From Farm to Fame: Lexie- Chapter 1

I remember the day well; the sun shining bright and warming the school yard, kids screaming and running through the grass playing tag and climbing on the playground equipment and laughing with their friends.  Only one little girl from the first grade was hiding in the shade cast by the shadow of the school building, standing beside the corner furthest from where all her classmates were playing. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to play with her classmates because she did, very desperately, but her classmates never wanted to play with her as they thought she was too weird. That was all her sister’s doing, as she had spent a lot of time convincing everybody of that and nobody ever dared to question a thing she said. Zoe hated pretty much everybody, and bullied everybody she hated; she just hated her sister more than anybody else. It was the fear of being on Zoe’s bad side and the desire to try and get on her good side that led everybody to accept whatever she said whether they believed it or not, but after a while they did start to believe everything they’d been told. The little girl stood there every day trying to hide from the insults of her classmates and watched them with a desperate desire to someday fit in; not that she actually believed she ever would.

The little girl knew that she blended in with the shadows because that’s all she was herself, she was just a shadow herself; if stayed back and out of the way nobody would notice her but if she stepped forward and cast her shadow upon her classmates they would notice her. The only one who ever really bothered her while she hid in the shadows was Zoe because she was bored and had nobody else to bully. So it was a pleasant surprise that day when a new boy at school joined her and started talking to her like they were already best friends and had been the whole year. She’d been watching him for several minutes already, he was a very geeky looking kid and definitely wouldn’t need anybody’s help making himself look like a loser and creating reasons for the other kids to bully him. He just didn’t seem to care that everybody was laughing at him; he’d been going around trying to join all the different cliques of students in their games.  She was his last choice, typical, she was always picked last, but she didn’t really care since it was the first time anybody had even tried to talk to her like a friend; she was still just happy to have a friend who wasn’t her mom.

However, it wasn’t long before somebody came along to ruin her happiness, and of course the one to ruin it would be Zoe. She was walked over towards them from the playground with a large grin on her face. This time it was the geeky boy, Jayson that she chose as her victim. 

She looked him up and down and snickered, “Welcome to school four-eyes.” She reached for his glasses, large black frames, they looked like they belonged to Harry Potter, he would look better without them but it wasn't the point. “Try to find your way around now.” She laughed and started to walk away.

The little girl felt defensive of her new friend, and found the courage to stand up for him, though she’d never been able to stand up for herself. She was always hiding behind her mom, her teachers, or taking cover in the shadows, but she her desire to help her new friend went deeper than her fear of her sister. “Give him back his glasses.”

She glared at the little girl with annoyance and disgust as she turned back around. “No. Why should I?”

“Because he needs them, and you’re just being mean. Stop it.”

“No. Being nice is for losers, like you.” She laughed and started to run away with the glasses. “If you want them back you’ll have to come get them."

The little girl didn’t even think twice about following after her sister and getting back her friends glasses even though Zoe was faster and strong and could definitely win as long as she wanted to. She fell further and further behind until Zoe stopped in the middle of the playground to wait for her, far from the little girls comfort zone in the shade. 

A crowd started gathering around out of curiosity and was watching to figure out what was going on. Zoe started swinging the glasses around, laughing the whole time, as the little girl tried to catch them and pull them free. Eventually, the little girl did manage to catch them and started to pull them away from her sister’s hands. Instead of simply trying to pull them back towards herself, because she was definitely strong enough to win a tug-of-war with the classes, Zoe decided it was just better to shove her sister at the ground. Sure, she got the glasses back but they shattered as they fell with her, and she couldn’t even pick them up and stand up again before she was being kicked back down by her sister. It was only the bell that saved her, recess was over, and Zoe and the crowd that had gathered around ran back towards the school laughing. The little girl was still outside crying several minutes later, but had at least avoided further harm, when her new friend and a teacher found her a little while later.

It seemed like everything changed that day. The little girl had formed a strong friendship with Jayson; it couldn’t be broken as easily as his glasses had, if anything the incident just did more to strengthen their friendship. She wanted nothing to do with her sister after the incident, she was only 6 and already been bullied for years by her sister but had still clung to the hope that someday they would get along the way siblings were supposed to despite any sibling rivalry; sibling rivalry was normal and she could handle that as long as they were friends between the fights, but there was no sibling rivalry between them, just sibling hatred and suddenly that hatred went both ways. She was used to her sister insulting her and hitting or kicking her, but never had it been anything so vicious, she was covered in very painful bruises and the emotional scars would last long after the bruises faded away. Any shred of self-confidence she had left was gone too, though she had little of that to lose; if her own sister hated her so much, how could anyone else ever like her? Something had to be wrong with her. 

That little girl was me, Lexie Watson, little Lexie loser as I was better known by my classmates and had been nicknamed by my sister.

Zoe was sent away to boarding school after that day, mom and dad were furious. I was happy that there were so many less days in which I had to put up with my sister, only the odd week or two where she was home for break, I hated being anywhere near her. I still hid in the shadows as much as possible, right through elementary and middle school and into high school. It was harder to hide with Jayson by my side, he was bold and outgoing and completely unafraid to be himself, no matter how weird he was. He constantly dragged a spotlight into the shadows and focused all the attention on us.  By high school everybody was convinced we were dating, but I could never imagine dating him. He was my closest friend, my only friend other than my mom, but I just didn’t like him that way. Though some days I wondered if I would just have to accept that he would be my only chance to ever have a boyfriend, I was pretty sure that he did like me that way, but I didn’t like to think about it.

It was increasingly awkward to talk to him about some things as I got older, and talking to mom about some things was awkward too. I didn’t really have anybody I could just talk to about anything and everything, I didn’t have a girl best friend who I knew all my secrets and feelings that I just couldn’t tell anybody else. I could talk about a lot with Jayson and my mom, but not everything. It was one day that my Aunt Elizabeth was visiting, and I’d convinced her to let me play with her guitar and teach me how to play a few notes, that I learned how freeing music was. It felt like all my worries would float away into the air with each note and get lost somewhere. I eventually convinced mom and dad to buy me my very own guitar. It became my best friend that I could tell everything to, it listened to every word I said and it never judged me no matter what I told it. It knew all my secrets, fears, and feelings; it knew everything about me, but it would never tell anybody else. It was my shoulder to cry on and it just carried away my tears and calmed me with it soothing melodies strumming along in perfect harmony to my voice.

That was me, the school loser who was only friends with her mom some really geeky kid, and a guitar. I was lame and pathetic, and I often wished I could be anybody but me. Mom was always telling me I just need to stop hiding in the shadows and behind my guitar, I had to just learn to embrace who I was and be confidant in myself and others would see how awesome I really was. I didn’t believe her; she just said that because she was my mom and it was what mothers did. I always hoped she was right though, and that someday I could find the courage to take her advice.