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?


8. The Perfect Date

When I got home from school, I began working on my math homework. I soon was finished - I'm not a REAL math whiz, but I'm pretty good with numbers - I began working on "We are Never Ever Getting Back Together" again, determined to block out the optis.
"I remember when we broke up, the first time, saying this is it, I've had enough, cause, like, we hadn't seen each other in a month, when you said you needed space, what? Then you come around again and say, baby I miss you and I swear I'm gonna change, trust me, remember how that lasted for a day, I say, I hate you, you call me: I love you. But oooh, we called it off again last night, and ooooh, this time, I'm telling you, I'm telling you! We! Are never ever ever getting back together." Nailed it! "You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me. But we-ee! Are never ever ever getting back together. I'm really gonna miss you picking fights, and me falling for it screaming that I'm right. And you, would hide away and find your peace of mind, with some Indie record that's MUCH cooler than mine. And oooh, you called me up again last night, but oooh, this time, I'm telling you, I'm TELLING YOU! We! Are never ever ever getting back together! You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me. But we-ee! Are never ever ever, getting back together. Oooh oooh, yeah, oooh, oooh, yeah, ooooh, oh-oh. I used to think that we were forever ever and I used to say, never say never...So he calls me up, and he's like 'I still love you,' and I'm like, just, this is exhausting, you know? Like we are never getting back together, like ever. No!!! We! Are never ever ever getting back together. You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me, but we-ee! Are never ever ever getting back together. You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me. But we-ee! Are never ever ever, getting back together." I stopped. Then I exploded. "Yes!!! I made it all the way through!!! I gotta call Zayn!" I grabbed my phone.
"Hello? Tessa?" Zayn's voice asked.
"Ok, well it's got to be important enough for you to not care about my eardrums," he said.
I laughed and said, "Guess!"
"Um, your cast can come off early?"
"How many guesses do I get?"
"Three, duh."
"Um, you got invited to a person's house?"
"NO! It has something to do with my guitar!"
"You...were able to play 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'?"
"Oh, wow, it's that important, huh?"
"Yeah," I said quietly. "Playing is my life aside from horse back riding. Since I can't do that, guitar is even more important..."
"I get it," was all Zayn said.
"Well, bye."
"Bye. See ya at 6:00 tomorrow!"
I smiled. "See ya, bye."
"Bye, baby."
I smiled. "Bye." And then I hung up.
The next morning I woke up at around 6:30. I'm an early riser, and I went out side after getting dressed in jean shorts, a t shirt, a sweat shirt and a flip-flop. The cold, morning air felt good on my skin. I ran to the barn and sat down.
I played "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" once, and then I played Niall's song again. With out meaning to, I'd stared hard at the sheet of music and memorized it. It was really good. When I looked at Zayn, singing it to him, his smile said a lot of things. Number one, I was saying things that he felt, two, he really liked the song, and three, I was a really good singer, not. I stink, so maybe I misread him. Anyway, Snickerdoodle looked at me like I was evil, not riding her for three weeks. But tomorrow I get my cast off.
I looked at her sadly and said, "You know it's not my fault." I put emphasis on the "know," because she DID know. She was just angry that her favorite person in the whole world couldn't ride her. I hadn't really come to the barn, too, but that was because it hurt, knowing I could only pet Snickerdoodle. Snickerdoodle looked at me guiltily. She knew she was wrong. She's a smart horse. And that's what I love about her. I can do so many things I can't do on other horses!
I wish...I wish Mom were here with me, and little Ava, too. And Dad. But what if I would have never gotten Snickerdoodle? Maybe...maybe I wouldn't have. But life would be so much easier. I wonder if I told Sandy about being bullied what she'd do.
My mind flew to the first and last time I told her. I had just come home after school, and that day had been the worst so far, until David broke my ankle. I came home in tears, the kids had all ganged up on me, calling me names, and some really nasty things. I'm talking about girl dog things. They said I was so ugly and useless that I didn't deserve to live. Another said I was a disgusting, nobody, idiotic, loser, and that I should go and kill myself. That it "Hurt to even look at me." It stung the worst. It had stung like a million bee stings all in one. The stupidest thing I've ever heard is "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me." Whoever came up with that needs a REAL reality check. Anyway, I came home in tears and Sandy asked what was wrong.
"I can't take it any more," I had said.
"Can't take what?"
"Being bullied."
"Tell the principal, or an adult! Don't sit there and do nothing!"
Hypocrite. SHE was the one that did ab-so-lute-ly nothing. I WAS telling an adult, and she said don't sit there and do nothing. Hypocrite.
I flew back to reality when I heard, "Waffles are ready," coming from the door way.
"Yay!" and then I saw Sandy. "Did you cook them?" I asked suspiciously.
But I was already gone.
Sandy's waffles are the best, and coming from a person who has tasted Belgium waffles with maybe every fruit, whipped cream, and syrup? That's pretty good. Wait, those are Sandy's waffles. She puts so much fruit on them you don't even know what's in there till you ask. Once she put kiwi in there, and I used to absolutely DESPISE kiwi, but I dug in, then asked, "What's in here?! These ARE SO GOOD!"
When I learned, I decided to re-decide my feelings toward kiwi. Now it's my favorite fruit. Now there's ALWAYS kiwi on my waffles.
I dug in as Sandy came through the door. "You are a monster," she said sternly.
"What'd I do?"
"Go through two of my waffles in the time it took me to walk from the barn to the house! DUH?"
"I already went through two?"
I laughed then said, "Whatever. I wanna some more-a."
"Ok, make that three."
And then we collapsed into laughs.
The rest of the day passed slowly for me, until 5:00, that is. I jumped up, and began to get ready for my first date. And when I say first date, I mean it. This was my very first date, EVER. I've been bullied since 8th grade in middle school, and who goes on actual dates in middle school? Since then, life sucked.
I realized I had no idea were we were going. I texted Zayn: "Hey, were r we going? Like, when I need to get ready, casual or formal? Sent at 5:02 pm"
After about ten seconds I got a text back. "Casual. But pretty for me, plllllzzzzzz! Sent at 5:02 pm"
"Well, DUH! Sent at 5:03 pm"
I started to get ready. I put on black skinny jeans and a white spaghetti strap tank top that started to flow from my stomach down to my waist, and at the seams it went into a point, so at the side it was longer than in the front and back. It had a white rosette thing in the middle, with beads on strings hanging down from it. I curled my wavy, chocolate brown hair into ringlets, and put on dangly earrings. I put on my locket and hoped that I looked ok.
I put on my black chuck and went out to wait out side, and came right back in and grabbed a jacket. It was cold, and I knew that. I'm such a dork.
Why did Zayn pick me? I'm the un-cool one, the loser, the hang-out-with-her-and-you-are-definitly-not-cool girl, the dork. But...he picked me. I really don't know why.
I saw headlights turn into my driveway, and I stood up. Zayn pulled up and got out. He looked at me and all he said was, "Wow."
"Wow what? Do I look weird, or something?"
"No! You look...perfect..."
What. Did he actually just say...ok, never mind. I blushed and said, "Thanks. You look really good, too."
He was wearing jeans, a t-shirt, one of those football jackets, and high-tops. "Thanks. Ready to go?"
"Go where?" I asked, getting into the car.
"I was thinking the movies. I hear Titanic is playing."
"At what theater? It's like...gone."
"Um, a theater where it's cheaper, but the same movies! They get the movies after they're done playing in the expensive ones, and then play them for like, three dollars a ticket."
"Wow. I feel SO special that your going to spend three dollars on me," I said joking.
He laughed then said, "So you're ok?"
"I'm good! I would really hate it for you to spend more than that on me, really," I said.
"Tessa, I'd do anything for you," he said. "Not that three dollars show it, but..."
I laughed. Um, I think I need to re-think my thoughts about wether I can actually love Zayn any more than I do right now.
When we arrived, we bought our tickets, a popcorn for us to share, and a candy box for each. I got Sour Patch Kids, and Zayn got Junior Mints.
After the movie, which was ridiculously sad but romantic, we sat at a table so we could get to know more about each other. After talking for what seemed like hours, we finally went home. I kissed him on the cheek before I went inside.
"Hey, Zayn?" I asked, after opening the door when I thought of something to say.
"For a first date, it was perfect."
Zayn smiled to himself. "Good. Good night, Tessa."
"Night, Zayn."
And then I closed the door.
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