I met my close friend from junior high a few weeks ago and she revealed that our class president told everyone in the class to isolate me before we were even classmates.
In the summer of 2011, I participated in an English contest held for all junior high school students in my city and had the highest score. As a result, I was transferred to a gifted junior high that fall to receive more focused training before taking part in a region-wide competition.
Apparently, I took the spot of my then class president, who will be addressed as May from now on. She was no longer the best and she resented me for it.
My friend said that May spent that whole summer fabricating rumors about me and going out of her way to drag my name through the mud. Her scheme worked for a while until, according to my friend, our classmates saw that I was cool to hang out with.
But May didn't stop making things difficult for me.
Two times this girl played fast and loose with me
Besides having a knack for English, we shared a common interest in dancing.
By the end of 2011, our class set up a dance crew to join the school's talent show, whose members included both her and me. Since she was the class president, she was chosen to be the crew leader as well.
We spent weeks practicing. On the day of the talent show, every class had to go through a rehearsal at 9 AM before going on stage that evening. But May told me that I didn't have to come until 11 AM since she had the performance list for the rehearsal and our crew would be among the last performers.
As it turned out, the crew had been secretly practicing another routine. They went with that for the rehearsal and the talent show later on.
May worked part-time as a translator for an online forum where I also was active. Such a coincidence how much we had in common, right?
Knowing that I was familiar with the topic that forum usually discussed, she tried to be friendly with me and asked me to help her translate a few pieces of news.
I was happy to do so. She was my friend and she was nice to me. Why wouldn't I help her?
For the following couple of weeks, I regularly aided her with the translation. Sometimes I even translated the whole piece for her.
Yet, she never credited me. Under every post of her, there was this one line saying Translated by Joyous May, which was her online name.
I didn't think twice about it, because I was too young and uneducated on the matter of copyright infringement. And because it was a favor for my friend.
10 years later
To say I was shocked upon hearing the truth was an understatement.
It's unfathomable that a 14-year-old child could plot such schemes.
I shared this story with my mother, who coincidentally works with May's mother.
She exclaimed: "Poor thing! What a horrible thing you had to go through!"
I replied: "Don't feel bad for me. I had friends to hang out with and it was a great year. Pity her instead. Imagine the toxic environment she has been living in that has shaped her to be so full of hatred of jealousy."
My takeaway from this
No matter who you are, as long as you keep progressing and succeeding, you'll have haters and bullies in your life.
Just focus on bettering yourself and ignore the naysayers. Let your actions be your response to them.
At the end of the day, bullies do not get to win.