The Leper Who Played With Fire by Raven Montgomery

The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Raven Montgomery, Third Place
Grade 10,  Coastal Christian School
Teacher: Mrs. Limon

Every day I woke up and I knew I was going to have to walk down those horrid hallways. The cold-hearted glares would inevitably come next and then my books would go soaring out of my hands. I used to be a straight A student, because of cruel rumors started through Facebook I am skipped classes and even entire days of school. When that first rumor was spoken it was like a spark separating itself from a dangerous fire. That spark, that tiny spark was alone, it had only short time to live, but people started feeding it, making it grow until it was uncontainable and the damage could not be controlled. Likewise as more people started to believe the rumors, their lives began to grow and so did the damage they caused. No one bothered to stop and ask themselves if the questionable knowledge they had obtained was true. The rumors spread like a wild fire throughout our large school, but the only person that was getting burned was me.

The effect of the rumors had me cast out like a leper; there was no actual physical pain that I could feel but the mental and emotional pain was lethal. The only thing that made me this way was the harsh words that tore me down, making me want to retreat so far inside myself that I could never be found again. As the rumors got worse people were forced to make a decision. Whether or not they showed me mercy or joined me as an outcast. The rumors were now affecting others and it wasn’t fair. But I still had to make a difficult decision of my own. My two closest friends only had so much time before their lives would fall apart if they stayed near me, and I could never ask them to do that. It isn’t fair for me to make them choose what I would never choose myself. Trying to save two of the best friendships I have ever had we agreed to never talk or be seen with each other at school. But at the time we had no idea that would only tear us apart even more.

Over the next couple of days I tried to get a hold of my friends but something always came up. They either had exams, a party, babysitting, or they were sick. The weeks grew longer and they eventually just stopped answering my texts. I still never tried approaching them at school. I knew as long as they weren’t talking to me they would be safe and could never be deemed a leper and that was worth giving them up. What I once thought would go away had just destroyed my friendships; it had now taken something valuable. It wasn’t just words or books flying from hands anymore, it had taken my two best friends and with them my will-power to fight against it.When the rumors started there was no goodwill behind the reasoning, they were started for one reason. To destroy a person.

They had done what was set out for them to do I ended up transferring from that school and having to go to a private school. I didn’t make the necessary grades to advance to the next grade because of all the days I had skipped, so I’m repeating my sophomore year. I never heard from my friends again and I assume they have found a replacement by now. Nothing beneficial for anyone came out of those rumors that were started .My parents are now having to work an extra job to pay for my schooling, my grades were forever ruined and colleges won’t even think about accepting me, and friendships were broken down that could have lasted a life time.

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