If I had a new name- It would be Nicole. People could call me Nikki. It's an adventurists name. Something that feels earthy. Not like the name I already have- Jane. I don't like it. Jane doesn't describe the person I am, earth-lover, peace-maker, and riot starter. OK- I bet that last bit startled you a bit, but when someone calls your big brother nasty names, things can get messy- real fast.
I was thinking about my name when I got home that night- a bruise or scrape on every limb of my body. And when my ma yelled at me and when Tyler came home crying. I was thinking about my name that night as I layed in bed, with my head under my pillow that night. I was thinking about my name when Tyler came into my room and sat on the edge of my bed.
"Janie-" he started. He groaned and toppedled on my striped bedcovers. "You shouldn't have interfered." I raised the pillow above my head. "WHAT!?" Tyler looked at me- tears streaming down his face. "They're not just bully's Jay." I licked my lips. "You mean-" he nodded slowly. I sat back down. "W-w-well, I just.." "You were trying to pay your big brother back for saving you from the creek huh?" I furrowed my brow. "How do you read minds so easy like that?" He cocked his head. "I'll go help mom with the cookies." He slapped my knee playfully. "Atta girl".
I love my brother. I know he loves me- but the next morning when he slammed the door on me when I tried to wake him up- it was sure hard to tell. Ma wouldn't talk to me, but Pa invited me to sit on his knee while he read the morning news. I proudly showed off the particularly big bruise I had gotten on my shin. Pa smiled, but he had tears in his eyes. To distract me from looking at him, he enveloped me in a bear hug and patted me so hard on the back that I choked.
The next day at school I was thinking about my name again when Ms. Jona, my science teacher brushed the bangs out of my eyes like she always does when she wants me to answer the question- only to discover my purple bruise over my left eyebrow. She pulled her hand away as if it was on fire. She slowly collected herself and slowly whispered. "Jane- what happened?" I shook my head. She bit her lip and straightened, eyeing me cautiously.
After the bell rang and the class was long gone- I was still there. Ms. Jona sat on the edge of my desk and brushed the bangs out of my eyes. I squeezed my eye shut and started going over the constanants in my head. BCDFGHJKLMNPQ- "Was it them?" I looked at her- begging her with my eyes to not ask anymore questions. I nodded slowly. I played with the ring on my necklace. "And Tyler-" I furrowed my brow. "H-How did you know?" She played with the cuff of her sleeve. "I saw the boys walking to him yesterday." I squeezed my chapped lips together to make myself look repulsive so she would draw away.
The bell rang again. Lunch time. I started to gather my things up but she stopped me. "Let go Ms. Jona. Just-" I started to cry. NO NO NO NO! "No, Jane. I'm your friend and I want to help you get through this." I pulled away from her. "Then you should act like one." Then I ran out of the room.