I was the envy of the whole class, ever since I was asked by the most popular boy in the school to accompany him to the ball.
When mom heard about it, she became the second most excited person, after me, of course. She immediately called her friend and the two of them started to make plans as to how to make this night special for me. My mom bought me a brand-new pink dress and her friend did my hair and make-up along with lending her favorite earrings and necklace.
When it was all done, I looked into the mirror only to get startled by the reflection of me. It was more like Cinderella transformation only that I was a cared for and loved daughter of my mom. I never thought that I could look this cool. My mom was feeling so proud of me when Jerry arrived to pick me and looked astonished. My mom bid me good luck. I walked along with Jerry who remarked, “You are looking great”, to which I answered, “This is a surprise to me as well, Jerry.” I said smilingly while adjusting my seatbelt.
I was dusky, not tall, and always stayed behind so that I should not be picked up by my peers.
My friends were all there at the ball. It was a wonderful night but strangely though Jerry looked perplexed.
When we called it a night, he dropped me back like a gentleman and I hustled towards my home. Something was odd about the occasion, which I couldn’t grasp at the moment.
After a week, we started going to school. As I entered the hall, I was immediately picked up by the usual girls who call themselves cool. My eyes wandered around and found Jerry smirking at their remarks. I ignored them and went towards my group to inquire, but they too were cold. It came as a shock to me. Nobody was fairly talking with me. I was left alone. My friends were not answering either. I heard one of them saying, “She’s two-faced”. A tear dropped from my eyes and I rushed to the restroom.
I was not safe there as well, some girls powdering their nose, instantly remarked, which were odd, “I think you should wear deep neck shirts or open your buttons, your breasts are lovely, Jenna.” One said.
“She cannot show off, remember she is a good girl,” The other remarked.
They left the room laughing.
I couldn’t believe what I had just heard from my old buddies.
The days were passing fast and, in a few days, we were about to graduate. The tension, though, didn’t decrease. I ignored all this and kept everything to myself and was just waiting for school days to over soon.
I was not sure why was I treated by my classmates as an alien. I didn’t know when their envy had been converted to Jealousy. All my friends were pretty and cool, why they felt threatened by me. I was quite a normal girl and felt comfortable and satisfied with my body parts, and I knew when and what to show and on which occasions. That dance night had a bad effect on me and shattered my confidence in friendship. The only rescue was to immerse in the studies and try not to think about it anymore.
The last assignment was given by the English teacher and I selected my topic. On the last day, the teacher scored and I got not just only an excellent grade, but the teacher picked my essay to be read by the principal at the last gathering of a graduate class.
The easy was about my “School ball dance and the prying eyes”.
Here’s a small excerpt of it:
“Rawls’ discussion is in some tension with the received view of envy. He supposes that “the main psychological root of our liability to envy is a lack of self-confidence in our worth combined with a sense of impotence.” This leads him to expect that envy will be more severe the greater the differences between subjects and those they envy. However, most observers of envy, from Aristotle on, have urged that it is most often felt toward those with whom the subject perceives himself as in competition so that typically very great disparities in well-being are not envied. And there is some empirical evidence to support this claim. This is usually explained by the hypothesis that the benchmarks against which people measure their comparative well-being are, in some (possibly metaphorical) sense, local. If true, this calls into question whether preventing excessive inequalities is likely to reduce the frequency or intensity of envy. But it also suggests that the phenomenon of general, or class, envy toward which Rawls’ discussion is directed may not pose a substantial threat to the well-ordered society.
My friends kept a distance from me through this last year of school, which gave me more time to indulge myself in my studies and achieved what I might not have if I ran after the aimless predicaments of others towards me, or I might have gone into depression and had buried myself into self-pity. My rearing and love of my family had given me the courage to face the worst, struggle with the storms, and got out as a winner on the other end. They have also taught me not to resent and especially no to keep grudges against others, let the time heal. My mother always said, “If you can’t forget what bad has been done to you, then forgive those involved and move ahead.”. I did exactly that.
After so many years, I was visiting my high school. As I passed by the Alma Mater Board, I saw my essay framed and pinned on there among the other achievements by the ex-students, my ball dance picture was pasted next to it.
I smiled while remembering that night. My partner held my hand tightly and looked at me, there was nothing, but admiration, in those eyes.