mates hiding in the doorway by the gym and then bang there they were. You would think wouldn’t you that by now I would have learned but that’s typical of me, stupid, thick and dumb. Anyway they started in with the usual shouting and pointing and laughing. Everybody says, on the television and those stupid talks in school that the way to deal with a bully is to stand up to them. Yeah right. Those people, the “experts” should try it. If they had ever stood there with that horrible acid sick in their throats and knees wobbling and feeling as though any minute they want to just let you crumble to the floor then they might think twice about “standing up to them.” The worst though, the very, very worst and what makes me want to cry even when I let myself think about it is when you wet your pants. Not like a baby you know but just a shock sort of thing and then you know there is a little wet patch and you feel so shamed and dirty. No, no, no I’m not going to think about that now.

Anyway back to yesterday, Terry and his stupid moron mates were chasing me and I ran the wrong way and there I was stuck and the only way to go was into that corner over by the science block. I turned round and looked straight into his face and he had that look and I knew it was going to be bad. He was breathing hard and there was bits of spit in the corner of his ugly sloppy mouth and his face was all red and when I looked down there was that bulge in his pants. God, I hate boys.

I tried to squash in as hard as I could, make myself small and not give them too much to go at but they started in to kick me. Just little prods at first, on my legs and my bum and when I tried to cover them with my hands Jackie, the prat grabbed my arms and then they all started in pulling my hair and as usual trying to grab my tits. I hate my tits, well I hate most of me actually. Anyway it wasn’t as bad as it might have been because the bell rang and so they had to go with just a couple of extra kicks. I couldn’t go back into school because my skirt was all muddy and anyway what’s the point so I just went up to the rec and sat on the swings until it was time to go for the bus. Nobody would miss me anyway.

It was bad but not the worst. That’s not really what it’s about today I suppose. You see Terry pinched my ‘phone. My new little mobile. It wasn’t a really expensive one or anything but it was pink and it had a little shiny strap and, well the main thing really was that mum gave it to me as a surprise. It was small enough to go in my skirt pocket and it was smooth and felt a bit like a sea shell or something. I used to keep it there and just run my hand over it and it would get warm from being there and then I felt as though I was connected to Mum. I know it sounds daft but it just felt like you know, she had given it to me and now I was holding it and oh well I can’t explain and anyway it’s gone isn’t it. He just took it and when he saw it was just an ordinary one he stamped on it and crushed it into hundreds of little pink pieces there on the path.

I told Mum I had dropped it and that was when she gave me that look, the sad one that makes me want to cry. I know, I know it has been horrible for her, God I know and I really, really feel sorry for her but when she gives me that look I can just see what she is thinking. She is wishing it had been me in the car, me that had been smashed and broken and left bleeding and not Simo. Dad and Simo, that’s what Mum wants now not stupid me. She always says that I keep her going and that if it wasn’t for me she would want to be dead as well, go and be with Dad and my brother but I know that’s not true. How can she want to stay here with a useless nothing like me when she had Simo.

He was brilliant my brother. He was four years older than me and in the top set when I started at that stupid school and he was a prefect and in the band and the football team and he was so lovely and tall and nobody bullied me then even though I was a fat pig and wear these bloody glasses. They were coming back from football, him and dad when they had the crash but I can’t talk about it so let’s just say they’re dead and I’m not and I know that Mum would rather it had been me that was gone and I can’t do anything about it, well I thought I couldn’t but now I can.

I’ve pinched her pills, oh not all of them even I’m not that stupid. I know she needs them to help her to cope with it all so I left a bunch of them but I’ve taken loads. I have to make sure there’s enough for them to work. I had a bit of a hard time trying to decide where to go but I think this is the right place. First of all I thought just my bedroom, nice and warm with all my stuff there and some music on but if Mum came and found me it would be horrible for her. As well as that I think it will take some time for it all to work and so I have to be really on my own. That’s why I’ve come here.

I know what I said about corners and it seems daft but this corner, well this corner is different. It’s not really a corner I suppose more a what do you call it, ah yeah a nook. Here in the back of the park in the big trees. This big tree must be really, really old and the trunk has grown into a funny shape and made this little place and with all the roots and everything it’s really lovely. The tree feels warm, it’s like a tree cuddle, now look that thought of a tree cuddle has made me cry. Still I should think it’s okay to cry now. I have spent so long trying not to cry so what the hell. It’s quite warm today, nearly spring and the birds are twittering. Look at those lovely fluffy clouds I wonder what it’ll be like after will I float about like a cloud. Well one thing it’s got to be better than now. Even if it’s nothing, just black and cold it’ll be better than now.

I’m going to start taking the pills now, I’ve got a bottle of cider to drink with them because I know it’ll make me feel happy, cider does that doesn’t it. Right I’m going to do it now. I wonder if I’ll see Simo, I really, really hope I see Simo.

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5 Comments

Filed under thought for the day (or the week or maybe even the year)

5 responses to “You in your small corner and I in mine. (A Shortbread Short Story)

  1. How sad to think this is the girl’s only way to deal with her troubles. It makes me wonder why no one ever came to her rescue when she was being bullied and it’s depressing to know there are children out there who think suicide is the only answer to their problems. 😦

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    • Yes it is horrible and this story was a teeny little effort on my part to recognise some truths. I was pleased that when it was on Shortbread a few people asked for permission to pass it on.

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      • It is a very good story. I touched my heart mainly because my son was bullied in elementary school. The principal was very ineffective when it came to dealing with the one particular bully, probably because his father was a bully, too, and did nothing to discourage his son from picking on the weaker students. I think the principal was afraid of the boy and his father and never pressed matters – and despite ‘Retribution tactics’ the boy pulled the wool over the staff’s eyes, pretending to understand about bullying but being one behind their backs.

        I was grateful that two girls befriended my son and, one day, let me know when the bullies were surrounding him and where. I took off running and saw them, but when they saw me coming, they all took off. I was at the school the next day, letting them know the boy hadn’t changed. I think that incident was the turning point. Fortunately, I never heard about those boys bothering my son again after that.

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      • It just goes to prove that old adage doesn’t it that bullies are cowards. Once you were on the scene all their evil bravado disappeared. Good for those girls though, that sort of thing does give one hope. I was bullied but only in a small way and I had a good home life and I believe it helped me to cope but some of our poor children have horror upon horror to deal with and it is heartbreaking.

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      • Yes, it does leave scars. Even though my son is in his mid-twenties, now, he still second-guesses everything he does. Those bullies took away his self-respect and his confidence. No matter what I say, it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I hope he will eventually overcome the damage those boys did.

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