She barged through the door, not caring as it slammed behind her and shook the wall with a subtle, yet violent, intensity. Tears streamed down her face with such passionate strength that even her sobs passed by unheard; for, they could not keep up with their counterpart. As she sat, shaking, hair matted around her face, only one thought swam through her head. How had it come to this?

*            *            *

Take a minute to tell you right

And you can say what you want

Turn around every night

So now you’re always going off

Five hours prior, it seemed to be a particularly normal day. She had gone to class, walked the familiar halls that were beginning to feel all but too familiar, interacted with her classmates, chatted with friends, but, in a day in the fantasy realm of high school, one is rarely lucky if he/she manages to avoid all types of drama.

It doesn’t matter what I’ve done

Or if I’ve even crossed the line

You start to holler, going for blood

Girl, it doesn’t have to be a fight

The group approached her with an air of authority they could not possibly possess in actuality; confidence is one matter, unwarranted arrogance is quite another. What they were accusing her of, she could not recall if her life depended on it in the years to come, but, in the heat of the moment, the insidious gossip around which their lies were based would shake her to the core.

Throwing out the blame

When you know it ain’t my fault

Messing with my brain

When you want to see my fall

There may come a time when I don’t bother you at all

It isn’t my call, It isn’t my call

Their words were penetrating their way through her skin, but not for an obvious reason. She did not care what these idiots thought; they hardly knew her. Their words were based upon nothing more than preconceptions from years past intertwined with their pathetic attempts at story telling. But what if he did not see it as so? What if he believed the lies?

Hey, why you keep screaming at the top of your head?

I said, “Hey, why you keep screaming at the top of your head?”

He wondered if it could be true. Maybe he was wrong about her all along. It was not like this had never happened before. Maybe he had just been naïve to think that this time, this girl, would be any different than the rest.

But, it was anything but true. And, after a few moments to attain clarity, he realized the truth. And she was not the menacing one.

*            *            *

It’s easy to feel trapped in a situation like this. It’s normal to worry how your friends, how the boy or girl you like, are going to react when they hear something about you that you know is a blatant lie, but that they may not necessarily.

If someone is jealous of you, of what you have, emotionally speaking, with a strong unit of good friends and family, it’s unfortunately pretty common that these are the people the bullies will use as a way to try to get to you. But your character, your integrity—these are two things that another individual can never alter, no matter how hard he/she may try. And your close friends and family members are the people who best know your character and your integrity. So, in reality, the bullies have no power when they employ this childish tactic.

Silence is golden

I used to think that silence was golden

Silence is golden

I used to think that silence was golden

So, don’t cry. And certainly don’t sit alone, hysterical in your room, letting this stew inside of you, wondering if you’ve lost the people closest to you because of some vicious rumor. You haven’t. Good friends don’t go away that easily.

Hey, why you keep screaming at the top of your head?

Why keep screaming (and I mean “screaming” in a more figurative sense than literal)? Because if you don’t, who will? You are the decider of your own fate, not some bullies. Don’t let them win.

All lyrics courtesy of “Scream,” Chris Cornell


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