Terry was a large 15-year-old girl with a beautiful face. Where most 15 year olds were short she was tall. Where most had emerging breast, she had no hint at all. She shopped at plus size stores while other little girls shopped at The Gap. She was always sad and always alone.
Terry’s parents were simple and as odd as she was. Her father stood 6’2 and her mother was just under him at 5’11. She was the only child of two only childs so she had no sisters, brothers or cousins to speak of. She often was teased about her size, her lack of grace and her clothing. Most kids thought she dressed like an old lady and wasn’t afraid to tell her so. Terry simply liked things long; at least they covered up her weird looking legs.
She went to school everyday bracing herself for the ridicule and bullying of Constance Anderson and her followers. The only breather she had was the weekend where she read books and watched TV imagining that she somehow escaped the world in which she lived.
One day she sat awkwardly in the lunchroom eating alone when Constance stops by her table.
“No one wants to visit the Gorilla at the zoo?” She said in a mocking tone.
Terry was silent as she peered up at Constance.
“I would be careful with that look if I was you, you don’t want us to think that you’re an angry Gorilla as well as big do you?”
She walks off and joins her table of friends as they all laugh and look over to Terry. Terry hangs her head low as they continue to laugh at her. After lunch she walks shyly up the hall as she notices Constance friends whispering behind her back and others also look on and giggle. Constance continues to walk with an air of importance smiling.
Terry walks around the group and notices a medium blood stain on the back of Constance pants. She walks over to her locker and stares at the group as the girls do the same. A number of people continue to pass by Constance staring at her pants but not saying a word. Her friends leave her giggling and Constance stares off after them wondering what is so funny. She then notices other people looking at her and laughing. Terry closes her locker and prepares to walk past Constance but then stops.
“There’s something on the back of your pants.” She said as she walks away. Constance rushes into the bathroom with a horrified look on her face.
The next day Terry sits patiently in Geometry class when Constance walks up to her.
“I just want to say thanks for yesterday.”
Constance stands nervously in front of Terry as her friends stare on mockingly.
“I know I haven’t been the nicest person to you and for what it’s worth, I’m sorry.”
Terry looks up at her and for a brief second she looks as if she would say something mean, but she takes a deep breath and says.
As Constance prepares to walk away she stops.
“Why did you do it? After the way I treated you why would you be nice to me when all my so called friends just laughed behind my back.”
Terry stares at her.
“Honestly? I don’t want anyone to ever feel the way you make me feel when you make fun of me. A weaker person could react differently but sense I was born with gorilla skin, let’s just say I can take a little more than others.”
Terry gives her a small smile and Constance walks away.
Ten Years later a plump Constance stands on a stage at a large wedding making a speech.
“I was the cool girl in high school and I thought I had so many friends and that people just loved me. Until, one day something incredibly embarrassing happened to me. The one person that I use to tease for being tall and different was the only person kind and bold enough to tell me the truth. Please raise your glasses to my best friend since tenth grade, I’m so glad you forgave me and I welcome Michael into our family. You better be good to her because she’s the best thing that ever happened to me. To Terry and Michael.”
Constance raises her glass to Terry who sits at a long table with her groom a vision of perfection. Tall and voluptuous she gives her best friend a smile and raises her glass to her in salute.