Not Just a Girl
This story begins when I was in fifth grade. Back then, it didn’t matter who you hung out with or what you did. My hobby was playing basketball with my guy friends at recess. I was no Michael Jordan, but they dealt with it well and always tried to help me get better. There was one boy who often joined us, and he wasn’t exactly the nicest kid around, as he illustrated to me the day it happened. “What are you doing here?” he snapped at me when I when I went to join everyone on the court. I didn’t know how to reply. He should have known why I was there; I was going to play basketball, why else? “You’re just a girl, you can’t play basketball.” He added with a smirk as he turned away to go join the others.
Everything became a blur. I remember standing there, watching as nobody came to my defense. Even my best friend only gave me a backwards glance before he turned away, too. Then, I turned away. I kept walking until I finally collapsed in tears in a corner of the playground where no one else was.
When I told my parents what had happened, my mom told me that I needed to have a chat with this boy. I needed to stand up for myself and everyone else he had been mean to.
I was reciting the beautiful speech I had prepared for him all morning, and finally, recess was upon us. After we all rushed outside, I chased down the boy. I was so nervous, it took a couple deep breaths to actually begin. Finally though, it all came out. Everything I planned to say. “Okay, see ya” was his reaction. It was much more anti-climatic than I had anticipated.
Later, many months after that, I learned that the boy had been planning on leaving school because he wasn’t feeling like he belonged. However, there were some people and things that convinced him to stay. One of the things, I learned, was something I had said to him. I had actually succeeded. I had stood up and done something, and the day after I spoke to him, he started being a lot nicer to everyone, and he even let me play basketball with him the next day.