I do not recall if it was forth or fifth grade but there was this new girl in our class, I think I was just one of those kids who was oblivious to many things like how I was not aware that I had an enviable “figure” until this one time we were changing for netball practice and my classmates exclaimed about it. I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me because my shyness always took over me.

Anyway let me not deviate from the girl, everyone would rave about her beauty. She was the prettiest in the class, plus she came from that family that elevated her beauty and they seemed pretty well off. Her hair was always perfectly relaxed and gleaming unlike some of us who looked as ashy as a normal fifth grader, but not her like even her walk was not as messy as mine. Once we had one of those annual pageants, it was quite obvious that she would walk away with the pretty plastic tiara that was the dream of many girls in our class and did her family not bring make up kits and fancy changing clothes that some of us would only glance on the glossy magazine pages.

I can say now that I know the envy from the other girls stemmed from the fact that she got all the male attention, shame I don’t even know why I was part of that because I’ve never wanted anything to do with boys but there I was with the green squad of envy.

I don’t know who or how but someone caught a glimpse of her toes,and that was the untimely end of her reign. Now she was back to earth like the rest of us little agents of satan then, no one would ever miss out on the opportunity to remind her that her toes were not that pretty if she ever got too big for her shoes ( excuse the pun). Not that it even changed that she was still the fairest of us all but it brought us so much joy that at least man just at least, that pedestal of hers suddenly became shaky.

Fast forward to our TLs on social media, I imagine a lot of people’s faces whenever a popular and especially a pretty person has a mishap. It’s like many have been waiting for the moment of shame, the elation through the posts is similar to that one in school . And it’s not that the girl had done anything sinister but we just projected our insecurities onto her.

My mother hardly complimented me on my beauty. As for my dad, not even once did he attend a single awards ceremony. So seeing her family on a week day making such a big fuss in the bathroom while we were onlooking probably reminded me of what I was missing out on. Then I allowed myself to be hotspotted into disliking her for no reason.

I saw her in passing the other day, still beautiful by the way. I know she doesn’t even remember me, she was always all about herself. Just like the ones we are always finding so much of our time to laugh at their misfortunes, they’re not even aware of the existence of a Palesa from Soweto who finds thrill in humbling them. In bringing them to the bottom, down here with me. And that is what most of us have become. The mean kids on the school ground have moved to posts and trending topics daily.