You Know What That Is? Growth.

, , , , | Learning | February 15, 2021

In the early 2010s, I was in high school taking a math course. It was the first class of the day and we had a really wonderful, punctual teacher. One day, she didn’t show up, no teachers came into the room, and after forty minutes — much to the anger of twenty other teenagers — I went to alert the office, worried something had happened to her.

The teacher was fine, but I became the center of horrific bullying in that class as a few of the students got in a lot of trouble for their actions while we were not supervised. Some of my favorites included shoving, spitting on my homework, and throwing plastic Easter eggs with slips of paper in them at me — the eggs were for a fun math game — hard enough to crack the plastic and bruise.

Most of this was led by this super senior; she was held back her senior year and was in her fifth year of high school. This bully went out of her way to make sure I was miserable that entire semester, and she was the reason I hated Easter eggs for years.

Fast forward to 2019, nearly a decade later. I am at a bar with two friends and my long-term boyfriend. The friends grew up around here but moved away years ago and are just in town to visit and catch up with people. A lot of people are coming to our booth to say hi and catch up with all of us. One of them is a woman a year or two older than me, covered in tattoos. She looks sort of familiar and is super thrilled to see [Friend].

I guess she thinks I look familiar, too, because she squints at me a little and finally asks if we used to go to high school together. After a few seconds of trying to remember where we know each other from, her face lights up with excitement. 

Woman: “Oh, yeah! We were in [Teacher]’s class together!”

Me: “Oh, yeah. You were the b**** who threw plastic Easter eggs at me.”

Cue deafening silence from the table. [Woman]’s face runs through a whole range of emotions, from shock, to remembrance, to horror, to complete embarrassment. [Friend] is glaring at her angrily; she’s heard the story before and is connecting the dots. My boyfriend looks like he might kick her out of the bar himself and our other friend is just shocked. 

Suddenly, [Woman], with all the charisma and emotions of a drunk woman, reaches out and takes my hands, her eyes tearing up.

Woman: “Oh. My. God! I have been trying to find out where you were for years! I am so, soooo sorry for everything! I was so unbelievably horrible to you and took out so many things on you, and it wasn’t until I got older that I realized how terrible I was! I was such a b**** to you and I’m so, so, so, so sorry!”

I don’t know what I expected, but it was not that. I just tell her it’s cool and it’s in the past; we were dumb kids and we can move forward now. Her whole face lights up again. 

Woman: “You are like, totally, seriously the best, Egg Girl! Besties! Can I put this on Insta?”

We never became friends, but I did let her take a selfie of us to “confess her crimes” online, and for the next year until the health crisis closed down the bars, we would occasionally run into each other out on the town. She would stop everything just to point me out to her friends and go, “That’s Egg Girl! I threw plastic Easter eggs at her in high school. I was suuuch a b**** to her!” 

Life is like a bunch of plastic Easter eggs; you never know what you’re going to get, I guess.

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