Thursday, October 23, 2014
It was the final stretch of our short hike around the skirts of the ranch and I was truly indifferent about this, but the mood was somber for an entirely different reason. I had seen some rocks, some plants, a tree that was almost entirely hollow with an entrance that looked like it was carved by a Keebler elf, and my best friend fall into poison oak; but that was all behind me. We walked up the trail in almost total silence because of something I had said earlier. It wasn’t long before this walk that I made a joke that caused one of my classmates, who shall not be named, to burst into tears. I can’t remember exactly what the joke was or what it was about but my best bets are her hometown or the girl scout troop. Possibly induced by a child-like crush I don’t remember having, I had been making jokes the entire retreat and this was the tipping point. I caused one of my classmates, and now friend, to cry in front of her mother and other students parents, our teachers, and my peers. I experienced what felt like one of the longest walks of my entire life that day. We walked up the gravel hill with limited conversation and I didn’t say anything, partially because no one would talk to me; and I don’t blame them. I felt awful, I had taken it too far and effect, ostracized myself from and villainized myself to my classmates. I still, being six years later, get a sweltering heat on my chest whenever I talk about it. My teacher made me apologize, and simultaneously gave me such a disappointed look that I felt as if I had truly meant to hurt my classmate’s feelings. I awkwardly made my way up to where her and her mother were walking in our serpent-like formation and apologized. Luckily the cold air counteracted that same sweltering feeling I had as I caught up to her.Realistically she probably accepted my apology, but I guess as a way of punishment, my brain recalls her dryly saying “I don’t accept” as she wiped the tears from her face. In my memory she also has black lines running down her face, what I now know to be mascara which no one wears in the fifth grade, but that didn’t change the recollection.