Once off the school bus, at school, we looked for friends & familiar faces & caught up on what had been going on since we last saw each other. We were a small village & there were only a couple of kids you didn't want to be on the wrong side of, for some reason you felt uncomfortable around them. Not that they were snobbish but they had a reputation for being mean & I never wanted to be a target for their meanness. I did not know why kids were mean like my dad, no one I ever hung out with was mean spirited like that, what made a 5th or 6th grader mean like that? While I often tried to figure that puzzle out I met a new student at school named Colleen who seemed wise beyond her 11 years because she never seemed afraid of anyone, she was clean, seemed to always be dressed in the latest fashions, and she drew people to her, even the "mean" girl liked her & Colleen seemed to really like the "mean" girl. If you didn't hang around Colleen, she soon went to you & somehow encompassed you into her entourage. She always had candy or something equally as enticing to draw people, but never enough so those who were always hanging out with her had to get to her quickly when the bell rang for recess or they might miss out on something. What also puzzled me was the loving nickname she gave to the "mean" girl - Canopy. Now every girl back then knew what a canopy was! What girl didn't dream of the Princess Canopy Bed to feel like a real Princess. As a matter of fact, I believe Colleen even called the "mean" girl "Princess" also. This "mean" girl just melted before our eyes. She was smiling, talking nice to people, being a team player. Colleen singlehandedly transformed someone. Ahh, how words affect us. One day I asked Colleen why "mean" girl was the only person she called "Canopy", it was such a beautiful name, would she mind calling me that also? Colleen said she would not call anyone that except "mean" girl, it was her name only & there was a special meaning behind it that wasn't so nice but she would never tell anyone. After alot of badgering Colleen finally told me the special meaning . . . I'm not sure what I thought, happiness because someone was not so special after all, sadness that Colleen actually was a very mean person, protectiveness for "mean" girl because no one deserved that treatment? I had to tell my best friend because I could not process this kind of information myself. My best friend blabbed to "mean" girl, "mean" girl confronted Colleen, Colleen got really angry at me.
Colleen ended up moving shortly after this whole incident unravelled. She was only at our school for a very short time, long enough to cause a rift, teach a lesson, & cause "mean" girl to be one of our best friends. Turns out "mean" girl was really glad Colleen was exposed. I apologized alot to "mean" girl over the whole thing, including my being really jealous over her being in the limelight of favor. What a forgiving soul. Turns out she was a mean person because of her horrible home life & being treated really badly by divorced parents & siblings. Who wouldn't want to lash out & be mean to others if that's all you know when you are only 11 or 12 years old & had never been shown any other way to live.
Oh, by the way, "Canopy", the beautiful Princess Bed with flowing, silky material, was meant as "Can Of Pee" - "because that's how she smells".
update RK 05/12/2015
1 year ago