In year 9 a new girl started at our school. Amy made friends with her quickly and told me about her. I'd been off ill so had missed her on her first day. She sounded like a nice, bubbly person from how Amy described. So I didn't think I did anything wrong by hugging her by way of greeting. It was a very bad idea. From that point on Ela called me a freak and made fun of me very openly and harshly.
I tried in vain to befriend her because her and Amy were so close. It was a big source of stress for her that we didn't get on. I remember one evening when I sat on MSN talking to her. She wasn't interested in my reasoning that we should get on for Amy. I started crying. Something about Ella was very powerful and I couldn't help but look up to her despite ho badly she treated me. I had no clue why I wanted her respect and friendship. Outside of Amy being a mutual friend, she'd done nothing to indicate she was worth the stress. I made the mistake of telling her I cried and she just laughed at me.
After that I stopped trying, just putting up with her presence and refusing to rise to her comments. We kind of put up with each other after that, we were far from friends. Our little group by the fence outside the gym building had grown since year 7. As well as Carl #2 and his friends and Poppy's friends we had some girl mates Amy had made. Not to mention Jodie and her gang. It was the most 'friends' I'd ever had. Of course only Amy actually really cared about me.
Poppy eventually left the group, Ella didn't like her either and Poppy didn't want to deal with her. She ended up befriended the popular girls. How? Don't ask me! When they occasional gave me crap she would happily join them. It would've hurt more if I'd ever really liked her. I wasn't being bothered that much by bullies. I was just the known weirdo. That girl that no one really seemed to like or want to talk to. I was used to this role and people mostly avoided me.
Except for one, Greg was still giving me hell like no ones business. We had a new form teacher that year and he's my favourite teacher to this day. He saw that the other kids gave me hell and would stop it. A game that regularly happened during form was that the kids would steal my pencil case and throw it around. The year before I would've been chasing it and whining at them to stop. This year I just sat and ignored them. Then it crashed into one of the lights and glass smashed. They were far too happy to throw back at me and blame it on me. Mr Margates didn't fall for it and shouted at Greg, the usual perpetrator.
Mr Margates also intervened outside of class with me and Greg. It reached a point near the end of year 9 when he dragged us into a small classroom and told us to sort it out already. Our response was to yell at each other more. He then said we acted like an old married couple and we both shut up fast. A few weeks later I did my usual thing of calling Greg a bastard and he reacted differently.
“I'm glad I'm one. I don't want anything to do with my dad.” was along the lines of what he said. I didn't know what to say to that and so just walked off. He later told me that his dad had beaten up his mother when he was younger. I'd always known he had a single mother, but hearing the reason why shocked me. I considered telling him what happened when I was younger but he left too fast. We didn't share anymore deep conversations after that.
Amy dragged me round her house and had been getting me into a game called World of Warcraft since year 8. I'd actually convinced my parents to buy me a copy for Christmas, my brother got one as well since he'd enjoyed the free trial he'd tried. I grew bored after nine months of half playing it as I shared my account with my dad. Brother shared his with my mum. I quickly realised how bad an idea it was. My brother and parents became completely addicted to the game and the few conversation we'd had before went out the window.