Bound by professional ethics, I am not permitted to screw with your taxes. Much as I would like to. And that is the cross I bear.
I was an unpopular kid. A bookworm and a tomboy who enjoyed classical music and excelled at math and creative writing. A late bloomer with crooked teeth, big glasses, and unfashionable clothing. I didn't make friends easily. At one time friendly and outgoing, I ended up withdrawn and shy.
Trust no one. Don't try to fit in. If you put yourself out there, you only get it worse. Just duck and cover.
Some days, it feels like a war zone. But with fewer guns.
I had a couple of close friends. We'd met when I was about 4 years old. They were at all my birthday parties growing up. We played together on an almost daily basis. We sat together in classes. We were inseparable. My two best friends. I loved them, and I trusted them. But they were boys, and I was an awkward and gawky girl. Suddenly, we were teenagers. Suddenly, all bets were off. Suddenly, they didn't want to know me. And more to the point, they joined the others. But they were even worse. Crushing insults and cruel violence. Thanks for the memories.
Betrayed. I trusted you. I believed in you. I had higher expectations of you.
I was not an athlete. But I remember spending a lot of time running. Trying to get away. Hiding in bathrooms. Tears. Feigning illness so I wouldn't have to go. I couldn't face it. I couldn't. Please. No more.
Oddly enough, the mental anguish stands out more than the physical abuse.
Oh, how you would laugh. No opportunity was ever wasted.
"She's ugly and has funny teeth."
"Are you pregnant?"
"Hey sweetheart, anyone ever tell you you're flat?"
Teachers couldn't protect me. They tried, but they couldn't. Bullies are creative, and they find a way to get you. If insults don't work, they escalate. And escalate, and escalate, and escalate. First, they're tossing barbs, telling you you're stupid and ugly and untalented. Next, they're excluding you from participation in group projects and suggesting you can't sing and must have slept with an instructor to get into choir. Soon, they're vandalizing your artwork. Now, they're chasing you down at the annex and hitting you, just to see if they can make you cry.
Yes, you were all just lovely. Good times. Thanks for that.
But it's just a typical day. A part of growing up. It's just junior high. Forever burned in my memory.
Many years have passed, and I think of you often. I wonder what's become of you. I look you up, but when I see your name, my eyes burn. It appears that karma has not yet caught you. You are wealthy. Admired. Respected. And I wonder if you beat your wife or kids, as you did me. It seems something you might be capable of. I hope not.
I see your name on a file, and I have it sequestered. I cannot work on your file. I can't even see it. I recognize that I am not unbiased, cannot be unbiased, and I am always a professional. So I grit my teeth, and I protect you. Because I know that this is the right thing to do.
This is the right thing to do. And apparently, I will always do the right thing. I did it then, and I do it now. It's who I am.
I never gave you reason to mistrust me. I never gave you reason to fear me. Why should today be any different?
Yes, I know this post has a sad, heavy kind of tone. Don't blame me. It's the fault of Mama Kat over at Mama's Losin' It. She picked the prompts.
So head on over and check out this week's writing assignment. What speaks to you? And for heaven's sake, try and have some fun with it!!