Debra left the classroom, thinking to herself. Well, I don’t want to be remembered as a bully. Who would? I hope that book is finished soon. Mrs. R. has been reading it so long. Hashtag Choose Kind, blah, blah, blah. Enough, already.
Debra dropped her literature class junk into her bag as she walked passed the row of 6C backpacks. “I wish this day was over,” she said aloud, but to no one in particular.
“Pardon me?” asked Samantha.
“Pardon me?” Debra mimicked. “Dork, I wasn’t talking to you.”
“Oh, sorry. I thought you were,” Samantha replied, shyly. Samantha continued to load her literature anthology, notebook, and free reading book into her pink and teal paisley backpack, trying to ignore Debra.
Her mom had told her Debra probably was hurting inside herself from some thing or another. “Maybe you can get to know her and help her see the bright side of life,” Mom had suggested, with her typical sing songy voice.
“You just don’t understand, Mom. She’s bad,” Sam had explained.
“You know her name means ‘bee.’ I guess she’s living up to her name–stinging people who get in her way,” said Mom.
“Bee. Who would name their kid after an insect?” asked Samantha, who knew her name means The Listener, and knew that Dakota means friend, Mahala means woman of power, and Theodore means gift of God. She knew many more too; her mom was really into names.
Samantha finished at her backpack and managed to muster up enough courage to say, “Have a nice day, Debra.” Then she raced off to geography class.