XII.

Later on same day I gave my poetry ‘speech’ in front of the middle school, a boy approached me in the library. He was blonde. He was popular. He was very pretty. He had tormented me for years, mostly about my looks and my clothing. It wasn’t just him, of course: a whole group of boys liked to tease me about my physical appearance. By that time, it was mostly boys; the girls had moved to ignoring me. I was no longer worth their time. “Did you write that poem about you?” he asked. I knew instantly which poem he meant. I locked eyes with him. “Yes,” I said. “I’m sorry,” he said. He walked away. He never teased me again.