Lea and Liz : 30 Days of Truth


(Originally dated January 31, 2012)

Day 10: Someone you need to let go of or wish you didn’t know.

Originally, I read this prompt and blanked. It wasn’t until I read Gypsy’s Day 10 Post that I came to this realization.

Facebook is toxic. Cosmo did an article in the December issue about a study revealing just that. That article confirmed certain suspicions, so I started taking statuses with a grain of salt. Yeah, I bet you’re happy about your drunken single life in your late 20’s, since you brag about it so much.

But, a couple of nights ago, a status rubbed me the wrong way.

Bear with me. This gets a little complicated.

I had a huge group of best friends in middle school. One by one, they dropped off for various petty reasons. Kat and I were inseparable. Until a boy came between us. Of course, that left a huge schism between them and me. Lea took on the grudge personally. But, Liz stayed neutral.

Kat pretended like I didn’t exist. Lea campaigned for my social public execution, setting up shop right across the hall from me, and Liz ghosted between.

For thirteen years, we are encased in hallways and lockers

Eventually, Kat and Lea started dating brothers, one who I dated years ago (of course, that was Lea’s boyfriend). I had my first public scrap happened with Lea in that very hallway.

Moe and I were still really good friends. Of course we were! I was the only one who stood by him and spent countless hours on the phone with him when he was in the hospital for chemo treatment. I stayed with him, even though I knew that it was incredibly possible that he could die. But, it was too late to turn back then.

We walked through the hall talking, cutting up as usual. As he met her in the hallway, I passed him and said to him, ignoring her, “Later whore!” A whole fourty-one minutes passed, and my head was filled with Biology before 10AM. I walked down the stairs and met with my gay guy friend to head to the music wing. Lea passed me and snarled, “Fuck you, you white trash slutbag. You’ll regret fucking with me.”

It was only audible to the immediate vicinity, all music kids. I flew, screaming after her, “Are you threatening me, you fat fucking bitch!?”

“What if I am?” she turned and sneered, “What are you going to do about it? Cry and cut yourself?” She continued walking, headed up the stairs.

I lunged at her, screaming, “Get your prissy fat ass back here! I will pull you by your scraggly bleached hair down these stairs and stomp your fucking face in!”

Check had already grabbed me, and held me in a full nelson as I raged at her. A teacher from the third floor came down at that point and lambasted me without even asking what happened. I spouted off, “Fuck you too, Pistol Pete.” And Check had to drag me away. We were unbelievably late and it was still a walk to the music wing.

I told him, “Go in before me. I don’t want you getting mixed up in this.” I stood outside the room for a couple of minutes, listening to the melodies and harmonies of warm-ups bounce off of the tiled halls and wooden doors.

Calmly, I walked in. I turned the corner, and the whole room rose to applaud me! I was beyond shocked, and no words could come. I expected a slow, painful, icy death by silence. Instead, I was congratulated for my absolutely outrageous outburst! By everyone except Liz, who gave me this disgusted and pained look.

It was no surprise when I was called to the principals office by noon. She was coming out as I was headed in. Lea glared and mouthed, “Fuck you, whore,” as we passed one another. I growled under my breath. If we weren’t surrounded by a room full of elderly secretaries, I would’ve jumped on her and ripped her face off.

I sat across the desk from the principal in her little interrogation room. This wasn’t the first time. Hell, it wasn’t even the first time in that school year! But, I had never been in there for fighting. I knew protocol for a search. “Let’s dump your bookbag here, and we’ll have the constable walk you to your locker to watch you dump that all over the hall.” But I didn’t care. I was actually pretty satisfied with myself.

“So Em, would you like to tell me what happened between you and Lea?”

“No.”

“Excuse me?”

“Why should I? Lea already told you what you’ll believe anyway. I won’t waste our time.”

“Fine.”

And that was it. No, “I want to hear your side.” What was there to say in my defense? The tattletale always wins. And I already had a record.

I knew only hell awaited me at home. It always did after there was an incident at school. Going home and facing the wrath of my parents was worse than any punishment they could deal me at school.

My mother’s head was poking out to look down the street as I approached. I considered turning and running. No, that would make it worse. Then she’d send my father after me, who would literally drag me kicking and screaming back up the street.

Fighting had been the worst offense I had ever committed. And the worst part is that I didn’t even actually hit her. I only threatened it, while verbally assaulting her in front of about half of the student body.

“So, the principal called today,” my mother announced in front of my father. She must have meant business. Usually, she at least attempted to break the news gently to my father.

“Yep, what did you talk about?” I asked candidly.

“You tell me.”

Shit.

I sighed, and recounted the tale, uncensored, complete with swears and acts.

There was a long pause. I wondered how long it was going to take before she slapped me in the face for using that language, berated me for embarrassing the whole family, and let my father actually kill me. Dad stood in the background and just started clapping. My mother smiled. Was this some sort of sick torture? Get on with it!

“We are so proud of you!” she exclaimed.

“She got what was comin’ to her,” he noted.

I was so confused that I was terrified that I had actually lost my mind. “What?”

My mother explained, “That girl has been torturing you for three years now. I’ve wanted to kick her ass myself. And you finally stood up to her.”

“I don’t care what that idiot principal has to say. You did right today,” my father confirmed.

“Next time be a little more subtle and don’t get caught,” my mother mentioned.

“You’re serious?” I questioned. She nodded.

I almost died. If I was caught smoking, I’d get grounded for a month. If I was admittedly fighting, I’d get rewarded? What the hell kind of backwards world was this?

After that, it returned to the cold war. The lines had clearly been drawn, with a no-man’s-land in between. Moe made his decision – all men led around by their second head. Kat had already made hers. But Liz still had to chutzpah to traverse the DMZ.

It wasn’t until Moe and Lea had broken up that more lines were drawn. Lea thought it was insensitive that Kat was still dating Moe’s brother. Kat wasn’t about to give up a good relationship because her friend was too petty to get over it. And it was over in less than a summer.

Lea League, Club Kat, and Team Em. And somewhere where those borders met, Liz sat and slowly seethed.

To be continued. . .

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10 thoughts on “Lea and Liz : 30 Days of Truth

  1. I still have to read your part two, but me being Ruby, based upon what is written here, I just have to say what if we tinkered with this one a little bit?

    What if that anger reflex in you is the ‘someone you need to let go (of)’? You have learned to restrain yourself so much in the intervening years, dearest Lulu, and you should send off skyrockets and be so proud. But maybe you have a little of that still instinctually ingrained within, and you want deep down to let that part of you go. You know somewhere that while she may have been a wonderful resource for you when you were young, grown up Lulu has found better ways to deal with situations. Thank her for all that she gave you, then let her float away. You will be alright without her now, and maybe she will go to another young girl who might need her.

    The second part, the ‘wish you didn’t know’. . . Again, I am only going based on this much of the story, but all of the people mentioned, the terrible and even the good (because in middle school, and in all of life, humans can be so frail and fickle and flip on a dime), think about why you needed to know them (and if you still actively do, why the reminder is in your life). Think about the bad situation and what the strong Lulu got from it that made her stronger, that made her this woman today. This incredible, beautiful, amazing, so deeply nuanced creature. If you removed any of the people, would you be the exact same creature that you are now? Are you sure? Because I wouldn’t have you any other way.

    But those are just my thoughts off the top, from my very unique always (and sometimes contrary) Ruby brain. I look forward to the rest.

    • Okay, maybe not exactly. Sprinkle in some age, wisdom, and years of studying Cosmo for better fashion sense, and here you go!

      That anger flex is the very thing that keeps me alive at some times, and strangles me at others. Something innocuous sets off fight or flight, and I lash out.

      With this girl, Lea, the situation gets complicated. We were best friends in middle school. But, you know how teen girls can be. She bullied me, a lot. During 9th grade orientation, I was late getting in. I walked into that partitioned off auditorium, and she got half of the girls to yell out any nasty name you can think of for a girl. I was mortified. And all the teacher had to say? “Okay, let’s cut it out and move on with orientation.”

      I was mortified. I deserved it, because I was a backstabbing house-wrecker. I didn’t do it entirely knowingly – I had “other woman” syndrome. But, Kat wasn’t the girl who I did it to. Lea did. Kat and I had already reconciled (for the last time) by then, before the summer ended.

      But, there’s an interesting twist to this story. There is a person I need to shut out permanently.

      • I’m waiting for it. Anything can happen in life, especially a teenage girl’s life. That’s why I am not excluding any person named, nor even someone not yet on the scene. But I’ll shut up! I don’t want to ruin anything you yet have to write. 😉

  2. Pingback: Liz and the In Between : 30 Days of Truth « As the Pendulum Swings

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