This was inspired by a friend who asked me to write a few pieces for a local high school and BeKindRewrite’s Inspiration Monday challenge prompt.
My Sister’s Snitch
You wouldn’t think to look at her but Tori had a secret and I was the one who found out what it was. Tori is fantastic as far as big sister’s go, we are really close. She is so talented that she landed a role in an actual movie and I am really proud of her.
Two years ago it was different, I had started at high school. She tried her best to ignore me. The only emotion it seemed she felt towards me was hatred. A few days after I started, I was fumbling with the change from the money Mum had given to me to buy my lunch as I scanned the crowded lunch room looking for a place to sit. That was when I spotted Tori, she was sat on her own, she had nothing but a bottle of water to drink. I sort of spied on her over the next few days and noticed she did not eat most days.
The next odd thing I noticed about Tori was how she was always racing to the toilet after lunch. I would spot her there sometimes between classes as well. One time I was late for class because I waited to see how long before she came out and the bell had rung.
Tori usually dashed home from school and shut herself in her room. She always said she had loads of homework to do but her grades were slipping, clearly she wasn’t doing any of it. I could hear her crying from my room but she didn’t know that. I was really worried she had an eating disorder or was using drugs.
Then one day, I walked in her room, to let her know Mum wanted her to come down to eat. I was expecting the usual response which was, “I’m not hungry.” She had taken her school jumper off and was just in her polo top. All down her right arm were bruises, and not just little ones either. She shouted at me to get out and slammed the door behind me.
The next day, I made excuses to leave my own classes early, after arriving late and I followed her. What I saw shocked me. In the course of the day I watched Tori hand over the money she had been given for lunch, hand over some homework she completed the night before and get pounded into the locker while her arm was twisted behind her back. At home I confronted her and then I told Mum.
Tori was being bullied at school. The school said they did not have enough evidence to do anything about it. They could not guarantee they were able to protect Tori either so Mum decided to home school her. She became much happier again and even had extra time to join a group where she practised singing and acting. That was where she was finally discovered. The best part of all is, I have my big sister back and now we speak out against bullying in schools, as a team.
When I saw her heading for the bathroom after lunch I was sure it was an eating disorder. Was she going there to hide?
Yes, she hides in the stalls between classes. Tori does everything that she should not do when being bullied. She hides and spends time alone and she does not tell anyone, all this makes bullying even easier for the bully.
I expected an eating disorder, nice deception weaved in there! I suspect she was hiding in the bathroom and/or sick to her stomach from fear. When I was bullied I often hid in the bathroom stalls, I could lock myself away and feel “safe” for a little while at least. I wish I had a sibling that watched out for me like this girl.
Just a thought — if you weaved both sisters voices into this story it might provide the emotional impact of what it feels like from the victims point of view.
It is also sad that schools still use the excuse of “not enough proof” as a way to avoid addressing the rising problem of bullying. Glad you wrote a story to address it!
I actually have written this from Tori’s point of view and her parents point of view too. A friend asked me to do it for a high school unit on bullying.
Very well done – like the other commenters, I suspected an eating disorder. I also like the idea of weaving both sister’s voices into the story. Glad you shared this!
Thank you. Sometimes when people are facing a bully the way they cope with that makes others suspect a different problem. I wanted to portray that in this piece.
Nicely done and I liked the ending. At first I thought eating disorder, too, but then when you mentioned the bruises down her arm, I actually thought she might have been a heroin addict.
Thank you. I wanted to throw people off a bit because sometimes with kids who are bullied you know something is wrong but you are just not sure what that things is!
I was picked on a lot in school. I hate when people pick on other. I’m glad you wrote this!
I have something for you at my blog. Stop by when you have the chance. 😀
Thank you Sonia for both the compliments and the award!
I’m really glad you wrote this piece. The more aware people can become to the effects of bullying, the better. I think the people who can start being educated are those supposedly acting as custodians to the kids (teachers!). I sometimes wonder if schools turn a blind eye because they fear lawsuits or bad reputations. Still, at the expense of the bullied? Makes me sick. So good on you for your effort. I’m sure that someone will be encouraged by your voice.
And congrats on your award from Sonia!!!
Thanks for the congratulations and the comments! I am not sure why schools sometimes turn a blind eye to bullying but lately I have been hearing more and more stories about how they have. It is very sad that kids can’t feel safe in a place like a school. I had a novel I was working on a couple years ago about bullying, I stopped writing it about a quarter of the way in but I think I may take another look at it.
How powerful, how sad, how true. If we only knew all that they face when being bullied. My heart was so sad for her but so glad she could become herself again.
Thanks for reading. Yes, she was one of the lucky ones who escaped from bullying but so many teens and even younger children are taking their lives instead of getting help.
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What a timely message! I’m glad someone reached out to you to write for the high school. Hopefully it will make a difference in the lives of many.
Thanks! Since writing this piece I have revisited a former WIP that I had abandoned which deals with a few different bullying situations that different kids experience. I think it may need to be finished!
Great piece. It totally captured my imagination. I know a girl who I’ve often wondered if she has an eating disorder, so I was totally pulled in by all you hints.
Thanks for dropping by and reading it Jinx! That is a great compliment since it was written for teens about your age.
I’m glad I did I really like it.