After a minute of looking around to see our reaction, Mr Richmond continued, “Her name is Natalie Roland. Come forward Natalie.
A tall blonde-haired and extremely beautiful girl walked into the auditorium. I couldn’t help but gape at her beauty. And I was sure other eight graders were staring too.
I gingerly walked into the auditorium and was met with about hundred pairs of eyes staring at me. Being a shy person, I looked at the ground as I walked to stand beside the principal.
Various questions were swirling in my mind. Questions like: would they like me? Would I be able to make friends? Would I fit in? What if they don’t like me? What if I’m unable to make friends? What if they hate me?
Lots of ‘What ifs’.
Then, I remembered my mum’s advice. “There would surely be haters but you’re strong my dear and I know you’ll be able to face it.”
Those words boosted my spirits, lifted me and gave me the courage to look up.
I noticed that the students were gaping at me. Well not to be proud, I know I sure am beautiful with blonde hair just like my mum’s, high cheekbones, blue eyes and the best of all, a one cheeked dimple. Well I’m beautiful, I’m proud of my beauty, but I’m not proud.
Perhaps they’ll like me because of my beauty, I thought.
Then, I heard someone chuckle. I couldn’t understand why. Then other students started chuckling. I was lost. Why were they chuckling? Was my hair in disorder? Did I have toothpaste on my cheek? I wondered.
I looked at a girl with long black hair who wasn’t chuckling and traced her gaze. She wasn’t looking at my face but at my clothes. Then she too started chuckling.
I looked at my own clothes and could find nothing wrong with it. Then, my gaze moved to the clothes the other students were putting on.
What the hell!
They were putting on designer clothes. Who the heck wears designer clothes to school?
These girls must be so wealthy. I once more looked at my own clothes and couldn’t help but feel ashamed and inferior.
The dress I wore was one of my best dresses, but it was nothing compared to what the others were putting on.
Ugh this sure isn’t a good first impression.
I was still looking at the new girl’s face when I heard someone chuckle and murmur something. I couldn’t understand why the person did that. Until I moved my gaze down the new girl’s body.
The girl was putting on a yellow sundress that was long out of vogue.
When my gaze reached her legs, I joined in the chuckle that was already coming from almost all eight graders. She was putting on a tattered sandal that must have seen better days.
Beauty without dress sense? Ugh disgusting.
Mr Richmond continued, “Natalie here is on scholarship and she couldn’t join us earlier due to some reasons, but I believe she’ll be able to cope since we are just in the middle of the term. Can you Natalie?” he asked, half turning to her.
“Yes. I’ll do my best.”
“Good. That’s the spirit.” He turned back to face us and said, “Natalie would be in eight grade room A. Where’s the class president?” he asked.
I came forward reluctantly.
“Take her to the homeroom.” I nodded. “You’re free to go.”
Everyone started walking out of the auditorium in groups.
I overhead a group say “A scholarship girl? Ugh disgusting.”
And another, “She doesn’t belong here.”
And another group say, “I’m sure her poverty is what made her resume late.”
And yet another group, “I just hope she doesn’t use her stinking hands of poverty to dirty you.”
Then the last group before us said, “Did you girls see her sandals? It must have seen better days.” The group then burst into laughter as they left.
I walked out of the auditorium with the scholarship girl following behind me.
I glanced at her and saw tears gathering in her eyes.
Ugh what a crybaby, I thought. I felt like singing this song for her.
“Cry baby, cry baby
Stick your head in pie baby!”
What those girls said goes the same way for me. A scholarship girl? Ugh I feel like puking.
I was walking out of the auditorium with the girl I’ve come to know as Nicola when I overheard the hurtful comments coming from the students.
…disgusting … doesn’t belong here… stinking hands.
Those words hurt a lot and brought tears to my eyes. How can human beings be so harsh to their fellow human beings all because they’re rich and others aren’t?
Looking at Nicola’s face, I could see that she thought the same as those large ego leaders.
Sadness overwhelmed me to the extent that felt like turning around and heading out of the school…
Damn the scholarship. It can go to hell.
When I was on the about to stop walking and turn, I remembered the joy on my mum’s face when I had won the scholarship and my mum’s advice about haters.
Damn all haters I’m gonna make my momma proud and I don’t care about them!
With this last thought and the picture of my mum’s joyful face in mind, I resolved to do my best in my academics and make my momma proud.
Fuck all haters!