All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Our Summer- Chapter 22- Not Wrong
It was the talk of the cafeteria the minute Summer Johnson had run-away crying. EVERYONE was trying to get in on the gossip, and Dana and Sylvia seemed quite glad to be spreading it. I could hear bits and pieces from the surrounding tables.
“They were PERFECT together, inseparable apparently-“
“-Even saved her from DROWNING I heard-“
“-How could she do that to him? He was bringing her roses and-“
“-Making out with JOHNNY of all people, although I hear he’s hot now-“
“-Cheated on him and now SHES pulling the whole depressed act, what a-“
“-She was wrong-“
I tried tuning them all out. Summer had been such a sweetheart since the day she moved here; she was so different from all the totally fake Barbie dolls that walked around like they owned the school. I had always liked her, admired her, wished her the best, and now suddenly she changed. I could see shy little Summer falling in love with Tony Devito, the two of them always so happy together, laughing and smiling and gazing into each others’ eyes under the summer sun. I just couldn’t work the picture of her being all the things the gossipers accused her of being. If I shut my eyes as tight as I could to picture her being a spiteful cheater, all I saw behind my eyelids was a memory; me, Little Mary James, the class weirdo with a stutter, was being picked on (again). I had only one thing I truly loved and refused to part with; my tiny hand-made doll my late mother had made for her only daughter. The doll was made of some type of cloth that made the doll’s fair skin look real, her hair was filled with gorgeous, long, midnight-black curls and her perfect face was painted so deftly that porcelain China dolls looked ugly in comparison. The doll wore a long, red tango dress. I loved that doll more than anything, I had named her “Aria” after my mother. But one day, Lucille Roberts (a popular girl in kindergarten) and her clique decided they just hadn’t tortured me enough that day. They took beautiful little Aria and taughingly threw her back and forth around in a circle. Since I was so short, I couldn’t possibly catch the doll, but try and try I did until tears her falling down my cheeks forming tiny rivers. The whole class was laughing and they threw Aria one last time when a little girl with big emerald eyes and bouncy blonde curls and cowboy boots caught Aria and walked calmly over to Lucille Roberts. The jeering crowd was dead silent; nobody had EVER challenged Lucille before, and now some blonde cowgirl was going to? The little girl put her tiny fists on her hips and said
“Ya’ll better leave this pretty little girl and her doll alone, ‘ya hear?”
And with that, the crowd of children walked away whispering and a furious Lucille stormed off. I was in complete awe and total shock at the same time. Nobody had ever called ME pretty; I had long black hair that I always wore in braids and never ever wore down (and I still don’t) and my purple glasses were much too big and always fell to the edge of my nose. My clothes were old and I always wore black rain boots because clothes like that were much cheaper and me and my dad never had much money. “Pretty” and “Mary James” weren’t words you heard together often. My savoir walked over and held out Aria.
“She’s a pretty doll, what’s her name?” the little girl asked as I clutched Aria close to my chest. The girl had a Texas twang in her voice and I found it to be immensely charming.
“A-A-Aria.” I stumbled. She smiled and her whole face was aglow.
“She looks just like you. Don’t let that bully Lucille bother you no more, ‘ya hear? What’s your name anyway?” She asked ignoring my stutter completely. Nobody ever had before.
“I-I-I’m Mary. Mary James.” I said surprised that I had barely stuttered out my name.
“I’m Summer. Summer Johnson.” She smiled holding out her tanned palm. I shook it gratefully as the bell rang she waved goodbye and skipped off to her class line. I slowly began to walk toward my own class line. Me and Summer had never been close friends after that; but she had always said ‘hello’ to me in the halls ever since that day. Even today; I was walking to Economics 101 and I saw the saddest, thinnest girl I had ever seen. She looked like she needed a friend more than anyone else in the world ever did. And she saw me and whispered as she passed, her words softer than my sweet Aria’s skin;
“Hi Mary James.”
Summer Johnson was not a b****, a loser, or a sl**. She was good, kind, and sweet. And no matter what rumors went around, no matter how hard I tried to picture her as the bad guy in this whole story, I would always see her as the sweet and thoughtful kindergartener that had saved me and my Aria.
Summer Johnson was not wrong.