My fingers trembled with anticipation as I ran them lightly over the worn down felt carpet. It was going to be my turn soon, I could tell. The majority of the class had already gotten their invitation to Anna’s party, but she was still giving them out, there was still time to get one I told myself. I watched her weave her way round us obstacles, as though we were standing in her way. At the time it felt like she was taunting me with that white envelope. Coming close and then moving away to give it to someone else. But there was always another underneath so the tight panic I felt gently subsided as soon as I saw the next one. My eye was on the prize. That invitation. I wasn’t even looking at her, just staring at the white flimsy envelopes. Come on, come on give me mine!, I thought impatiently.
I was practically twitching with nerves now. Was she going to give me one? I had not been asked to a party since I’d moved to the school, I really wanted to go. And anyway, I’d asked her to my getting-to-know-you party so I’d almost definitely secured a place, hadn’t I?
She came towards me, slow motion. Each stride slower than the previous. I could hear each footstep as though it was concrete on concrete. Over she came, and removed the white envelope from her hand. The final white envelope. She leant over and out I held my hand, ready to accept this envelope with all the love I had in me.
“Wait what just happened?” I asked myself. Why did she just give that to Philip and not me? I searched her hands with my eyes frantically, there must be one left. She’d asked everyone in the class but me, there MUST be one left, surely she couldn’t leave me out… I’d asked her to my party after all.
I could not see one and the overwhelming feeling of rejection hit me like a ball of lead. She looked me in the eye, and sat down. I felt so hurt and shocked, and humiliated even, like I’d been in a trance and received a cold slap. The harsh realisation slowly melted in, trickled in, and I slumped back down.
I looked around the classroom, everyone ravenously and savagely tearing open their invites, each of them glancing at me, mocking me with the fact that they had their invite, and I didn’t.
I wasn’t going to cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry, I told myself. It’s not a big deal, perhaps she forgot you were there. I felt a lump rise in my throat, stuck like a piece of sandpaper, teasing and tickling. I felt a tear escape, it burnt my face and trickled down until I quickly wiped it away.
Children can be cruel, and it was a lesson I learnt the hard way, I can assure.