Red Nails

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 15:27 -- abergen

I knew there was something wrong with my new friends the first time I met them

It’s a pity I didn’t realize what until it was too late...

It was seven in the morning on Monday, the first day of kindergarten for me

I was so excited to go to school that I had opened up a book and was looking at it, even though I didn’t know how to read

My mom walked into the room, saw me reading, and asked me what I was doing

I responded with something along the lines of “I’m getting ready for school!,” and my mom indulged my desire by taking me there

After what I’m sure was the umpteenth hug from my mom, I was finally satisfied

“See you later Mommy,” I would have called after my teary-eyed mother, since I was the first of her three children to enter school

Just as I was walking up to my classroom, I was confronted by two girls

As a kindergartener, it probably seemed like they dragged me into the classroom, their long, red-stained fingernails digging into the skin beneath her elbows

“Ow, that hurts!,” I exclaimed

“Whatever, cry baby,” one of the girls goaded

I held in my tears, and ignored the pain shooting up my arms

When the three of us entered the classroom, they shoved me into the nearest seat, and sat down behind me

A few minutes later, my teacher started taking roll, and I found out the names of the two girls which I had recently had a brief, but painful, encounter with

“Alright class,” my teacher exclaimed cheerily

“Time for recess!” 

A mere second later, the two girls renewed their grip on my aching arms

“Let’s go,” they demanded, as they dragged me to the playground, the nails digging into my arms seeming to get sharper with every step

At the opening of the slide, they roughly shoved me up to the top, where they simultaneously pulled knives out of their pockets

“Don’t worry,” they crooned in unison as they leered at me

“We won’t hurt you,” they said as they plunged their blades into my arm

As my terrified screams punctuated the air, I realized what was wrong with them

The pungent-smelling red liquid on their nails wasn’t nail polish, it was blood...


Afterword: I loosely based this story on two girls in my kindergarten class who bullied me

They bullied me mainly with their words, trying to manipulate me to do their will, but I have faint memories of them kicking me, as well

The thing I realized about them, as mentioned in the beginning and end of the story, some years later, was the fact that they were bullies

I either didn’t know what bullies were at the time, or was unable to distinguish between the behavior of a bully and a true friend

The only sharp objects involved were their mean, spiteful words which dug deep into the very fabric of my being

This poem is about: 


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