“Why do I even have to go to school?”, Anisha belted out.
“It’s so boring and everyone makes fun of me!”, she complained for the fifth time that morning, which was an improvement from yesterday’s twenty times. But, every day she was overruled by her mother, no matter how much she pleaded.
Anisha, her father, mother, siblings, and her only grandparent living, her grandma, were all born and raised in Michigan. She had an older sister who her parents were so nice to. Anisha was extremely jealous. Why did Jessica get to wear cool clothes and go to high school, when she had to get stuck in stinking middle school? Her Grandmother and Grandfather used to let her Mom do whatever she wanted to do. So, if she did not want to go to school, no school it is. Anisha wished her parents were like that, but they were the complete opposite. She thought her parents were the strictest people ever because they made her go to school, do her homework, do her best, and every other thing good parent does. Her parents loved her, and they wanted to protect her from the dangers of the world. They wanted her to be herself, no matter what other people think. They always told her that they didn't want Meagan, Anna, or Reese as their children, they only wanted Anisha. So, she did not have to act like them, she needed to act like the true Anisha.
“ You have to go! You have a great opportunity, why aren't you taking it? I wish I could start all over again and listen to the frantic pleas of my parents and go to school. I made a bad choice, Anisha, and my parents let me. I am not letting you go through the same trouble.”, Anisha’s confident Mom explained.
“But Mom,” Anisha blurted out, trying to maintain self control.
“No buts, you are going to school no matter what you say, and I am in charge of you!”, Mom yelled.
“The complete opposite of my parents,” Mom muttered.
“Fine, I’ll go!”, Anisha yelled.
“Much better, but don't leave until you eat your breakfast, and don't take forever doing it, because the bus is almost here.” Mom bossily said.
The Curtain family ate mostly cereal and bread for their breakfast. Anisha was mad that they only got juice on special occasions. She wanted to be like her friends who had juice and cake every morning.
Everyone made fun of Anisha at school because of her clothing, the way she talked, how she acted, her hair, and how not smart she was.
As she walked to school that morning she was thinking about how she could avoid the teasing that day. She always did this on a regular basis, but today an idea shot into her head. She would act like the cool girls, then everyone would like her the same as that like them. She was extremely proud of herself.
She had decided that she would wear tank tops, belly shirts, and really tight shorts. She would definitely need a belly ring, nose ring, tongue ring and a toe ring. She was going to be the coolest person at her school! Anisha was pumped!
After school her mother and father were busy so she begged her grandmother, who lived with them, to go shopping. After being persuaded, she finally said yes. So off to the mall they went.
Her Mother had told gran to only shop at places that she approved of.
No “teen girl hip-hop modern” shops, only Victorian style vintage adult shops. They cannot have any children clothes or it doesn’t make Mom’s list! I don’t know why, but her Mom did not like children. She thought they spoiled everything! So to her, the kids clothes ruin the whole shop. Her Mother said that she will have to wear big women’s clothes, cause she's not wearing “filthy pieces of trash”.
At the mall, gran started walking towards a Victorian style shop, their usual hot spot. This is where Anisha’s plan sprang to action.
Anisha yelled just as Gran was walking into the dreaded shop. “Gran, can we switch it up a bit today and go in there?” Anisha pointed to Justice, exactly the opposite shop of her Mother’s wishes.
“I was hoping you would say that!” Gran replied, with a great level of excitement.
“When I was your age, I would always wear cool clothes like that, not that Victorian junk! I would be glad to take you there.” Gran started trotting, to Anisha’s suprise, making it hard for her to keep up.
After spending an obscene amount of money, all from Gran’s bank account, they hopped in the car with ten tank tops, three pairs of skin tight jeans, and other “cool girl” accessories.
On the car ride home, Anisha was so proud of herself, the plan had worked! Tomorrow at school she would be a new girl. She would have to change her name, and last name. Anisha thought that choosing a last name would be the hardest. Also, she might have to change her backpack. Oh! She suddenly remembered that her older sister had one she could use!
Just in the middle of her daydream, Gran’s blurry voice interrupted her sweet dreaming. “Anisha, I don’t think you know why your Mom didn’t go to school that much. Your Mom has a strong personality. It is not that she didn't want to go to school, she was kicked out. Anisha, Your mother carried a knife to school. She was made fun of like you are at your school, and thought that if she could protect herself, she wouldn't be teased that much. She made a bad choice, and if she doesn’t protect you, she’s afraid you’ll make a mistake like her. We were not very strict parents at all. She loved the work given to her, but hated the environment. That is why she is so protective to you. We were not protective to her and now you see what happened.” Tears sprang into Gran’s eyes, which caused Anisha to start to feel bad. She had not known all along, and she felt awful. She had given her Mother a hard time for what she thought was “babysitting” her, but her Mom was trying to protect her. She wished she had known this all along.
By now Anisha was crying, truly crying. “Let’s take these things back,” Anisha said in a teary voice. “Mom was just trying to protect me, not trying to be mean. I’m sorry Gran, I really am. I’m sorry for all the money you spent on your foolish granddaughter who can’t see past the end of her own nose. I’m going to go home and tell Mom what I did, and make everything right. Tomorrow, I’m going to school as the true Anisha, not the new sassy one.”
Gran smiled, “That’s my girl, but I did kind of like these clothes for a change.” Gran chuckled.
As they giggled together, Anisha was glad she had done the right thing.
At school the next day, she ignored all the teasing, taunting, and threatening that was aimed at her. She knew in her heart that she was a person made in God’s image, and that was all that she cared about now. She didn’t yell back at the people who were taunting her, but spoke kindly to them. They were so shocked at how changed she was that they stopped teasing her and apologized. She made lots of new friends that day. She thought they were her enemies! But they took her example and had a change of heart. Everyone is made perfectly, no matter what you wear, what you look like, how you talk, how you do your hair, or who you are friends with. Anisha never made fun of someone again. She knew how it hurt, and she didn’t want to hurt anyone else anymore. Anisha’s new motto is: Just be yourself and understand your true identity. You are perfect just the way you are!