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She was trying to write about a brave little girl, but she just couldn’t find the right words to describe her. She did not want to loosely explain the importance of the girl’s defiance, but she could not figure out how to do it any other way. Rosemary, the girl in Jane’s story was rebelling against a school bully. Rosemary did not care if the bully was bigger or stronger than her, she just cared if the bully was in the wrong. Then she would use the art of language to deter the bully from her previous target and turn the bully into a regretfully caring character. Yay, happy ending.
But Jane felt like there had to be something more, it has to be more complex than that. How can she write a story about a bully who just drastically changes their entire reputation because “it’s the right thing to do.” Rosemary’s words to the bully must have been something next to magical to have that effect, and Jane just did not know how to put them on paper. And sure, she could write a mediocre paper, use synonyms to good and bad, and really milk the term character development, but wouldn’t that just be a waste of the entire assignment? Jane concluded that she had to execute this paper perfectly, not necessarily for a gold star and a dazzling grade, but for herself. Jane thought real hard about how to describe the defiant little girl. She tapped her foot and metaphorically checked her watch. I got it! I have to know what it’s like to be defiant, I have to be put in her shoes. Now she just had to figure out how.
Jane hurriedly walked down her stairs (her parents told her not to run) and grabbed her car keys.
“Mom I’m headed out to-” She had not thought this far ahead. Where can Jane let her mother believe she is going with little to no suspicion? Sara’s house, Duh. Sara was her best friend of 8 years after all. Once letting her mom know her fake plans, she was gone, driving out of her driveway before you could say defiant.
Now the next step in Jane’s plan was to figure out how to put herself in a defiant situation. This may be a little tricky. There had to be someone of “authority,” and a good reason to actually be defiant. She didn’t want to be one of those people who just spoke up because they liked the sound of their own voice, but because there was actually something to speak about.
Jane decided to just drive around and see if any thoughts sparked into her mind, shower thoughts but driving style. The radio in her car played her favorite tune, and her fingers subconsciously strummed the steering wheel. To her left on the road, she saw something that caught her eye. An empty slightly crushed can. perfect, I’ll pick this up. In your face litterers! She walked out of her car to retrieve the can, her hands wrapped around it, to then get tossed in the car. Jane returned to her seat, feeling…… nothing. Doing the right thing doesn’t automatically make you defiant, especially if not putting yourself in a bad tricky situation, to begin with. Sure, she should pick up trash, but this was not the correct way to feel the sense of defiance, so she kept driving.
About five minutes and two brief songs later her low gas light lit up. Just what I need in a time crunch. Luckily for her, there was a gas station half a mile up the road. Eventually, she pulled up to the overly retro gas station and began to feed her car. Other than the flickering lights, this was a pretty calming experience, or at least it was until Jane heard a slightly distant yell. A person in need of a hero? My time to shine. Jane thought as she quickly paid for her gas then followed the sound. She walked as quietly as her pattering feet would walk on the freshly paved parking lot.
She heard a yell again, behind the gas station. Now she quickened her pace and rounded the building. Once she turned she saw three small kids standing in front of a girl, who was on the ground. This girl was a little bit bigger than the others, Jane bet she was about 5’10 in height too. She had a look of disgust on her face, while the three kids looked a little triumphant, and another emotion Jane could not immediately recognize.
“What’s going on here?” Jane asked with a stern yet concerned tone.
“None o ya’” Said the smallest of the three kids.
“Are they bothering you?” Jane asked the bigger girl on the ground? The girl just stared at Jane for a second, then pushed herself up. She dusted herself off and simply said, “does it look like these scrawny tweens could bother me?” Then just walked away.
Jane was a little stunned, she awkwardly shifted her weight one foot to the other, swaying a little in the process, “So uh, what happened there?”
“She was actually bothering us, well she has been, literally for years.” One of the small kids said. Plot twist. “Also we didn’t push her or anything, she kinda tripped over her own food.” chirped in another.
“Oh! So you guys were the ones being defiant huh?” Jane asked excitedly
“I dunno. We were just sick of being picked on. And power in numbers I guess. We didn’t wanna make her feel bad, we just wanted to be left alone.” Said one of the kids. He was blushing, probably proud of his potential bravery.
Silence filled the air until the kid that had been silent this entire time finally said something, “Guys, mom said the pizza is ready.” An exciting look fell across all of their faces and they were off. Words like “Sick” and “I’m starving” drifted back to Jane. This whole exchange may not have seemed like much and didn’t really give her what she was looking for, but it did make her think. Through this little adventure of hers, she thought that to be defiant you had to be this big powerful force, and a good one too. But maybe the person that was always defiant was the big girl who always picked on these kids, and they were simply taking back their voices. Perhaps everyone was a little defiant, or perhaps not. Maybe Jane just couldn’t truly describe it.
Jane began to walk back to her car, finally remembering the time crunch she was in. She had 45 minutes to write this. She worked through what she would say during her brief ride home. She needed to capture the defiant little girl in her truest forms, whatever that may be. She thought and thought and thought, and once she reached home, she finally had it.
Rosemary would be the bully. Except here’s the catch, she would be her own bully. And it will take a sense of defiance for her to stand up for herself. Maybe every bully has a soft spot, but finding that soft spot can be tricky. So, if Rosemary is her own bully, hopefully, she will know the right buttons to push. This would allow Jane to easily describe the sense of defiance Rosemary will have against herself, allowing for a beautiful “everyone is happy ending.” Maybe, just maybe, everyone has a little bit of defiance in them after all, and we just have to look in the mirror to find it.