It starts when you are eight or nine years old, and one of the boys standing behind you at morning assembly leans forward and whispers into your ear, "thunder thighs". You start to look in the mirror and you realise that you aren't pretty like your thinner, happier, more popular friends, and then a new girl starts at school and those friends don't really want to talk to you anymore. It's made worse by hitting puberty early and being too smart.
People will notice that the teachers like you, and the librarian doesn't yell at you, and you will start to become a target for teasing, and nasty comments from girls your own age who are starting to realise just how powerfully cruel they can be to other people.
When you get to high school, especially one that is much larger than the primary school that you came from, there will be even more of those awful girls, and, identifying kindred spirits in each other, they will form their own little wasp's nest and begin to elevate nastiness to an art form.
One day, the people who were tolerating you as a part of their group will decide that they have tired of you. Suddenly, where there was once relative safety during break times, they will turn on you and start being mean, just for the fun of it. You will have food thrown at you more than once. But as a joke... you know.. and if you can't take it it's because you take everything too seriously.
You will start to do extracurricular activities because they give you something to do at lunchtime, other than sit alone and wish you were elsewhere. Spending time in the library is also good, but ultimately futile as it only adds fuel to the fire.
On days when you have sport lessons, you will pray to some unkind god for sickness. If not to avoid being forced to run, red-faced and out of breath with the taste of blood in your mouth, up and down a football oval, then to avoid those awful moments in the changing rooms where you try to hide from everyone else, but are unable.
You will probably wish you were dead, or at least seriously injured, on numerous occasions.
When I finished high school I moved away, got two degrees and a life, lived in Europe, started dating a pilot, bought some rabbits, met people who were interesting and amazing and basically realised that I am better than those miserable fucking bitches who made my life hell.
Even so, I have no desire to see, or be around those girls ever again. Not because I want to avoid them or because I am still worried about the power that they once held over me but because I would most likely bitch-slap them or spit in their faces.
And I am better than that.
I also probably have a much better wardrobe than those pathetic pieces of shit, but that is a story for another day entirely.