Some people say that good things come in threes. This wasn’t one of those cases.
In this instance, a girl gang. They walked around like they owned the school with their kilts hitched high above their knees, rolled up from the waist so that the folds bunched beneath their baggy jerseys. These girls were menacing and nobody messed with them.
They hung around the bike sheds smoking at lunch time, but never seemed to get caught. Later, we’d hear stories about ‘pashing’ sessions going on with some of the guys who always got into trouble.
The leader of the gang had hair that was bleached at the tips, graduating to mousey brown and awkwardly into darker roots. If you can imagine someone putting a wet finger into an electric socket, that’s exactly what she looked like. She reminded me of a porcupine — her hair fanning out about 5 centimeters around the circumference of her head like the Statue of Liberty’s crown.
At best, her hair distracted from her close-set dark beady eyes and a face dotted with blotchy brown freckles on otherwise pale skin — the kind that only turns pink in the sun.
She wasn’t attractive, but what made her particularly ugly was her personality. It was as prickly as her spiky hair. Come too close, and she proved deadly. Look her in the eyes, and you’d be caught in a paralyzing death stare. She used any excuse to push right past you, forcing her weight into your shoulders in that clichéd way that bullies do.
The other two girls were relatively harmless hangers-on. One was chubby with thin blonde hair that tapered down her neck in a flimsy flat mullet that she wore with a blunt cut fringe. The other had wavy brown locks clasped together with a plastic banana clip; her moderately pretty face ruined with the imprint of a permanent smirk.
The blonde girl was actually quite nice on her own. But when the three were together, they thrived on creating mayhem. The trick was to keep your head down and always be watching. I felt bad for the people they picked on, but relieved that it wasn’t me.
It was the leader of the gang who was the one to watch out for.
One afternoon, with the Nor’ west wind sending waves of hot air wafting through the classroom windows, she was on a rampage, heading straight towards me. I was sitting quietly when she violently swiped everything off my desk sending books, paper, and pens crashing onto the floor. I was in shock. This time I was on the end of her “Don’t f*** with me,” death stare, followed by plenty of threatening expletives.
There was was nothing I could do, and I wasn’t even looking in her direction. Before that, I could handle the name calling and just shrugged it off, but having her mess with my personal space left me too scared to even breathe from that point on. I never faced up to her exactly, but instead, walked away requesting a transfer to another class.
Six months later, it was the start of a new school year. As fate would transpire she was placed in the same class as me. The difference this time was that she was in a room full of smart kids who weren’t going to take any of her crap. The tables had turned. Brains won over brawn, putting a deadly silence to her gang of three and all that bitchy mayhem.
Style File: ASOS ‘WHITE’ Dress (no longer available) / Salasai Patch to Death bomber (bought on sale and I’m so in love!) / Country Road T-Shirt / Earrings from The Service Depot / Valeria Grossi heels (old)
Photography: Sly On The Wall