Guess where I am right now. Just guess. (Hint: It’s NOT a good place to be)
Give up already?
I’m so mad. This is ALL Katie’s fault and definitely not mine!
Remember how I totally blew it at football tryouts? I guess mom and Papa ended up calling the school and told them that my sucky tryout was all ’cause of my asthma. Then they talked to Coach and asked if he’d be okay giving me another chance.
At first he said yes to a re-do, but I guess in the end he must have decided to just let EVERYBODY on the team. ‘Cause when we all got to school yesterday, the team list was up and everybody’s name was on it. Even mine!!!!
I was sooooooo happy when I first saw. I’m really, really excited that I get to be on the team! Nyla is too (so is Katie though… Ugh!). It’s gonna be really fun! I’ve never played a sport before, and I’m super excited to finally try!
But I kinda wish mom and Papa didn’t have to make such a big deal about it. I wish they just left it alone.
And I wasn’t the only person who felt that way, I guess.
It was at lunchtime. I was sitting with Nyla and Sophie and Thad like I always do. Katie and her stupid friends usually sit on the other side of the room… But not yesterday. They sat right behind us instead. That was when I KNEW something really weird was going on.
I tried my best to ignore them though… That’s usually really easy in the cafeteria. There’s way too much noise in there! It’s hard enough trying to keep up with what my friends are talking about. I can only make out like half of what they’re saying, even with my hearing aid. I usually have to guess to fill in the blanks… Or sometimes I just kinda smile and nod and Nyla tells me what I missed later.
Anyway, yesterday was different though. Katie started talking really loud, and looking over her shoulder at me a lot. I could feel her watching me, and I knew she wanted me to hear her. And I was super dumb and decided to listen. I told my friends to stop talking, and I concentrated as hard as I could on Katie’s stupid whiny voice.
I couldn’t make out everything she said, but I did hear her call Sophie a baby, and say that Nyla’s ugly! AND she said they hung out with a “loser” whose parents had to “beg the school” to get her a spot on the football team.
I knew I had to do something!
I mean, Harper Hard-Heart wouldn’t just sit there and take it, would she? She wouldn’t let Katie say all that mean stuff about her and her friends! She’s a super awesome vigilante! She doesn’t care about rules! She just cares about what she wants. And yesterday, she wanted justice!
So I got out of my seat and shoved Katie really hard and told her to say it to my face… And she did!
I couldn’t believe it! Nyla’s way prettier than she’ll ever be, and Sophie’s way more mature than somebody who’d call people names! But when I told Katie all of that, she just laughed!
Then I reminded her that HER parents probably BOUGHT her a place on the team! She never shuts up about all their fancy vacations and all the expensive stuff her Papa buys for her. She’s way worse than me! She’s a spoiled brat!
Then she told me she’d rather be a spoiled brat than a “deaf girl who hangs out with losers and can’t even breathe right”.
That was when we both kinda started screaming at each other. I don’t really remember what we were saying…
I DO remember punching her in the face though.
Part of me ALMOST felt bad about it. I know I’m not always super nice and perfect (no matter what mom and Papa think!). But I’d never, ever HURT anybody! Or at least… I didn’t think I ever would…
But this was different! I was SO mad!!!!! It was like I wasn’t really ME anymore. I was Harper Hard-Heart.
Katie’s lucky I’m not really Harper Hard-Heart though. She probably would’ve given her a huge black eye. But I’m not strong enough for that. I wish I was, but I’m not. She didn’t even have a scratch!
We both ended up in the principal’s office, of course. It was probably the SCARIEST moment of my whole entire life! And we BOTH got detention, even though Katie started it! Miss Fiore said she’s being nice, and that we’re lucky we didn’t get suspended for fighting!
I was so sure mom and Papa were gonna kill me when I got home yesterday. But they didn’t.
They still gave me a big speech about how “violence isn’t the answer” and how they’re “very disappointed” and stuff though, just like I knew they would. I got a really long lecture about all the things I could have done differently too. Typical parent stuff.
It made me feel really bad though. I know mom and Papa don’t like it when I do bad stuff. And hitting somebody is probably the worst thing I’ve EVER done.
But they also said they understood why I did it, and that they weren’t gonna punish me for it. They said they think detention’s enough… But that I’d be grounded if I ever hit anybody again! I’ve never been grounded before EVER! And I never wanna be!
Papa told me that I’m not allowed to be like Harper Hard-Heart. I can’t be a vigilante. And he made me promise never to do anything like it ever again.
So I told him I promised.
But that wasn’t really true. Not exactly.
That sounds really bad… I’m not a bad kid or anything. I’m not! I really don’t want to hit anybody or hurt them! And I definitely don’t wanna end up in detention again! Or get grounded!
But how can I promise not to do it again unless Katie promises she won’t be a bully ever again?
This is just so dumb. If I was a real vigilante, I’d be able to escape the law. I wouldn’t be in trouble!
But instead I’m stuck sitting in this stupid little room with Mr. Phoenix and Katie and Rylie and Devin. For two whole hours! It’s SO not fair.
At least I got to sneak my journal in with me though. We’re supposed to be doing homework, but Mr. Phoenix can’t see what I’m writing anyway.
I guess I’ve just gotta deal with not being a vigilante. Not unless I wanna get in more trouble (and I don’t!!!!!). But if I can’t BE a vigilante, at least I can still WRITE about one. Pretending is kinda lame, but it’s better than nothing, right?
Maybe I’ll try writing another story when I’m done with this… About Harper Hard-Heart’s epic escape from the Phoenix King’s prison! That’ll make me feel better. She’ll be like a ninja and sneak past all the mean prison guards to FREEDOM!
And she’ll save all the other prisoners too. She’ll bring everybody to safety and all the other vilians and vigilantes will be able to go fight another day!
Except her arch-nemesis, Katie the Cruel.