Nokuzola

Not so long ago I was seen as one of the prettiest girl in school. But that changed almost overnight. One morning I woke up with my face riddled with pimples that won’t go away.

My friends won’t let me use their creams anymore. They won’t even hug me like they used to. Yesterday Zukiswa turned around to talk to her friend and her face brushed my cheek by accident. She pushed me away from her and I hurt my ankle trying to avoid tumbling down the stairs. I asked almost in tears, “What was that was for?”

“Just don’t touch me again!” she shouted.

When the bell rings, signaling the end of the school day, I run straight to my hiding place. The after school talk about boys, and every other interesting thing, still goes on. It is just that I am left out now. In my hiding place I take out a tube of ointment from my pocket and rub it on my face. I was told at the clinic that it would work. I put it on every day in the same place. It’s like a ritual. But it isn’t working. My face is still covered in pimples.

My friends have turned from best friends to haters. When they walk in front of me in the corridor they giggle and turn to point at me. I hate having them walk behind me, they trip me and squirt water, even juice, on my neck. When I wanted to know why, Busisiwe told me, “It is to get that stuff off your face.”

***

Lubabalo

I look for Nokuzola in the secluded spot behind the classroom where we always meet. But today other girls have occupied our spot – is she in this crowd? As I walk closer I realize that she will not be here. She is never in a crowd of girls anymore. As I turn around thoughts run through my mind. Do I still want her as my girlfriend? Is she still the one I want to be with? Even I am suffering for the way her face looks now. My cricket team mates tease me and make hurtful comments to me about her. I look around the whole school but she is nowhere to be seen. She did not say anything about going home early to me.

I write a note.

“Nokuzola where were you at second break? I looked for you everywhere. You do know that I still want to be with you, hey?
Lots of of love, Luba – your man.”

Once it has been folded up nicely I look to see that nobody is looking and slip it inside her locker. But I am not so sure if I want to be her ‘man’ anymore.

Tell us what you think: Have you ever been bullied at school? What does it feel like to be bullied?