I struggled a lot in middle school. I was a bully myself because I was so paranoid about being bullied.
In middle school there was a game called "Zap" that was really popular; you would write someone's name on someone else's hand, and a time. When that particular time came, you would have to ask that person out. The point was to write someone's name who was "ugly", so that the person who was zapped would have to suffer. I suppose that was the point, at least.
My name was written, twice. One boy didn't even get my name right, and got really close to me to ask me out, much to the amusement of his friends. For one split second I thought maybe he actually liked me, and I suppressed a smile that would have left as soon as it came anyway. He made sure to make a show of it, too.
The other time my name was written, I was in geography class. I was wearing my sister's shirt, which was a little too big for me, and had big, stupid puffy sleeves that made my head look small. My hair was in a small, tight bun high atop my head--needless to say I felt hideous that day. Two boys were writing a zap, on another boy's hand, who we will call Jack. Jack was dreading looking at the zap. And he said, loudly "I bet it's someone really unattractive." I saw some amused eyes flicker to me, and then back to a desk. When Jack finally looked at it, he gave a look of agony to the boy who had written it, as they snickered uncontrollably. I could feel that it was me; I could feel it rising up in my throat.
He walked near me, and I could see on his hand "Callie at NOW". That's not how you spell my name. His revolted face asked "Calley, will you go out with me?" as if after each word he had to swallow his own vomit. Of course I said no and held my tears in.
The worst part was the boy who had written it I had known since kindergarten. And I had a mild crush on him. I have never felt so ugly, and I doubt I ever will.
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