Jess was not like all the other girls. But she didn’t know that as she had never been another girl. At least not as far back as she could remember. Truth was, she could hardly even remember what it was like to be a girl at all.
Now that she was eleven. Now that she was grown. Now that her physical body had betrayed her and taken up a monthly cycle of bleeding that she was not in any way prepared for.
She had always been what one would kindly call a focused child. A born student, she also excelled in sports, choir, gymnastics even did a bit of reasonably well pulled off theater, for a child in the single digits.
This is not to say she didn’t have her off moments. In fact the poem, “There was a little girl” often came up in the aftermath of one of her meltdowns, as truly, “when she was bad she was horrid!” However it was always accompanied by a smile and a good laugh, as the little monster she became maybe twice a year, often less, was surely, ‘not her.’ Not really.
She had always been a bit of what the older set in her day called ‘boy crazy’- even in her pre-pubescent years- but seeing as how her parents and their chosen faith had strict disciplines set in place to govern inter-sexual behavior during the throws of hormonal youth, no one really took special notice nor troubled themselves to imagine to what extent.
Not even when it was too late.
Jess met Decker on the first day of fifth grade. His family had relocated to their sleepy suburban town from the inner city. He was the only new kid in the class that year, and she had the favored position of having him sit right next to her.
Jess knew instantly, Decker was not like the other boys. Not only was he beautiful to look at- he was worldly in ways she did not yet have the words to describe, so she settled on, more mature. He had four older brothers, two of whom that had already made incarceration a favored past time, thus the family’s expeditious move to their fair town- and if that didn’t put the candy on the apple…
Though unspoken, Jess’s infatuation with Decker blossomed from the humble husk of a schoolgirl’s dream into a deeply entrenched anchor of longings with the onset of her menses.
Though at the time, and having been given only minimal personal insight by either parent or teacher as to the hormonal changes that precipitated her ‘coming of age’, Jess thought it only natural when the shoots of her as of yet unreciprocated love for Decker grew roots- firm as any oak- into which she proceeded to carve their initials. Vowing her silent mark of ownership- never under any circumstances would be erased.
So, when Decker disappeared, no one ever even imagined that a simple schoolboy stumbled upon declaration of love- to Bethanne Harkener- had been overheard.
And even if they had known, who among them would have ever believed that a wrongly perceived deviation of affections between two elementary age school children could have ended in Decker’s lifeless body being dragged from the depths of the quarry that had long been the favored site for community recreation and social events sponsored by the local churches?
No one. Because no one knew that Jess had entrusted Decker with her heart. No one understood that she had deified him to such a degree of godlike intensity, that try as she may, she could find no circumvent for her rage when she heard him ask Bethanne if “she liked him too?”.
No. Jess was never like all the other girls. And now, nobody knew that better than her.
This piece was created using the inspiration behind the quote,”We just want the world to love the little monster that we are.- Atticus, provided by MLMM’s Sunday Writing Prompt, and the twelve words supplied in this weeks MLMM Wordle #161. The twelve words were:
Initials, Pathology, Entrust, Anchor, Husk, Deify, Personal, Erase, Deep, Oak, Love, and Try