This is not the easiest thing I've ever published to Vocal, but I lose count of the times I've said or thought that.
I can't quite remember how old I was, but it was when I was still in primary school, so it was likely before I was 11. So, young.
There was this family that lived across the road from our little bungalow. I am trying to remember if there was a dad, but the mum and all three daughters were overweight. As an adult, I have no issue with overweight people at all. Sadly, though, as I can't even remember their names, that was their defining quality. I'm not proud of that.
They were annoying, though. Perhaps it was that they were girls and we, the other kids I played with on our street, were boys, or maybe they were just annoying. I always remember them being especially loud and bossy.
I hold no malice for them, though, and have never seen them since we moved to another house not far away from that one or in any of the many decades that have passed.
Anyway, back to the confession. One day in the summer, the weather had been surprisingly good (I lived at the time in Scotland, where I live now, for some context), and many of us kids were out playing and messing about.
Everything was fine until the three sisters came out. I could feel there would be some trouble; sure enough, they were being loud, bossy, and insulting, though harmlessly.
The youngest called me an idiot (I cannot remember what I was doing at the time that called for that, but given that I was under 11, I was probably acting annoying and foolish).
It pissed me off, so without thinking, I lashed out with my foot, and it landed south of her belly. I hope I do not need to draw a picture or show it on a teddy bear where I hurt the poor girl.
She cried, and then her sisters started shouting for their mum. The other kids were either laughing or teasing me about how much trouble I was in.
The last thing I saw before legging it up the hill was her mum coming out of their front door.
I am not a violent person. I am guilty of so many horrid and nasty things; there are TikToks about me without the TikTokers personally knowing me.
However, this is probably the most violent thing I have ever done to someone of the opposite sex, without their consent, at least.
It was just a stupid knee-jerk thing; kids do things they don't always think about. So, I've learned to live with it, but I wish I had not done it. I am not proud of it, and it still haunts me.
I am not the best at confrontation or facing up to things. My reaction is something that has come to be my go-to at times when things get tough. This is something I'm working on. But back then, I wasn't working on it.
I did what I often do best and ran away. I ran up to the top of the hill our houses were on to hide until the drama settled, or at least they had disappeared back into their house so I could sneak into mine.
It was then that I had a profoundly weird experience.
When I reached the top of the hill, there was a large grassy mound on one side of the road and houses on the other. As I was a bit fidgety and worried that people would come searching for me, I wandered back and forth along the pavement beside the grassy mound. I did this several times; pacing is one of my coping mechanisms.
I noticed a young, small girl alone, just at the bottom of the mound.
We didn't say anything to one another the first few times I wandered by her until she broke the silence and said something like "Hi" or "What's wrong?".
The next thing I remember, as my memory is a bit ropey these days, was sitting beside her and telling her what had happened without giving details. She then tried, like some wise old thing, to suggest that "your friends will realise you didn't mean it, and it will be forgotten by the time you get back down; it was just an accident."
I want to make clear that this girl was about 6 or 7.
After some more pacing, I then headed back down the hill. Everyone had returned to their houses, and I went back into mine. I can't remember if there was any fallout from the incident, which probably means there wasn't.
The strange thing is, as time has passed, and at 43 now, I am not even sure if the girl was real. I never saw her again, which I felt was odd because I did venture up that hill a lot with friends. We weren't in the same age group, so we were unlikely to encounter each other. Part of me feels that she was real, but then there is this small part of me that thinks she was some fabricated personage that my brain concocted to help me deal with my worries.
Thanks for reading!
About the Creator
Scottish-Italian poet/writer from Glasgow.
I put myself into every piece of writing I publish.
A heady mix of experimentation, dark, light, emotion, heart, humour & more.
"Every man has a sane spot somewhere" R.L Stevenson
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