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Beyond Tears
By Jina Y.
age: 13

“Stop it!” I yelled. Pull.

“Stop it,'' he mimicked me.

“Stop it or I’m telling.”

“Stop it or I’m gonna be a tattle tale.”

“Stop it!” I was holding back tears. Pull. He had yanked about 10 stands of my cute, black pigtails, which were now in his three-year-old hands. All the other boys were watching and stifling laughs.

“Stop it!”

“Stop it.”

“Ow! Stop it!”

“Make me!” That’s the one thing I did. I made him; I made him cry like a baby.

This time, there were no ''stop its'' or warnings. I was furious. I charged at him. I stomped on his foot with all the anger I had been holding in the last five minutes.


The teachers were rushing over there. I knew I was in trouble. I started to feel really bad. Then I thought, wait a minute, he had caused me the same amount of pain I had caused him. If I was in trouble, he was coming down with me.

Then I looked around me; I saw two angry faces along with a bawling baby and 25 pairs of eyes staring at me.

“What happened?”

“Did you see anything?”

I heard the murmurs of my friends. They had missed everything. Nobody except for his friends had seen anything. All the hair pulling, pushing, they had no clue.

“What’s going on here?” one of the teachers shouted. Now he was explaining his side of the story.

“Sh-sh-sh-she did it,” he pointed at me. “S-s-she stepped on my f-
foot!” he sobbed. “She just…” sniff, sniff, “She just came over he-he-here,” sniff, sniff, “She bother-bothered me…It’s all h-h-h-h-her fault.”

He disgusted me. I glared into his eyes, daring him to tell the truth. The teachers turned to me now. It was horrible! They thought it was my fault and I had just suddenly started stepping on his foot? They believed him? All I could do was cry. I couldn’t talk. I just stared and stared at the teachers. One of the teachers came closer to me. Was I about to pay for what I had done? What about HIM?
She gave me a hug and whispered, “Sometimes, we do things we know isn’t right. You know what you did was wrong?”

I nodded. “It’s wrong to hurt people, right?” I nodded again as I thought, what had I done? Wasn’t he the one that should be getting to hear this? Didn’t he do wrong?

“Now, apologize to him for what you did wrong.”

“B-b-bu-but..” sniff “But, but.''

“Apologize,” she said sternly.

“But, he did it. It was his fault too.”

She gave me a look. I couldn’t believe it! She didn’t believe me! This was so unfair. Then she looked at the other kids. “Did he give her a reason to step on his foot?”

I saw the boys glancing at each other, shrugging. Even my best friend shook his head no. All hope was lost. Nobody believed me and nobody saw. Right then, all my sadness turned to anger.


“Remember we talked about manners? When you do something wrong, apologize for what you did.”

“I will if he will,” I started to cry again.

“I didn’t do anything!” he protested.

I started bawling. He was lying. I cried and cried as the teacher grabbed me by the hand and took me to the ‘time out chair.' It was the most excruciating experience I can remember so far. I just sat there, watching everyone having a good time as the teachers were doing story time. I loved story time; it had been my favorite thing to do and I was missing it all because of him.

If I learned a lesson from all that, it was either not do anything you’ll regret or that boys had cooties, but either way, I lived by it for a while reminding myself of this story.

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