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Third grade, it was. Myself, Angela, Beth, Brittini... I can't remember all of the names of our members, but we had a club. Did your club have a name, you ask? Yes, we had a name. "The Weird". I know, I know... so clever! *insert warm chuckle here*
I was the President of the club, and I thought that was a pretty sweet deal. Little did I know that with power (all the power of an eight year old) comes responsibility.
I have no recollection of exactly what it was that we did as a club except run in a little pack at recess. I know we had rules, but I can't remember specifics. What I do remember is something I wish I could forget. We had people who wanted to join our club, as clubs often have. Angela's little sister was one I recall. We immediately vetoed that. She was a good two years younger than us, and that just wouldn't do. I recall another one that wished to join. A girl by the name of Nicole. She asked if she could be a member of "The Weird". I'm sure we sat in committee meeting on the monkey bars or on "the wood" playground to decide Nicole's fate as far as our club was concerned, and after much deliberation, we granted her request. She was "in".
Time passed. We did our cool thing, whatever that was, and as things progressed with Nicole and we realized we had made a grave error in judgment. Nicole bugged us! She wasn't up to our very high "cool" standards. And so, true to the nature of third graders, we held a secret meeting and decided that Nicole had to go. Bye bye. Curtains. See ya later!
The secret meeting was coming to a close, but we still had not decided exactly how we were going to go about breaking the news to her. Options were discussed and it was decided that the President should write her a note and then leave it in her desk after school. THE PRESIDENT?! BUT THAT'S ME!!! I thought sickeningly. That is one of my first recollections of feeling the weight of responsibility.
I wrote the note. I tried to do it as diplomatically as possible, but I was kidding myself. We were simply being cruel little children. Again, the specifics eluded me. I don't remember the words, but I will never forget the feeling. It made my stomach hurt as I placed it in her desk and ran away. I thought about it all night. I wished I could take it back and throw it away, but would that make me loose "coolness" in my friends eyes? I never got the chance to find out.
I have flashes of memory or imagination, I'm not sure which it really was, of Nicole with red-rimmed eyes hiding out at recess on that pathetic day. Maybe she even went home. I don't recall.
I don't remember much of Nicole after that. She was around for several more years into junior high. She turned into a "wild child" wearing heavy black eye makeup and strange clothes. I winced inside every time I saw her then, and thinking of her now makes my heart heavy with regret for the cruelty of an eight year old version of me.