It Wasn’t My Fault

It Wasn’t My Fault

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reader's Choice 20th Anniversary Edition

It Wasn’t My Fault

The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.

~James Bryce

I can clearly remember those last few days of middle school when I was absolutely miserable. Recalling what happened that day at school still sends shivers through my body.

At the age of thirteen, I met a guy named Brandon. He was actually friends with my best friend Jonalynn, which is probably the reason why we saw each other every day. Overall he was quite charming. I had a huge crush on him.

One day I was sitting at an empty lunch table waiting to meet a teacher. I had my headphones on and I was listening to a track by Taylor Swift. I felt someone grab my waist and then touch a part of my body that should not be felt without permission. That’s when I heard a very familiar voice . . . Brandon.

I knew that I should go tell an adult about this. But for some reason, I couldn’t find the strength. I was scared.

For the next couple of days, I constantly blamed myself for what happened. After all, it was me who had a huge crush on him. I was the girl who constantly walked by his locker. I felt suffocated because I decided that I couldn’t tell this to my strict parents. I had no friends to confide in.

At school, whenever I saw him, I felt alarmed. I wouldn’t dare make eye contact with him. In order to go to classes I would take longer routes so I wouldn’t pass him. Basically, I was isolating myself from everyone.

One day when I was walking by the lunchroom, I was surprised to see him sitting at my normal lunch table. As I passed by him, he called my name and said, “Yo Maisha, come here so I can feel you.” Instead of standing up for myself, I panicked and walked away. There was only a month of school left but I couldn’t find the courage to talk to anyone. And I started wondering if I had given him the wrong idea all those times I talked to him.

A couple of days later, I was cleaning my bookshelf when I came across Chicken Soup for the Girl’s Soul. My sixteen-year-old cousin had given it to me and told me to treat it like the Bible. As I skimmed through the book, I came across a story by Hattie Frost called “It’s Never Your Fault.” I read the story over and over again; I analyzed every single word and was surprised to see how many similarities there were between the storyteller and me.

Hattie had written “it’s never the victim’s fault” and that rang in my ears. I decided that I had to talk to someone and I decided to call the cousin who gave me the book. She told me that she was proud of me for telling someone what happened. She said she gave me the book so I would be prepared for something like this. I have kept this book ever since.

~Maisha C., age 15

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