Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C9-4

Brielle arrived home fifteen minutes later and burst through the door, anxious and terrified.

“Jane!” She cried.

“Back here!” Olivia called.

Brielle rushed into the bathroom and was horrified at the many droplets of blood all over the sink and vanity and the floor around it. She grabbed Jane’s arm to have a look at the knife-wound. She noticed that the slash was about three inches across the side of her shoulder and gaping open, revealing torn skin and muscle. Blood continued to ooze from the wound.

“Oh, Lord Jesus!” Brielle gasped, “What happened, baby!”

As Jane spoke, Brielle grabbed a large washcloth and white towel out of the linin closet by the shower stall.

“Janessa Holtz, April Hart, and Samantha Criss tried to attack me as I was walking to my bus and I had to defend myself. Janessa tried to hit me with a pair of brass knuckles and Samantha pulled out a switchblade and slashed my arm with it,” Jane explained.

Nurse Mom

“Olivia, go into Jane’s room and find her a tee shirt! We’re taking her to the hospital,” Brielle instructed, “She’s going to need stitches.”

Olivia did as she was told, bringing back an oversized tee shirt.

“Thank you, sweetie,” Brielle told her as she dressed Jane’s upper arm with the clean washcloth she made into a compress and wrapped the towel tightly around the wounded arm before tying it. She then helped Jane into the tee shirt.

When Brielle arrived at the hospital with the girls, a young, twenty something nurse immediately escorted Jane back to ER 7. Brielle and Olivia followed close behind. When the doctor arrived, he gave the order and Jane’s arm required sixteen stitches.

Brielle called the city police. Five minutes later, they arrived and made a report, then gave Brielle a copy.

Later, Grandma Bennett arrived, visibly worried.

“What are you going to do about this, Brielle?” she asked.

“Well, I just called the police and made a police report. They may not do anything about this. But at least, I have an official record of the attack,” Brielle answered seriously.

“Or you could get the state police involved,” Grandma Bennett suggested.

The Emergency Room

Meanwhile, Misty Allen Lindsay and Rita Winchester Crabtree, also nurses, were on their way back from a late lunch break when they caught sight of Brielle and Grandma talking in the hall. The two former bullies stopped suddenly, they then crept into an empty room nearest Brielle and her grandmother, out of sight. They listened closely as they hid in the vacant ER 6, the room next to the room Jane was in.

In the hall, Brielle continued to talk quietly.

“That was the last straw, Grandma. Jane’s not going back to Thomasville High,” Brielle swore, “I’m taking both Jane and Olivia out of Glover County Schools and enrolling them into Pathways Christian Home School first thing tomorrow.”

“That sound like a great idea, Brielle. They can’t continue to attend a school where they aren’t safe,” Grandma Bennett agreed, “And I can oversee them while you work. I’ll see to it that they study their lessons. You know me, Brielle. I’m a stickler when it comes to those lessons. I was with you when you would spend the night with me on the weekends and I will be with those girls.”

When the doctor released Jane to go home and the family left the hospital, Misty and Rita came out of the empty room and approached the nurses station.

Brielle Makes a Final Decision

“Can you tell us who the patient was in ER 7?” Misty asked the younger nurse who sat at the nurse’s desk.

“Jane Markowitz,” the younger nurse answered. “She got into a fight at school and one of the other girls slashed her with a switchblade. She had to have sixteen stitches in her upper arm.”

“Were the police called?” Rita asked.

“Yes. Ms. Markowitz called the Thomasville City Police,” the young nurse told them.

“We’d like to see the girl’s chart.” Rita said.

“Sure,”

When the younger nurse handed Jane’s chart to Misty, Misty and Rita sat down, behind the long nurse’s desk. Sitting side by side, they both read the chart carefully before Rita picked up the phone and dialed. She paused before speaking.

“Bobby, it’s Rita. I have something to tell you that you need to know about,” she informed quietly.

Why You Have So Many Reasons to Live

If you are a person being bullied and are considering suicide, this message is for you! Please hold on. Stay strong. Continue the fight.

Know that you deserve love and friendship just as everyone else does. Know that you are just as good as everyone else. Above all, rest assured that life will get much better! Instead of thinking of reasons why you should take your own life, think of reasons why you shouldn’t. There are so many reasons to keep living.

Let me put this another way. If you resort to suicide, you will cheat yourself out of the possibility of one day overcoming your present circumstances and out of so many exciting firsts. You will cheat yourself out of so many wonderful years that lie ahead.

If you’re under 16, you will cheat yourself out of driving a car for the very first time!

And let me tell you! That feeling of sliding in the driver’s seat, behind the wheel of a car and your hands on the steering wheel for the very first time? There’s nothing like it! It’s one of the most liberating experiences!

You will also miss out on prom and high school graduation!

This is another one of the most exciting and hopeful times of life.

You will also forfeit the magic of falling in love and the joy of marrying your soulmate.

And I can tell you that love is one of the most intoxicating and fulfilling experiences life has to offer!

And lastly, you’ll forgo the beautiful experience of having your first baby!

I want you to imagine yourself, five or ten years into the future: You’re married to your spouse and you’ve become a new parent. You’re holding that precious little life in your arms for the first time and gazing into that precious, tiny face!

You now able to have a life beyond your own! You’re holding that soft, tiny body against your chest and watching it sleep against you! I can’t explain what that feels like or the love and joy that goes with it!

You have so many firsts…so many magical and beautiful moments yet to experience and enjoy, so much beauty yet to behold and so many awesome people, potential friends and family yet to meet!

motivational inspirational

Please don’t cheat yourself!

However, if you die by your own hand, you’ll cheat yourself out of all of it! On the other hand, if you’re patient and you keep fighting, life will reward you with such beautiful moments!

Another thing I want you to consider is that if you give up, the bullies will automatically win! That’s right! Your bullies will win and you will lose! Do you really want to let them win? Do you really want to give them such an easy victory? Think about it for a minute. Really think!

As long as you’re alive, there’s always a chance things will improve!

As long as you are alive, there’s always a chance that things will improve…and improve drastically! But once you’re dead, that chance dies with you and there’s no coming back! Death is final and there are no do-overs! So, if you ever consider suicide, I beg you! Talk to a close family member and if you can’t talk to a family member, talk to someone! A loved teacher, a trusted friend, a stranger- someone!

And give yourself a chance! Give the people who love you a chance! Give love a chance! You won’t be disappointed!

I promise you that you’re worth it! If you continue to fight for yourself, I can guarantee that there will come a day when you will look back on this moment and thank yourself. You will look back and be glad that you fought the good fight and stayed alive. I’m living proof! You are worth fighting for! You are worth living for!

With knowledge comes empowerment!

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C9-3

During lunch, Bruce caught up with Jane in the lunch line.

“Hey, can we talk?” he asked.

“Nope,” Jane answered shortly.

“C’mon, Jane. Don’t be like that,”

“Don’t be like what? Like the way you were with me last week because you’re too macho to have a girl help you out a little in a fight? Bruce, I wasn’t just fighting for you, I was fighting for me too! They tried to jump both of us, not just you!” Jane told him flatly as she took her tray, then moved up to the utensil and napkin dispensers.

“Yeah, I know. But would it help if I said I’m sorry?” Bruce asked in a low voice.

Jane didn’t respond as she took her napkin and utensils and moved up to where the lunch ladies were serving the food. But Bruce would not be deterred.

“Look, I’m a jerk. I’m an ass. I’m a prick,” Bruce confessed, “I don’t blame you for being angry but I’m not giving up on you, Jane. You’re not like all these other girls and it’s why I like you so much.”

Bruce Swallows his Pride

Jane looked at him, as if to see if he was sincere. Bruce looked at her and nudged her with his elbow.

“C’mon, whadaya say? Can we be friends again?” he said with a grin.

Jane couldn’t help but smile back.

“Okay,” she answered.

“And, for what it’s worth, I agree with you one hundred percent. This school blows. And so does this town.”

That afternoon, after the dismissal bell rang, Jane was making her way across the school lawn and parking lot to her bus when Janessa, April, and Samantha stepped out in front of her from behind one of the parked school buses.

“What do you want?” Jane fired off.

“I think you know what we want! That stunt you pulled this morning, in Mrs. Dufresne’s class, didn’t score you any points, bitch!” Janessa growled.

“Damn sure didn’t earn you any respect like in the movies! You only further pissed us off, and a lot of other people,” Samantha spat.

“Fuck you and your damn feelings!” Jane told them, “Go tell it on the fucking mountain, you bunch of butt-hurt, snowflake crybullies!”

A Lethal Weapon

Suddenly, Samantha pulled a switchblade on Jane, and Janessa brandished a pair of brass knuckles on her fist as she drew back. A strong pair of hands grabbed Jane from behind. Jane delivered two elbow jabs to the ribs of Bubba Northam, the guy who had grabbed her, and at the same time, delivered a front kick to Janessa before she could punch her with the brass knuckles. . Jane then smashed Bubba’s shin with the heel of her shoe, causing him to drop to the ground like a stone. With the flick of her hand, Samantha managed to slash Jane’s shoulder with the switchblade before Jane grabbed her wrist and gave it a vicious twist, causing Samantha to drop the switchblade. Next, she he delivered a jab-punch to her face and busted her nose. Jane then ran to her school bus and jumped on just before it pulled away.

Jane took a seat and Olivia, who was already on the bus when Jane got on, shrieked, as did the other younger kids. The sight of the blood that covered the sleave of Jane’s blouse filled the younger children with shock and horror.

“Jane! What happened!” Olivia screamed.

“Stop, Olivia, it’s not bad!” Jane told her.

Jane instructed the bus driver to stop in front of their house instead of Grandma Bennett’s, and he did so.

When Jane and Olivia got off the bus, they rushed into the empty house and ran into the bathroom. She stood in front of the mirror over the sink. Jane tore off her blouse. Being top-naked except for her bra, she inspected the slash on her shoulder. Olivia watched, completely horrified, as more blood ran down Jane’s arm.

An Emergency Phone Call

“I’m going to call Mom!” Olivia said as she pulled out her smartphone.

“No! Don’t you dare! Mom is at work!” Jane scolded as she stopped Olivia.

“No! I’m calling her, Jane! You’re hurt and you’re bleeding!” Olivia said angrily, and she walked out of the bathroom.

At Bobtail Bud’s, Brielle was serving a family of four their meals when Atticus approached her.

“You got a phone call. It’s Olivia. Let Elsa take over your table and come to the back,” he advised her.

Brielle rushed to the back and picked up the landline phone that was laying on Atticus’ desk and out of the cradle.

“Hello,” Brielle greeted.

She paused and her eyes suddenly widened

before she continued speaking. Both Atticus and Jo saw Brielle’s face change and immediately looked at each other with expressions of concern.

“I’m on my way!” Brielle assured because hanging up.

A Mother’s Fear

“Is everything alright, Brielle?” Atticus asked.

“I gotta go, Atticus. I gotta go now!” Brielle said in a shaky voice, “Jane got slashed with a knife at school. She’s been dealing with bullying ever since the first time she stepped foot in that school! Breanna Lindsey, Audrey Crabtree, Ashley Childers and several others made her life a living hell last year! They stopped for a while but now, they’re right back at it again!”

“Oh my God! Is it serious?” Jo asked, terrified.

“She just got slashed on the shoulder, so I don’t think it’s life threatening! But it could’ve been!”

“Brielle, you go. Go take care of your daughter. We got this!” Atticus told her.

“Thank you both so much!” Brielle said, swallowing hard as the tears began to flow.

Attention New Followers and Blogger Friends

Chess board and text “Strategic plan” Business planning concept

We must never put all our eggs in one basket and many of us end up learning this the hard way. It’s always best to have a plan B in mind.

As most of you know, my follow button doesn’t work anymore and hasn’t for several months now and Word Press will not help me restore it’s function. However, looking on the bright side, I have a plan B and have been implementing it for a long time now.

Plan B is this. Although I’m no longer able to follow new followers and new blogs I come across that I like, I CAN put them in my blog roll, which is the next best thing to following.

Doing this, I can keep up with their posts by going to the blog roll to click on the links to their sites.

How I wish I’d thought of this when I first started having issues. Until I’m able to produce a self-hosted blog, this will be my go-to plan to reciprocate the love of new followers from here on. Therefore, if you have these kinds of issues, if your follow button stops working or WP takes that feature away, remember. You can always add new followers to your blog roll.

I love you all! Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

“Speed-bump”

In 1995 and 1996, I worked at Charms Candy Company. A divorced mother of two children at the time, it was the job that came along just when I felt like giving up. I can’t tell you how many interviews I had been through. I worked in the Tool Crib in the maintenance department and I got along great with the other employees there.

The first winter of my employment at Charms was one of the coldest winters we’d had in years. And working third shift, those hours were the coldest. Because we worked a straight 8 hour shift, there were no lunch breaks, only two twenty minutes breaks, during which I’d go sit in my car and listen to music while the heater ran full blast.

On one particular night after the last break of the night, it was so cold that I jumped out of the car and ran full speed across the parking lot, thinking that the faster I ran, the quicker I could get inside where it was warm. I’d see many other workers sprint across the parking lot as well, trying to escape the single-digit temps and freezing winds that would cut right through a person.

Suddenly, the toe of my shoe hit something in the parking lot and I went head over hills. The next thing I knew, I was laid flat on the freezing asphalt with people passing by. It seemed that the entire third shift got to witness my unfortunate spill onto the cold, hard pavement. At first, I could feel my cheeks get warm and my face flush ten shades of red but a few seconds later, the embarrassment subsided and I could only laugh about it.

The other workers were gracious and one of the guys held out his hand for me to take and pulled me to my feet.

And from then on, I was known as Speed-bump. It was all in good fun and I loved my coworkers to death. It’s been said that of people give you a nickname, it means they like you a lot. I have to agree. How I miss those years. The 90’s were great!

The moral of the story is this: When you’re able to make fun of yourself, you show great confidence!

Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C9-2

“Changing the subject, are you and Bruce talking again yet?” Roxie asked.

“Nope,” Jane answered, “He acted like a jerk, and I have no time for jerks. My dad was a jerk, and he treated my mom like a peasant! I watched my mom take so much abuse from him and I’ll be damned if I’m going to have anything to do with anyone who even smells of male dominance.”

“Bruce is not abusive, Jane,” Roxie told her.

“Maybe he’s not. But I’m not willing to take that chance, Roxie. He’s got a lot to prove to me and that takes time.”

“I understand.”

Fifteen minutes before the start of her first period class, Mrs. Dufresne had not arrived yet.  Jane walked in to see looks of resentment on the faces of not only Janessa, April, and Samantha, but many of the other classmates as well. Both Breanna’s and Audrey’s desks were empty. Next, Bruce came in and sat down in the desk next to her and Jane had nothing to say to him, acting as if he did not exist.

Jane Ignores Bruce

As the minutes ticked by, Jane would sense Bruce eyeing her as if he wanted to say something to her, but she held firm in her determination not to speak to him nor acknowledge him. A few more classmates came in, sneering at Jane as they walked by and took their seats.

One of them, a boy, looked at Janessa.

“Welp! I guess Crazy Jane showed up for school today,” he sneered, making sure to talk loud enough so that Jane could get an earshot. The remark was followed by scattered giggles and cackles.

“Yep! She’s got a lot of nerve, doesn’t she! Hell, I wish I was that brave!” Janessa taunted.

Two other girls sitting behind Jane continued to stare at her as they whispered in each other’s ear while pointing at her. Janessa, April, Samantha, and the classmates that sat around them continued to whisper and giggle as well. They too stared at Jane and pointed fingers at her. Bruce, turned at looked at the gossipers, shooting them a dirty look.

Enough is enough!

Finally, Jane finally had enough. She jumped up from her seat, causing the rest of the class to flinch in their seats.  The whispering and giggling stopped suddenly, so suddenly, it was as if someone had flipped a switch. The resulting silence was deafening. The entire class watched Jane with wide eyes and mouths agape as she darted across the room, approaching Janessa and the rest of the talkers.

“Oh, shit!” muttered a boy in the back of the room, piercing the silence.

“’Got something to say? Why don’t you come say it to my face! I’m right here! Don’t be a wuss all your life!” she said, raising her voice as she stood over them.

“Oh, there’s that crazy coming out again,” Janessa sighed sarcastically.

Janes eyes flashed and fire seemed to blaze in her eyes as she stepped closer to Janessa, placed her hands firmly on Janessa’s desk and leaned over her. Janessa’s eyes widened such that the whites of her eyes were fully exposed as they formed a complete circle around her irises. The corners of her mouth turned downward as she leaned away. Jane seemed to tower menacingly over the smart alicky red head as her eyes bore into Janessa’s.

“Sweetheart, you haven’t seen crazy yet. But keep it up. Just, keep it up! And I’ll bring such a flood of it on you that you’ll be scarred for life! Just keep pushing me, Janessa! Please! Give me a reason! All I need is a reason to mop the floor with your useless ass!” Jane shouted.

Telling the Bullies Off

She then took her hands off Janessa’s desk and stood up, facing the class before continuing to speak.

“You’re all a bunch of cowardly bullies! You think you can walk over anyone you don’t like! Anytime you feel like it! And what really takes the cake is that you think they’re just supposed to take it and even ask for seconds! Well, I’m not the one! I won’t bow down and take your shit! I won’t kiss your ass like the rest of these chickenshit cowards do in this sorry excuse for a school! This school blows, this town blows, as do most of the people in it! I don’t give a fuck about any of you! What you think and your opinions mean jack shit to me! And I’m telling you all one last time! Fuck off!” Jane told them all before drawing a hand back and swiping Janessa’s books off her desk and into the floor.

“Stupid motherfuckers!” Jane muttered as she stormed back to her desk.

Bruce just sat there and stared at her, shocked and speechless.

“Hey, you need to pick up Janessa’s books off the floor,” Samantha demanded Jane.

“Pick ‘em up your goddamn self!” Jane shot back.

Some of the other classmates just turned and looked at each other. Others only exchanged quick, uncomfortable glances.