1994, twelve years old:
When Jess had first seen Carrie, the scene that remained etched into her mind forever was the locker room. The rest of the movie had whirred by in a blur as she’d tried to process how people could be so horrible to someone.
In the last couple of years, Jess had noticed that the kids at school were treating her differently, too. The thought of going through something like that scene horrified her daily.
As the treatment got worse and worse, she began to have nightmares about it.
She thought she would be just like Carrie. Everyone would have their periods long before her. The boys were already commenting on her flat chest as other girls developed the buds that would soon turn into breasts.
Jess had nothing, even if she tried. Her mom didn’t even bother getting her a training bra.
“Why waste the money on it? You should count that as a blessing. These damn things are no fun.”
Now that she was required to wear gym strip, though, it was becoming an issue. There were a few private change rooms in the locker room, but for the most part, the girls just changed in front of the lockers.
Every single one of them had a bra. Jess could not bring herself to take off her shirt in front of them for fear of being made fun of.
She prayed for the day she got her period so she could have something in common with the girls giggling in the change room.
When the new girl started in her class, Jess was relieved. The girl was an immigrant and her body was more interesting than Jess’s was. And Amara was nicer than the others.
At least she didn’t make fun of Jess to her face. If she talked about her, it was safely behind her back where the words couldn’t hurt her.
Don Banting has a child and youth care diploma and a teaching degree. Burning Rage is Don’s second published book. Don has written four screenplays along with several short stories. Don’s interests include probability, philosophy, crime and psychology. Don has always cared for the less fortunate and donates his time and monetarily to several worthy agencies in Edmonton. Don currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
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