“The Turkey Becomes Self-Reverent”
Her shoulders were broader than most other girls and her
lips were in a permanent pucker. Her eyes drooped a little
and her nose resembled that of a pigs, its tip pointing
high into the air even when she hung her head. Every day
she put her hair up in a giant clip, covered her eyelids
with blue eye shadow, and outlined her enormous lips with a
brown pencil. When she spoke her mouth would only open so
much, and her words would get caught between her teeth,
which of course had braces and rubber-bands firmly attached
to them. She kicked her legs and over-bent her knees when
she walked down the hallways, leaving a trail of snickering
high schoolers behind her.
“Hi, you’re Leslie right?” She stuck out her
finger and jabbed it into Leslie’s shoulder. Leslie flung
her body around and looked the girl in the face.
“Remember me? From online?”
“You know? BabyAngel212?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“Yeah, I go to school here now.”
“Oh right, you mentioned that you were coming
“Yeah, well I came here yesterday."
“Oh, that’s really cool.”
She smiled a little, although it resembled more
of a frown if anything, “Yeah, ok, well I have to go to
class now. I’ll see ya.”
“Yeah, see ya.”
As Donna marched away Leslie did a quick and
subtle look around to make sure no one had seen her
encounter. All these years of trying to be
accepted could be ruined with just one little conversation.
Thank goodness nobody saw.
As time went on and Donna had been in the school district
for a few weeks, she acquired the nick-name of Duck Girl.
It came from Henry. All of Leslie’s life Henry had been a
bully. But he wasn’t your typical bully. He was a straight
A student in honors classes and he had won every spelling
bee in elementary school. He was tall and thin and dated
one of Leslie’s friends for a few years. Teachers loved him
because he made everyone laugh with his antics, but he
always knew all the answers in class at the same time. Some
people called him a class clown. Over time Leslie realized
that, although he’d made her laugh, a lot of his jokes
sprung from other peoples shortcomings, and once she became
a victim to Henry herself (for doing a math problem wrong
on the board) she never gave him the respect she used to.
Eventually, the name Duck Girl evolved into Aflac, named
after the plush duck, used to raise funds for the Aflac
Cancer Center . Leslie refused to ever use the nick name
when referring to Donna herself, but she never bothered to
stop someone else from using it. And she never spoke of her
online conversations with the girl. That would ruin her
Leslie waited at the corner of the hall for her
friends before lunch. The class period had already started
and the only people left in the hall were the careless
seniors (such as herself) and the freshman who still ran
late to every class. She spotted Donna hobbling up the hall
and did what anyone with a reputation would do, examined
the invisible spot on her pants and then untied and retied
her sneaker. Donna passed her by and then she saw Henry
coming up the hall a few feet back, a smile spreading over
his face when he realized who was in front of him.
“Look, it’s Aflac,” he whispered to the boy walking
next to him. They began walking faster to catch up with her.
“QUACK!! QUACK!!” Henry said and waved his arms
around. His friend laughed hysterically. “QUACK!!”
“It’s not even that she’s ugly. I heard she was
a bitch too,” a particular boy said in study hall one day.
“She is yo! Oh my god, I tried to talk to her
and she was such a bitch!”
“Well if everyone was always making fun of you
would you be nice to all of them? You can’t just expect her
to be like ‘Ladedadeda’ and be nice to everyone, when you
call talk about her behind her back!” Leslie blurted. She
wasn’t quite sure where if came from, but now she wanted to
argue more. But she wasn’t given the chance.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
The conversation ended. Nobody spoke of Donna
the rest of the class period, and Leslie left the room
content, proud of herself, and slightly more confident than
she was when she entered it.
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