Tessa's Story

Tessa Jackson has been bullied since the 8th grade and has never had a break. The "popular" people, David and Nadia and their followers, bully her because she didn't have to try to get all the boys to like her, she didn't have to try to be pretty, and she didn't have to try to have a nice life. When they asked her into their group in the 8th grade and she said no, it all started. The bullied her to make her seem small, weak, unwanted. Tessa's whole world changes into a dark, lonely place. But Tessa's whole world changes again when she meets this one guy that makes her feel special, wanted, strong, and big. She gains back confidence with his help. But when she sees him supposedly cheating on her, will she be able to stay strong, or collapse and become what she was before?

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7. "Nice Notes"

When I woke up, the first thing I noticed was lack of water. Then I realized my pillow wasn't tear-soaked. I got up, tool a shower, put on skinny jeans, a aqua-blue shirt with the words, "love is all ya need," on it which complimented my green eyes, and my black chucks - I mean chuck. I grabbed my backpack and headed out the door.
I ride the bus every morning, and normally by the time the bus arrives at school, I've been pelted by AT LEAST 20 paper balls. I climbed onto the bus and sat in my seat.
I'm always the first one on the bus, so I get first pick. But the first day of school, I was kicked to the front. I never tried to change it.
At the second stop, we picked up Nicole, a black-haired, tan, tomboy. And when I say tomboy, I mean the never-ever-wheres-dresses-hates pink-despises dressy dances kind of tomboy.
She looked at the seat next to me like she wanted to sit with me, but then she went to her usual seat right behind me. To my UTTER, UTMOST surprise, she handed me a peace of gum, like a peace offering. A piece for peace. I turned around and smiled. She smiled back, but then Dylan, David's best friend, got onto the bus, and she dropped her gaze.
After the normal bus routine of getting pelted with paper balls, we finally arrived at school. Nicole's locker is right next to mine, and I was glad. Maybe, MAYBE, I told myself, we'd become friends. Then I wouldn't be so alone.
But you're not alone, opti said. I've begun to call the optimistic voice that, like a nickname.
You have Zayn!
Shut up, he's only a friend, I said.
Pfft, yeah, right, opti said.
Un-opti cut in, Tessa's right! He doesn't care.
Will both of you shut up?! I asked.
Silence.
Thank you, I said. I opened my locker, and a piece of paper fluttered to the floor.
"Have a good day - Zayn," I read aloud. "Aww." I stuffed it into my back pack and headed for Life Skills. Whoopee. My school has A days as B days - I have a different schedule each day. On A days it looks like this:

1-2: Language Arts
3-4: Science (I'll have history next semester)
Lunch
5-6: Math
7-8: My elective - Art

On B days it looks like this:

1-2: Life Skills (I'll have integrated studies next semester)
3-4: Science
Lunch
5: Math
6: Language Arts
7-8: Gym (whoopee)

I sighed and began to walk to life skills. Nicole's in this class, and we were walking side by side. She looked at me like she wanted to say something, then thought better of it and kept her mouth clamped shut. Today we were starting our sewing unit. Another 'whoopee.' At least we got to pick our colors. Soon Nicole and I arrived. We sat in a seat, but Mrs. Smith said we would be doing seating charts. I say as far away from everyone as I could, but I knew I'd sitting in between two other students soon, so really, it wouldn't matter.
"Okay! I want Thomas here, Sammy here, Trent," the teacher began. "Nicole, Tessa, Dannie, Dylan, Justin, ..." Mrs. Smith went on and on until the whole class was seated. I was actually happy. Nicole and Dannie were nice, well, they didn't bully me. The just never talked to me. What was funny was that they are best friends, and I am separating them. I laid my eyes on the teacher.
I went through the rest of my day with only a couple incidents with David and Nadia. I was actually having a good day. Well, a good day in my standards. Yeah, I was bullied, but it seemed like they weren't really trying. So yeah, a good day in Tessa standards.
For the next two weeks I kept finding notes in my locker. I would smile at Zayn every time I saw him. He was so nice, I can't believe he actually talked to and hung out with me.
One day, there was a note I'll never forget. It read, "Sit with me at lunch, I have something to ask you. Have an amaZayn day! -Zayn." I laughed. "Zayn...." I said. "I'll see you at lunch."
When lunch came I could hardly wait. Finally I was sitting at a table with Zayn and the rest of the band.
"Um, Tessa?" Zayn asked a little hesitantly.
"Yeah?"
"Please be honest."
"Anything you want to know, I'll tell you. I don't have that many secrets - I'm a loner."
"Do you like me, like, like like me?"
I thought hard. "No," I said at last. "I don't like you."
Zayn's face fell.
"I love you."
His face lit up, and he pulled me closer. He hugged me tight, and I let myself relax in his arms.
"Keep this in mind, though, super-star," I said. "I definitely love you, but there's room for more. We only met two weeks and around two days ago."
"I know, I feel the same way. I love you, but I could love you more."
"Good. We're on the same-same page." When I said same, my voice broke.
"What's the matter?" Zayn asked quickly.
"No one's ever cared for me, b-before. Well, except for my step mom..."
"Tessa, cheer up. Why don't we got out on a date tomorrow night?" Tomorrow was a Saturday, so it'd be the perfect time.
"Perfect," I said smiling. "See you at six?"
"See you at six," Zayn confirmed.
Just then we were dismissed, and I headed for - yay - math. But Zayn was in this class, and we walked together with Zayn's arm around my shoulder. I felt comforted, strong, and happy. This guy made me feel a feeling I've never felt before - being loved. Let anyone forbid he ever broke up with me - that is - if we were dating.
As the thought came to my mind, I asked, "So are we dating now, or what?"
A smile spread across Zayn's face. "Yeah, yeah, I guess so."
That cause me to smile also.
As we walked through the door, Zayn's arm slid down. We sat in our assigned seats, and Zayn was all the way across the room. I sighed, thinking how much easier my classes would be if Zayn was in all of them and sat next to me.
Oh well, the opti voice said. He's your boyfriend though!
But not for lo-ong, un-opti said.
Shut up, I told both of them.
When they did, I smiled. I took out my homework from last night, and hoped tomorrow I'd get a sweet note that only your boyfriend would put there.
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