Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Finleigh Fights Back

Finleigh Bridges loved school. Until  one day, she didn't. It all started out on the playground when Stuart Duncan, a boy she had never really liked anyway, started calling her "Fatty Finleigh". Now, Finleigh was not by an means the skinnest girl in the world. However, she was not by any means fat either. Perhaps she was just a tiny bit chubby. Nevertheless, Stuart gave her the nickname and it stuck.

The first time it  happened Finleigh had been playing on the slide with a group of other kids. She had just reached the top and was getting ready to slide down. She was happy and laughing and smiling and having a good time as she usual was. Over all, Finleigh was a very happy kid.

Stuart walked by and called out "There goes Fatty Finleigh!" The other kids laughed.

Suddenly Finleigh stopped smiling and laughing. She didn't feel happy at all. She felt horrible. She felt like she wanted to crawl into a hole and die. She slid down the slide quickly and then went off and sat by herself in a corner for the rest of recess.

She hoped it was just a one time thing. She hoped that Stuart would forget about it and that by the next day it would all be over. However, he didn't and it wasn't. The nickname stuck and other kids started calling her that too. All the joy and fun went out of school, and it became something to dread.

She started playing sick and doing everything she could to get out of going to school. Her parents were concerned, but Finleigh wouldn't tell them what was wrong.

"What's the matter?" teased her older brother, Brian. "Are you ashamed because you are not as smart as me?"

A single tear fell down Finleigh's cheek and then another and another until she was full out crying. Brian felt really bad. He really loved his little sister and didn't mean to upset her. "I'm sorry." he said sincerely.

Finleigh shook her head. "It's not that." she said through her tears. Before, she knew it the whole story had come pouring out.

Brian was outraged. He wanted to go right to Stuart's house and beat him up. "Don't do that." Finleigh begged. "That would only make things worse."

"Then you've got to fight back yourself." suggested Brian. He offered to show Finleigh how to throw a punch, but she declined. She didn't think she could really beat anybody up, and she didn't want to. Besides, Stuart was bigger and stronger than her. She didn't think she could beat him up if she wanted too. She thought about what Brian said though. Maybe, there was a way she could fight back without resorting to violence.

The next day in school, she got her chance. The teacher, Miss McCarty, was passing back the math tests they had taken the day before. Finleigh glanced up and saw a big giant red F scrawled at the top of Stuart's paper. She smiled inwardly. She knew she had what she needed to fight back.

That day on the playground before Stuart had a chance to call out Fatty Finleigh, she called out "Stupid Stuart!" The other kids started laughing and calling him that too.

Then, something surprising happened. Big tough Stuart started to cry. Then, he ran off and hid under a tree at the far edge of the playground.

Despite, the fact that Stuart had started it and he had put her through months of torture, Finleigh felt bad. She knew what it felt like to be on the receiving end of the teasing, and it was not a good feeling. She went off after Stuart.

"Go away." he said instantly turning away from her when he saw her approach. He was so upset he didn't even bother calling her "Fatty Finleigh."

Finleigh didn't go away. Instead, she sat down next to Stuart. "I'm sorry." she said, and she meant it.  "I  know it doesn't feel good to be teased."

"No, it doesn't." replied Stuart.

"I'll make you a deal. I won't call you Stupid Stuart anymore if you don't call me Fatty Finleigh."

"Okay." agreed Stuart quickly anything was better than this torture.

They went back to the other kids. "I'm sorry." announced Finleigh. "What I meant to say was "Super Stuart."

"Thank you, Friendly Finleigh." replied Stuart.

Well, of course, those nicknames weren't as fun to the other kids but they got used to them and besides, they all went along because nobody wanted to be the next one to be teased.

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