Plain Jane Part 5

Plain Jane: Part 5

Written by Valerie Cotnoir

Previous: As I stood looking at towering Vanessa, ugly Vanessa inside and out, I did feel as if I could never be pretty, I did feel worthless.

There was a side door to the building not far away, so I turned and started towards it, feeling very small. I heard their laughter behind me and felt the anger and frustration rise in my stomach. I wasn’t ugly and I wasn’t worthless, I knew that.

When Dad and Mom told me to ignore them, I was doing more than just that. I was not defending myself. I was letting them rule over me. But this time, they wouldn’t succeed. No one had ever stepped up to them before, but today would be different.

“No!” The girls stopped laughing. They looked at me strangely. I had turned around and started walking towards them, my fists clenched, my voice rising.

“No! I am not worthless!” I said.

“Yes you are,” Vanessa said confidently.

“No I am not. You are wrong. Fashion; clothes, shoes, make-up, the way you look doesn’t matter. What matters is how you act, what you are like on the inside, not the outside. Don’t you see? Don’t you understand? The Bible says to treat others the way you would treat them. Don’t you know the fruit of the spirit? Letting someone down and letting fashion rule your life and everybody else’s isn’t there, be sure! I will not let you hurt me anymore. I am proud to be plain and letting everyone see who I really am instead of covering it up with clothes and make-up.” Then I pushed them aside and walked into class right on time.

~~~~~

“Class dismissed.” Everyone ran out of the room except me. I gathered my stuff into my backpack slowly and carefully, thanked the teacher and then headed out. What do you know, but I met Vanessa’s group along the way. They hadn’t done anything to me all day, nothing. Today, they were the ones ignoring me.

I passed them easy and started down the sidewalk home. As I reached the intersection, I heard someone shouting behind me, and when I turned I saw Jeanette running in my direction. I continued walking until she yelled, “Please stop, Jane!” I couldn’t remember the last time I hadn’t been called “Plain Jane”. I turned again and stopped. Jeanette caught up, stopped to catch her breath then spoke all in a rush.

“You don’t understand what it has been like for me this past year with Vanessa and all. I never wanted to bully anyone, never, and I hate your nickname. All I ever did was to impress Vanessa and make some friends, but they were the wrong friends to make. They told me they would stop bullying you now that you’re no fun. I know it’s just because they are plain scared of you. I wouldn’t be surprised if they stopped bullying and even skipped some make-up. I guess what I’m trying to say is…well, I’m awful, awful, awful sorry.”

I stood blinking at Jeanette for a moment, afraid I might collapse. Was it true? Could it be true? After I had stood up for myself, it seemed anything was possible. I took Jeanette’s hand and said, “What you need is a friend. I can be that friend.” Jeanette smiled and looked rather pretty for a moment. We walked to my house and before we went inside, I said, “Oh, and I don’t mind if you call me Plain Jane.”

~~~~~

Just in case you’re wondering, Jeanette became my new best friend. You see, you can have lots of best friends. We went to school together and did everything together. Vanessa’s group broke apart and so did the other cliques. Because of me and what I did, fashion didn’t matter anymore at the Hendricks Middle School. The bullying stopped, too. Honestly, I don’t know what happened to Vanessa after she went to a boarding school in England. But with her out of the way the other four girls apologized and started getting better grades, they even became my friends, too. My Mom started having more time for me now the kids were older. At ninth grade I started homeschooling again. It was a great year. And there were more great years to come.

The End

Plain Jane Part 4

Plain Jane: Part 4

Written by Valerie Cotnoir

Previous: Anyway, Dad would just say, “Ignore ’em, that’s what I did,” and Mom would nod.

The next day as I walked to school and kids from my middle school or my neighborhood called me “Plain Jane”, I thought about all the mean things Vanessa and her group had done to me the past two years. There was the time when they put glue on my chair, they poured paint in my shoes, tripped me in the hall, made my locker stuck, stole my clothes during gym, lied to me, cheated off my papers, gave me mean notes, shouted out rude remarks; even when they discussed a way to torture me at the lockers seemed like a way to bully me.

I sighed and pressed onward for another day. When would the torture end? I just hoped Vanessa’s group didn’t go to Smiths High School, because that was where I was going for 9th through 12th grade. Even if they did, surely we wouldn’t all go to the same college, right? Maybe I would skip college…

“Hey! Look over there, Madi, it’s Plain Jane!” I heard Annette say. I was nearing the entrance of the building. The whole group was there in front of the doors.

“You’re right, Ann, it is,” Madeleine said before giggling.

“Would you look at her shoes!” Brittany almost shrieked.

Can they be called shoes?” Courtney asked, wrinkling her nose. I stopped in front of the girls, not taking one glance at the white sneakers I was wearing. I liked them.

Only Jeanette stayed silent.

“What do you think, Nessie?” Annette said. Vanessa emerged from the back of the group.

“I think her whole attire needs fixing, Ann,” Vanessa said with a sort of air about her as if she were the Queen of Fashion and had authority in something.

“Oh, Nessie, she is not wearing a single piece of jewelry,” Madeleine said disgusted, admiring her new necklace.

“No make-up whatsoever,” Brittany observed.

“Certainly needs some,” Courtney said.

I was not hurt by any of the girls’ insults, I never had and I never would. I had never been jealous of the girls, though they may have thought that I might a little. But it did make me mad knowing that they thought they could talk to me that way as if I weren’t there, as if I were a doll on clearance.

Finally I forced myself to speak.

“It is almost class time, may I go through?” The girls blocked the doors.

“After you go home, take a shower and change those ugly clothes,” Annette said, crossing her arms.

“Yes,” the others agreed. Vanessa just stood, smirking.

“No,” I finally managed to say. “Besides, I’d be late to class.”

“Did she say no to you, Nessie?” Madeleine asked.

“She dared!” Brittany said. Annette and Courtney just shook their heads.

“What does it matter?” Vanessa asked. The girls stood and looked at their leader in shock. None of them dared move or speak.

“What does it matter?” Vanessa repeated. She looked at me and said, “No matter what she does, she could never be pretty, never be acceptable into our society. Never be worth anything.” I stood still, my eyes widening. This the was the worst thing Vanessa or any of the other girls had ever said to me, ever done to me. As I stood looking at towering Vanessa, ugly Vanessa inside and out, I did feel as if I could never be pretty, I did feel worthless.

To Be Continued…

Plain Jane Part 3

Plain Jane: Part 3

Written by Valerie Cotnoir

Previous: Signed,

Vanessa Annette Madeleine Brittany CourtneyJeanette

Jeanette is the secret code Jeanette uses to spell her name. She is a little weird…well, silly. I don’t know how she ever joined Vanessa’s group. Maybe because her dad is really rich and owns a red Ferrari they can ride in.

My eyes widened. They wanted to be forgiven? Is that why they persisted? They wanted to be myfriend? Nope. I wouldn’t fall for it. It was a trick for sure…wasn’t it? I had never gotten a note like this before…which meant it was a new trick. They were despicable. I would stay away from those swings.

At recess I avoided the swings and watched the boy’s soccer game. I knew I would be teased if I watched the girls’ volleyball game. After a few minutes I turned around and saw the swings empty, no one around them, just moving gently in the wind. I couldn’t see Vanessa’s group anywhere. Swings were my favorite part of the playground and I was bored. Why not? Nothing was going to happen. I walked over to them.

Well, I can’t really explained what happened next. It happened so fast, I’m still trying to figure it out. I’m pretty sure this is how it happened:

I walked towards the swings. I heard a shout and when I looked behind me, a group of big 8th grade boys were chasing me. I started running now to the safety of the playground. They wouldn’t climb up the slide, right? I slipped somewhere along the way and hit my head. Next thing I knew Vanessa was standing over me smirking along with the others…except for one person, Jeanette. She looked sympathetic…anyway, Vanessa said something, but my head was all fuzzy and I couldn’t make anything out. I tried to sit up and saw my leg bleeding and my shirt dirty all over again. And then… nothing.

I do remember the rest though. I woke up in the nurse’s office and the first thing I saw was the clock striking 4 o’clock. I sat up immediately and started to cry out, but then the nurse helped me lay back down.

“You hurt yourself pretty badly,” she said gently, looking down at me with kind eyes. My right leg hurt and so did my head, but the rest of me felt all right except for some bruises on my arms.

“Dearie,” the nurse said as she bandaged my leg. “This isn’t the first time you’ve been bullied is it?” I wasn’t afraid to tell the nurse no. What difference would it make if she knew or not?

“A lot of us kids get bullied,” I managed to say. I was surprised at how my voice was so weak and how it hurt to talk.

“And I thought it was the 6th graders who had a hard time,” the nurse muttered. “I called your parents, but they should have been here an hour ago.”

“Dad’s at work and Mom has the little kids,” I said. “Just a little more rest and I can walk home.”

“Oh no you won’t,” the nurse objected. “I was tempted to bring you to the hospital when I saw your leg. Good thing I have the right equipment.” The nurse sat down on the bed next to me.

“Dearie,” she said softly. “You must tell your parents what those bad kids are doing to you.” I nodded, but knew I wouldn’t get the chance. They were always so busy and besides, they wouldn’t take me out of middle school for a few scrapes and bruises. Anyway, Dad would just say, “Ignore ’em, that’s what I did,” and Mom would nod.

To Be Continued…

Plain Jane part 2

Plain Jane: Part 2

Written by Valerie Cotnoir

Previous: Anyway, here’s my story…

“Get out of the way, Plain Jane!” I tumbled into the mud puddle nearby. Realizing I was too dirty to ride the bus now, I started walking. It was Vanessa who had knocked me over on her way inside the bus. Figures I would run into her. She was the leader of the “most popular” group.

I wanted to go home and change, now my shirt and pants were all wet and muddy, but then I would be late for school and get the first ever tardy note I would ever have received. I would rather be dirty then get a tardy note. Of course my teachers would forgive me; they knew I was the good kid who did the studying and answered questions right and never disrupted the class, but still…

I walked down the street, crossed the intersection and ran into the schoolyard, whizzing by the soccer and volleyball nets. For extra credit I had played volleyball last year. Bad idea. So I had quit this year, even though I was the best on the team. Coach would miss me, but no one else would. Vanessa’s group had been on that team.

I reached class in time. Vanessa’s desk is right in front of mine. Sadly, I’m surrounded by her group. One girl from her clique is sitting behind me and two others on either side. I am surrounded by cruelness.

Vanessa has black hair and recently she got pink highlights. She wears too much eyeshadow and mascara and has dark green eyes. Not a single freckle. She wears, well, weird clothes if you ask me. Unmatched skirts and shirts, belts and leggings and boots and shiny bracelets and big earrings. She is what you might say, “just a bit much”.

Vanessa has five other girls in her group. Annette, Madeleine, Brittany, Courtney and Jeanette. They are like Vanessa in sense of clothing and make-up. Annette has reddish-orange hair and light green eyes. Madeleine and Brittany have blonde hair and blue eyes. Courtney has brown hair and brown eyes. Jeanette has black hair and blue eyes and glasses, but of course, the most stylish glasses you can buy under $300.

Everyday was the same thing. I ignored the group and they noticed me. I tried to listen the teacher and they tried to catch my attention and make me mess up. Rarely do they succeed.

Something hit my arm. I was used to this, so I didn’t shriek, but merely looked down. What do you know?–a note. They were trying to haunt me with it. I crumbled it softly and stuffed it in my pocket. I would throw it away after class. The problem with ignoring them, is they keep on what they are doing until they are noticed. So note after note after note hit me and note after note after note was crumbled and put in my pocket. Finally, I became so irritated that I gave them the satisfaction and opened one, not intending to really read. But when you open something like that, you can’t really help it, can you?

Dearest Plain Jane,

How terribly sorry I am of your predicament. Won’t you meet me at the swings during recess and we can make up all our differences and forget the past? We will call you ”Dear Unique Jane”, no longer Plain Jane if you will forgive and become our friend.

Signed,

Vanessa Annette Madeleine Brittany CourtneyJeanette

To Be Continued…

Plain Jane part 1

Plain Jane

Written by Valerie Cotnoir

Hi, my name is Jane Grace Roberts, I turned 12 last November (it’s March, in case you’re wondering), my favorite food is spinach, and, well, there really isn’t any other word to describe me except…plain. Sensible and responsible might work, but ask anyone in my 7th grade class and they’ll tell you. “Plain.”

I’m so plain they nicknamed me, ‘Plain Jane’. Which, when you think about it, isn’t so bad of a nickname, if you think of all the other things I could be called. But at my school, Hendricks Middle School, ‘plain’ is as worse as you can get.

When I started middle school in the 6th grade, I was perfectly confident in a good, happy, successful year. I should have stayed home. The only reason I quit homeschooling (I had been homeschooled since kindergarten) was because my best friend Bailey was going there and I thought it would be much more fun spending every day with her. Of course, though, she moved to Oregon a month after school started (I live in Mississippi), so I had nobody. Now, Bailey and I still e-mail and phone and we’re still best pals, but that’s not the point. I still have friends, there’s Gabby and Audrey and…well, there was…no wait, she moved away, too…but there’s…oh yeah…well, anyway, I have friends, but that’s not really the point either.

There I was, a month into school, knowing nobody thinking this was going to be a great year. It turned out to be only one thing, successful. I got straight A’s, as expected, but I spent the worst year of school ever! During the summer, I tried talking to Mom about homeschooling me again, but she said she was too busy homeschooling Hadley and Hannah (my eight year old twin sisters) and taking care of Henry (my one year old baby brother). So I went to school again, reluctantly, very reluctantly.

You see, at my school, looks is what matters. Not grades or kindness, looks. Even if you have a big nose or gray eyes or a pale complexion it won’t matter as long as you have a pair of purple sunglasses (or a Justin Bieber t-shirt or ripped jeans, you get it, right?). There are cliques at my school, groups of kids that decide whether a person in school is worth joining their group or not. If you’re not in a clique, you’re probably in the group of kids I call “individuals”…you know, me.

Now, before I continue, I want to get one thing straight. I don’t care a thing about looks, it doesn’t matter! I don’t like the whole “including or excluding” thing either, it’s not nice. I don’t like my whole school period, but I have to go. Anyway, as long as I use the gifts God gave me to bring Him glory, nothing else matters. Hint: I love to paint and everyone (who looks at my paintings) say they’re good.

All right, let’s go on. I am ordinary. I have light brown hair, dark brown eyes, a few freckles across the nose, skin still a bit tanned from trips to the pool during the summer, I am about five feet and my hands and feet are average size, I even have black glasses! See? I’m average, just a regular person. There is nothing wrong with that for me…problem is it’s what’s wrong for the cliques.

I wear normal things…solid colored t-shirts, normal jeans, white sneakers, white socks, silver ponytail holder, no make-up, not even lip gloss or nail polish. I am the complete opposite of my middle school…sadly, the complete opposite of what the cliques want. Sorry if you’re not really interested in a story about a normal girl, but I thought it was time people heard my side of everything. Anyway, here’s my story.

To Be Continued…

Kung Fu Panda 2

Who loved Kung Fu Panda? Who was falling off their chairs laughing? If that’s you, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy Kung Fu Panda 2!
It’s filled with adventure and mystery and plenty of laughs. If you’re like me, then you know that most sequels aren’t nearly as good as the first, but I personally think that this one is!
Either way, it is postively worth watching and I highly suggest it whenever you get the chance to see it from Blockbuster or Netflix or even buy it!