Last time we spoke I was telling you about the most important lesson I learned from my father. Now I’m here to tell you about the time where life itself decided to teach me a hard lesson. A lesson in which I’m now grateful for getting at such an early age. Because it helped me become more cautious in the decision that I make.
It was the beginning of 2006. I was fifteen years old and I just joined a youth group for young black kids in high school. The problem that we had as a group was…well some of the members in our group will force our prospective members to do dumb shit just to prove themselves. Stupid? Yeah, it really is, but what did I do? Nothing, absolutely nothing. I tried once but I was shut down like always. So, I let the hazing continue. But unknown to me my math teachers were one of my advisor in the group (Adults who mentored the kids in the program.). He spotted the hazing and didn’t say a word and waited to catch us all together.
Fast forward one week later and we’re at a workshop about careers after high school. That was a good day for me because they awarded any kid money who was on time or gave the correct answers to any questions that were asked. I walked away with at least sixty dollars in my pocket that day.
Well, that day turned into a dreadful day. Once they got us together. My teacher approached us and told us what he saw, and he wanted the one that was responsible for it. Everybody played dumb like they had no idea what he was talking about. He shook his head and told us he was going to give us a few minutes and he was going to ask us again.
Quick Side Story: Now before I continue with this story, I want to tell you about another one. My cousin dealt with something very similar when he was apart of the group. They pretty much got asked the same question. To make this very long story short. Nobody talked so all members were removed from the group. My cousin basically had to wait one year and go through the process over again.
Now back to my story(lol). So, a few minutes have gone by and he came back and asked us again. Thinking about the story that my cousin told me, I didn’t want to get kicked out of a group that my friends and I worked so hard to join. So, I did the right thing and told them who was responsible. Well, at least I think I did the right thing.
In that instant my friends turned on me, they treated me like a stranger. They kept me out of the loop of some of the things they were doing. They stop inviting to hang out with them. And the worst part I was labeled as a snitch at school. It was hard for me to make friends after that. And the ones that I was hanging out with, I just think they were doing it because they felt bad for me.
I really felt…well still feel to this day that I never had any real friends at school. I was just a kid that tagged along with people, hoping and praying that no one treated me bad. I became invisible to a lot of people. Only a few would recognize me and fewer people will remember me. Well, at least that’s how I remember it. But that was twelve years ago and with my high school reunion coming up. I’m not sure if I want to go, maybe I’ll take some time to think about it.
Hey, thank you for taking the time to read my story in this series of “Finding my voice.” If you liked what you read please leave a comment, like, and subscribe for more content coming your way.