6th class pupils of Newtown NS – Tough Life, Tough Love
Tough Life, Tough Love
This story was written by the 6th class pupils of Newtown NS. The story is based on an Indian, Hindu, primary school student who is one of the many victims of bullying. Unfortunately, the other children don’t see the girl for who she really is, only what they want to think of her. The story relates to many different people who have been bullied in many different situations: religion, weight, skin colour and embarrassing situations from their past.
Sophia is a beautiful thirteen year old girl who lives in New Delhi, India. You could say she is the most popular girl in her rather large school. She has blonde hair, big blue eyes and she is a lovely girl. She is loved very much by family and friends. Her father is the majority shareholder in a number of banks in India. He is a big, mean-looking man.
It was a lovely, sunny, Monday morning. Sophia’s mother Talia dropped her off at school outside the old gates. She met up with her three friends Mia, Jennifer and Paula. As she walked into the classroom with her friends, the rest of the students gazed in amazement at how well dressed she was. It was a long, busy, hard working Monday morning, like any other school day. Break-time passed, school books were taken out and put away a multitude of times. At the end of the day Talia pulled up in her million dollar car. Back at home her father wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Usually he would be home half an hour before Sophia got back, sitting at the table with a cup of coffee in his hand. She carried on like normal until she got suspicious. The clock struck 1.00am, the front door closed silently. Sophia went to inspect what was going on. There stood her father in pitch black with a sack full of rupees in his rough hands.
For every day now, Sophia’s father was coming home later and later than usual and was acting strangely. Every night Sophia peeped down the stairs to see what her father, Mohammad, was bringing home. She couldn’t tell how much was in this large bag. Sixty or seventy thousand, she guessed. Where was he getting this amount of money from? Why was he getting this money? Worrying thoughts ran through her head. Were we becoming poor and desperate for money? No we were too rich. The next day at school, the kids ganged around her chatting to her and complimenting her until the bell rang. Sophia got her bag and walked to class. She was right outside the classroom door when she had an idea. She was going to find out what was going on with her father these days. She ran through the halls, trying to avoid the snotty teachers who always gave out to her for being late. She was astonished that no one was around the lockers and that no one ran up to stop her. She ran through the school doors, to the Ailwee Avenue on the 2nd floor. She was running through big green bushes, when she saw her father. He was at the back of the bank with a group of rough looking men. Sophia couldn’t get a proper look but she had seen enough. Enough to see that her father was stealing from the bank. Mohammed was talking to the men, instructing them to steal the money A.S.A.P. They put on their ski masks and began their mission. There were three or four muscular men opening the back doors of the bank. Sophia couldn’t take this anymore. How could her father do this to her! Sophia sprinted home, ran up to her room and cried for hours on end. What was going to happen if someone found out? It was driving her crazy!
It was another normal school day except Sophia wasn’t herself today. She had so many thoughts that were eating her up inside. The day felt like it was lasting forever. Finally the bell eventually rang. She sprinted past all the busy looking students, hoping to get home before her father. Suddenly a lot of students held her up to talk about her. Sophia was getting annoyed by the constant talking and was getting frustrated. Sophia yelled “CANT YOU SEE I’M TRYING TO GET HOME!” The students took a step back from Sophia. They all had confused faces. Sophia ran briskly out the door, embarrassed by what she had said. Right outside Sophia’s house she stood on the path, crying. The police were outside. Five minutes passed while Sophia remained standing at the gable end. The door opened, her Dad walked out, hand-cuffed with squad cars surrounding the house. Everyone was staring in disgrace. Sophia couldn’t look. The thought of her Dad doing this made her sick. Her father kept his head down. They put him into the police car and drove off.
Sophia sat at home, waiting patiently for her mother to come in and tell her the news. The clock ticked and tocked. She heard some keys rattling in the keyhole. Talia walked in, you could tell she had been crying. She cleared her throat. ‘He’s been jailed for three years,’ Talia announced. Sophia felt empty inside. What if her friends found out? Her life was going to be so different. Talia kept Sophia home from school for the next few days but eventually she had to go back.
Talia dropped her outside the old, rusty gates. Sophia expected, and wanted, everything to be normal. She waved goodbye to her mother. Sophia walked into the school yard and waited for people to crowd around her. The students stared at her strangely. A few shouted some rude things, others pulled at her, she let them pull and shout. She was scared and wanted to hide. Everything had changed so suddenly. Not even the teachers wanted to speak to her. Anytime she raised her hand she was ignored. The day dragged on and on. She was criticized, hurt and upset.
Back in the now messy house, Sophia asked herself: what’s the point in me being me? She wanted to change herself. She ate whatever she could find around the house. Gradually over a number of days she gained weight without even realizing. Talia watched her, yelling at her to stop until they both broke down in tears. ‘Why?’ Sophia kept whispering to herself.
It was the weekend. Sophia rang Paula, Mia and Jennifer to ask if they wanted to hangout. Paula said she was babysitting, Jennifer just didn’t want to and Mia had plans with her mother. Sophia wanted to clear her head. She decided to go to the park by herself. People were gardening and washing their cars, but when Sophia passed by they all stopped what they were doing. All they did was watch, stare and wait, like as if Sophia was a bad virus and they were waiting for her to go away. Sophia was at the park, she sat down on the swings. Rochelle, a sixteen year old girl came out of the shop. She looked over. There was silence. Sophia and Rochelle stared at each other. Rochelle ran into the shop. Later, a gang of girls came along, hiding something. Sophia took out her Blackberry, not really focusing on the girls coming closer. Her Mother rang, Sophia just answered when something soggy hit her leg. Sophia looked down. A cracked egg was all over her left leg. Sophia looked up; the gang were all around her. They started to throw eggs. They called Sophia names. Sophia cried and begged them to stop. Sophia ran home.
Talia was passing through the hallway when Sophia opened the door. Tears came to both of their eyes. Talia held Sophia, rocking her on the couch. Sophia got washed and cried herself to sleep.
A few days later it was ten times worse. The second she walked into that old dreary school she was bullied. At first it was her Dad that was affecting her school life but now it was her weight, she had been eating a lot more sugary sweet foods. People were poking and prodding at her. People started teasing her for snacking during class time. The mocking, teasing and physical bullying was driving her mad. She felt like she wanted to scream. In science, someone called out ‘Sophia’ then everyone stared at her. At the end of the day Sophie let a big sigh of relief. The day was officially over.
Talia and Sophia hopped in the car and headed to the prison which Mohammad was being held in. It was a dull and overcast day. When they got there they got out of the car and headed towards the visiting centre. The prison was dark, grey and depressing. They sat down at a table waiting for Mohammad to enter. The walls around the prison were 25ft high, with barbed wire across the tops. When Mohammad appeared, he looked like a completely different person with grazes on his face, his hands and feet were all cut and red with blood. His hair was tossed around and he had grown a beard. To sum it up, he looked like he had been in a fight. Sophia and Talia began to cry as it was so nice to see Mohammad again. He asked “How is Sophia doing in school?” She replied “It’s been alright.” After ten minutes of talking a bell rang. It was time for him to go back to his cell. The family said their goodbyes and went their separate ways.
Sophia walked through the halls. People threw papers and laughed at her. Sophia had enough of the constant bullying from these people. The bell rang for assembly. Sophia had a plan. She ran up to the stage and spoke. “Hi, I’m Sophia, I’m a 13 year old girl and I’m hated by everybody in this school. I can see why. My Dad did something really bad but I shouldn’t get bullied for it, I’m my own person and I had nothing to do with this. My weight has also affected me. I was depressed because people like you bullied me. I’m not different from you, we are exactly the same, a person. You bully me because of my weight, calling me fat and ugly and telling me to go lose some weight. No, I’m not ugly, I’m beautiful in my own way. I will lose some weight, in my own time.” Sophia stepped back from the microphone. There was silence for a moment. Everyone began to clap, they all stood up out of their seats and clapped and whistled. She finally smiled for the first time since her Dad was arrested. Sophia walked off the stage and waited for the teachers to yell at her but instead they smiled. One of them said “You’ve done yourself proud”. Everyone walked up to congratulate her. She was popular again. Sophia cried “thanks” and walked off with her three friends again. This time Sophia wanted to be a normal girl of 13 years of age.
Weeks passed, and Sophia had lost an unbelievable amount of weight. Her father was getting out of jail for good behaviour. Her life hadn’t been perfect but it’s the life she loves. She’s been treated like any other girl. Her speech had gone viral. One of the kids recorded it and uploaded it to YouTube! The people in the streets say “Hello” every time she passes. Life has been great and she wouldn’t change it one bit.
By 6th class pupils: Mary Lally, Ruth Garvey, Stacey king, Nadine Keane, Adam Doyle and Ian Fleming in collaboration.