"Amber Rollheiser is in our class?", some student said this year.
Amber Rollheiser was the new horrible student. The new terrible addition to the school. The new good thing to tease and make fun of in every way possible. Which was good--it was a student below Jamie. The ONLY student below Jamie. Which means, Jamie needed to do everything she could to seperate herself from Amber. Anything Amber did, Jamie would need to stop. Anything Amber enjoyed, Jamie was not allowed to enjoy. Anything Jamie could do to space herself between herself and Amber, the best.
Grade 4 was a weird year for Jamie. It was when a lot of her bad ideas started coming up. For example, Jamie cried a lot. However, upon learning Amber cried a lot. Jamie needed to stop crying. What could Jamie do instead? Well--Jamie would need to choose something manly. I mean--it was obvious, Jamie was a man.. no... not Jamie, James. James would do the manly thing of punching whatever was offending him, right in the face. Tease James, and it is a fist in the face.
No more crying girly stuff for HIM, HE had to stop being like Amber. The only person below her HIM on the social ladder. I mean, Jamie--JAMES had a few friends--CHUMS that she--HE hung out with. While it was not possible to be the most popular--MANLY! She-HE! could at least get somewhere good, here, right?
For some odd reason, she had made plenty of friends in amongst the girls this year. It was so nice to talk to them. Heck, Dawn was talking with her again. Jamie really had no idea why Dawn as such a witch--having forgotten the events of Sarah' party. However, Dawn seemed very approachable now.
It should be noted that this was the point when a few creepy elements started appearing in Dawn's life. Jamie thought for a bit, about how creepy Dawn's dad was. Like she did not want near the guy. Jamie did hear there were a few issues in Dawn's family life later on--but did not elaborate further, except when she heard of them. she was not surprised. Jamie did not like Dawn's Dad--or anything she saw of him.
Jamie also got very confused as to why the girls were kissing all the boys but her. Was she not good enough? One did offer her some lipstick to put on, and chase after a boy--only to merit a "wait? What look?" from Jamie. Only to have the girl quickly put it away--not wanting to get in trouble.
Jamie did ask a few times, about why they did not chase her--but nobody really offered anything other than, "eh--they are just not for you."
Jamie is not even sure they new what that meant.
Another thing Jamie found out in horror that Amber loved, was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Jamie pretty much took all her dolls, shirts and what not--and just dumped them somewhere. She did not want to think about it ever again. Jamie did keep looking at the comics. If only due to a plea from her mother, who knew the comics made her happy--and Jamie had decided she hated them or some reason.
Amber also loved Warner Brothers cartoons--Jamie immediately hated them. Jamie even began to make fun of them as much as possible too. Mostly just coming up saying they are stupid and boring. Others opted to make jokes about Amber doing a Bugs Bunny impression--mentioning something about it not being a carrot. Jamie did not get that one. Or mentioning that Bugs Bunny wore girl clothes and was a guy. Jamie usually answered with, "so what?! That does not make it bad! It is just bad because the jokes are lame and stupid."
"You're lame and stupid!"
One thing Jamie did not give up, however, was Garfield comics. This would have been about 1993/1994. So Jim Davis had only recently been deceased, with some understudy making more and more fail strips. The older stuffs was really good too. Jamie kept reading those--as well, "anybody can enjoy these--they are just that good. Even ugly fat girls like Amber!"
Aha! Mission accomplished... I think. Jamie had not really climbed the social ladder. People just seemed okay with her. She had at least conformed. Jamie only just had to keep puhing Amber down--otherwise she risked sharing that lower rung with her. Jamie needed to at least fake that she was not that bad of a person.
Heck, at one point, Jamie and three girls decided to hold a shrieking match. To see whose voice could reach the highest pitch. Yeah--it was that kind of grade four class. It was a dead even heat between Dawn and Jamie. Each one matching and exceeding the other's pitch in shriek. Dawn had reached her limit, and could not shriek any shriller--Jamie met and beat it... and did a victory lap to show her own limit.
Though--the "okay with this kid" kind of took a head on a turn, when Jamie decided to kiss Melissa, who she had a crush on since about grade two. Jamie just went in and did it--the girls confronted her about it, resulting in Jamie telling them that she had a crush on Melissa--and that seemed to all of a sudden make them really awkward around him.
Well--Jamie was no longer quite as okay with the other kids. However, she still existed one rung about Amber. Jamie's one biggest memory of Amber that year was Amber, sitting t her desk alone. She seemed happy--that should not be--she was lowest of the low. The only person lower than Jamie herself. Amber still picked her nose--and her ear... she also had a nasty habit of playing with her crotch. It seemed that she could not keep a pair of pantihose together--as they all seemed to rip at the crotch. Likely from her picking there again.
She sat there at the desk--happy. Jamie mentions "she liked being at school.", which is stupid--just like Jamie felt the need to assert Amber was. As anything Jamie did to push Amber down, helped Jamie not be as horrid to the general populace as Amber was quite apparently was.
In full honesty, Jamie did not get why Amber was bad. Amber picked her nose, and it was what she was teased for. Jamie picked her own nose, and never got teased for it. Jamie cried--but was never teased for it. Jamie liked a lot of stuff--but it was okay. Jamie stopped, as apparently, Amber liked it, and was teased quite horribly for it. Jamie did not want to also be teased about it as well.
Amber was sitting at her desk in this memory, in sweat pants and a baggy Ninja Turtles Sweatshirt--happy because she was at school.
Jamie still feels horrible for what she did. In years to come, she kind of desired Amber to come back, having it all together. Looking hot, and having everything. Like on those talk shows. Jamie would full on out apologise--as Jamie only did it out of fear. That is one thing Jamie would change, if she did go back again.
Jamie would have been a friend to Amber. As really, Jamie knows she really should have been on that bottom rung of the social ladder. Amber, no idea where the fvck she would have been. Maybe also on that rung. Jamie no longer cares--as she would spend a lot of years on that bottom rung--hey, if Amber was there too, at least Jamie had somebody to talk to. As that is what people on that rung probably need more than anything else.