In every group, class, school, or club, there is the nice girl. She is the girl who is always there for everyone. She is the girl who always offers a hug when someone is crying. She is the girl who never frowns. But people never see the nice girl as the one who hurts the most. People think that her smiles are genuine, and that she listens to her own advice. But she doesn't. The nice girl was happy on the outside, but dying on the inside, and she was ready to go on the outside, too. I was her.
Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Melissa Marie Tobias. As I am writing this, I am fourteen years old. I was born on September 23rd, 1997 in Pensacola, Florida. I was given away hours later to my family, the Tobias family. I was given away because my birth family could not afford me considering that they were young and had two young daughters already. I was sent off to have a better life.
I was not supposed to have contact with my biological family originally, but plans change. I went through the first years of my life without a problem. Everything was easy, and the hardest decision in life was choosing what crayon to use on my drawing of Elmo. Unfortunately, things got harder in intermediate school.
I walked into that school with pink leggings, and a white shirt with pink and red hearts on it with a head band in my hair. The second I got there, I knew that this was nothing like elementary school. Everyone was dressed differently, talked differently, and acted differently. It was so unfamiliar.
The way you looked started to matter. The problem was, I was far from the thinnest and prettiest girl in the class. Everyone had grown up so much over the summer. Girls were wearing bras, and guys were sagging their pants. I didn’t fit in. This didn’t matter to me until people started talking.
I was walking through the hallways about halfway through fifth grade when I heard my name. I turned around and I saw these girls pointing at me. I tried to brush it off, but it still hurt.
Those are the three words I remember hearing out of their mouths. Those three words changed everything.
I went home and I looked at myself. I looked into my eyes, those three words burning in my pupils. It hurt me. That was the first time I heard people talk about me. I tried to stay positive, and I did for a while. I had good friends, good grades, and band. What else could I need?
I went through fifth grade, still hearing things, still feeling hurt, but I was still happy. I was innocent, pure, and I loved life. I was truly happy. It was great.
The summer came, and I had heard about a suicide. I didn’t understand why anyone could possibly do that to themselves. I never thought that someone could hate life so much and be so sad that they would kill themselves. It just didn’t make sense then.
After the news calmed down about him, it was almost time to go back to school. The first month or so were pretty good. People still talked, but everyone does. It’s human nature.
Second quarter came, and so did a guy. Not a nice guy. A mean guy. Everyday at recess, he would come up to me and hit me. I told on him, and the lunch ladies did nothing except tell me to ignore it.
After a while, I couldn’t take it. I just started crying when I got home. I eventually told my mom, because we were close back then. She told me how she was bullied when she was a kid, too. She tried to be there for me, and it felt good.
My mom went to talk to the school counselor the next day about it. I refused to go to school because I was scared. The counselor said that he probably did it because he had a crush on me. That honestly pissed me off, even though I didn’t show it. If you like someone, you don’t hit them. Either way, there wasn’t much to do but wait and see if he changed once the principal talked to him.
The next day when I went back to school, he didn’t touch me. It felt nice knowing that I wasn’t going to be hurt anymore, but I still felt slightly helpless knowing that I wouldn’t have been able to have done that without someone’s help.
Either way, I was still a happy person. I was never depressed. I didn’t even know how someone could possibly feel that way. I just loved living so much. But I changed when I moved half way through the seventh grade.