The bullies at school discovered that my family was crazy poor and tormented me for it. But I swore they wouldn’t get away with it forever and got my revenge several years later
I grew up in a big family as the oldest of 7 children. But my father was an irresponsible man. He gambled all the money my mother made and couldn’t hold down a job for more than two weeks. He also drank too much and yelled at everyone.
As the eldest of the kids, I tried to protect my siblings, but it wasn’t easy. I was just a child myself. Regardless, I also did well in school, swearing that I would take our family out of poverty.
Some of my classmates were the vainest girls anyone could ever meet, and they noticed immediately that I always had the same clothes on. “You’re wearing the same shirt and pants again, Danielle?” Lucy asked me with disdain on her face.
“Yes. You see, you can wash your clothes and wear them again,” I answered sarcastically.
“You know your shirt has holes on it. Aren’t you embarrassed? Is your family poor?” Brenda asked next and laughed when she saw me blush.
“Of course, they are poor, Brenda. My mother told me she has six brothers and sisters, and her mother works the register at the supermarket,” Lucy added.
“Ha! I bet she has a dead-beat father too. God, I hate poor people! I can’t believe I have to be in the same class as her,” Brenda continued. I was shaking from repressed rage at this point, but luckily, our teacher walked in, and they went back to their seats.
Brenda and Lucy tormented anyone they could, not just me. But lately, I had been their main target for some reason, and no one did anything because Lucy’s mom was the school principal. However, I only had a couple of classes with them.
But things were about to get worse for me. That night when I got home, I saw my mom and some of my sisters packing everything they could. “I’m sorry, sweetie. Your father gambled our house, and we have to leave,” my mom told me, crying after I asked what was going on.
So I helped them pack and get my siblings ready. “Where will we go, Mom?” I asked worriedly. Unfortunately, she didn’t answer, and we ended up under the Iron Cay Bridge a mile outside town.
“Honey, you have to get up a little earlier to get to the nearest bus stop. But you can’t give up school, ok?” my mother told me when everyone else was asleep.
“Yes, Mom,” I told her.
Over the next few weeks, I went to school as if nothing happened. But I only got to shower after gym class. I washed some of my clothes there, but we couldn’t afford soap, much less laundry detergent.
Eventually, my bullies noticed the difference. “Hey, Dani. You’re looking rattier than usual. Did you forget to wash your hair?” Lucy said cattily.
Not just her hair. She’s all-around smelly these days. Yuck! Use some deodorant. You’re stinking up the classroom,” Brenda added, loud enough that everyone else heard and laughed at me. Once again, I was saved when our teacher walked in.
“Hey, Danielle! Wait for me,” I heard someone calling me as I was walking just outside our school.
“Oh, hey, Anna! What’s up?” I asked.
“Listen, I was walking with my mom near Iron Bay Bridge yesterday, and we saw your family. I was wondering if there was any way I could help out,” she told me.
“No, it’s ok. We’re getting through it,” I replied, looking at my feet in shame.
“Really! Look! How about you come to my house today and shower. And you can do some of your laundry there,” Anna suggested.
I accepted the offer despite my shame because I really needed it. I met her mother, and she asked about our situation. I broke down in tears explaining everything. She told me I was welcome at her house and my family too now that my father had walked away.
Everything seemed to be a little better at school now that I didn’t smell and my clothes were clean. But Brenda’s mom got wind of our situation and told her bratty daughter about it. She spread the story around school, and everyone called me “homeless girl.”
“Go home to your bridge, Danielle! We don’t want you here!” Lucy screamed at me after class. Brenda laughed, and other girls joined in.
“It’s disgusting that I have to study next to someone like you. But so that everyone knows, my mom is already looking to kick you out! After all, that bridge is outside this school district!” Brenda added.
You will not get away with this!” I threatened through my tears.
“Please. You can’t do anything to me!” Brenda yelled mockingly, and finally, the girls left me alone.
Eventually, Anna’s mother helped my mother secure a small one-bedroom apartment for us, which was better than nothing. I got through high school and started working immediately while taking classes at night.
Despite my promise, I thought I would never get my revenge on Brenda and Lucy. After working for years, I finally opened my own bridal boutique and earned an amazing reputation among the rich ladies in town for making the best dresses. I expanded my business, and my mother and siblings never had to worry about money again.
But one day, Lucy, Brenda, and several of their friends came to my boutique.
“Danielle! I’ve been reading all about your dresses online. You’re famous around the state! I’m getting married soon, and I need the best dress in your collection,” Lucy said enthusiastically when they entered my shop and saw me there.
Hello, Lucy and Brenda! Glad to see you. Let’s see what we can find!” I said, faking a smile. But I knew what to do now.
Lucy tried on several dresses while Brenda and the rest of the girls enjoyed champagne. “This is the one! I absolutely love it!” Lucy finally exclaimed when she found her perfect dress, and the rest of the girls cheered.
“Ok, that’ll be $25,000. I also have some shoes if you will like to see them,” I said cheerfully.
“What? How can a dress be so expensive?” Lucy asked, shocked at the price of the exquisite gown.
“Oh, Lucy. I thought you had seen my dresses online. You actually picked the cheapest option,” I lied, as that was the most expensive dress, not the cheapest. “I thought your family was rich since you always bullied me for being poor.”
“No…I mean…my family is not….” Lucy stuttered.
Wait a minute! I remember! I read that your father ran off with his secretary and left you guys in huge debt. I’m sorry about that, by the way,” I added, grinning like the Mad Hatter now. Her “friends” laughed, including Brenda.
“What are you laughing at, Brenda?! Your mother got caught appropriating funds from the school district and got fired!” Lucy yelled at her. I didn’t know that juicy detail but smiled when Brenda got up and scowled at Lucy.
“I told you that in secret!” Brenda screamed back. They continued shrieking back and forth until I got tired of having them in my shop.
Ladies, I’m sorry. I can’t have you fighting inside my luxury boutique. I’m going to ask you to leave because it’s clear that none of you can afford my dresses,” I said.
“You can’t throw me out!” Brenda exclaimed at me.
“Linda, please call security,” I said to my assistant. “Yes, I can. This is a luxury shop, and you’re disturbing my other customers. Lucy, maybe you can buy something on sale at the local target. Brenda, I’m so glad your mom got what was coming to her. It was nice to see you!”
I closed the door on them with a smile, knowing that I finally got my revenge. I never saw my bullies again, but word around town was that they were still “friends” and miserable.
What can we learn from this story?
Bullies are the worst. Some bullies never receive their punishment, but it’s always fantastic to hear when they do.
The tables can turn. Never treat people like they are less than you. You never know what turns life will take, and it’s better to accumulate good karma