Shy Girl Gets Revenge on High School Bully at 10-Year Reunion – Story of the Day
An ugly duckling comes to the 10-year school reunion and gets her revenge on the beautiful cheerleader who bullied her throughout high school.
Life isn't fair, is it? Some people seem to be born lucky. They are beautiful, popular, funny, good at sports...Everything comes easy for them, while for others, life can be a nightmare.
Mercy Darling was one of those people born under a lucky star. She was as pretty and graceful as her name, with honey blond hair, and amber eyes, everyone's golden girl. Unfortunately, her personality wasn't as sweet, and Jenny Culver was her favorite victim...
Jenny was Mercy's opposite in every way. Mercy was tall, and slender, while Jenny was short, and her figure was round as a dumpling. She was also afflicted with a plague of pimples, red and unsightly, and wore thick, ugly glasses.
To add insult to injury, Jenny was poor, and she wore hand-me-downs when she was lucky, and when she was unlucky -- which was often -- she wore clothes donated by the church, which many of her schoolmates recognized as having been theirs.
Life wasn't easy for Jenny, but Mercy went out of her way to make it a nightmare. Mercy herself would found it hard to explain why she disliked Jenny so much, why the sight of that dumpy figure in the mismatched clothes irritated her so much.
It just did. Mercy made sure that Jenny paid for her irritation, with interest, and because Mercy was the school's most popular girl, everyone followed her lead. Jenny was everyone's whipping boy.
This went on for years, and Jenny somehow made it through the grinding misery of her days thinking about college. It became her Holy Grail. Every moment of her day was dedicated to improving her grades because there was no money for college in Jenny's family.
In their senior year, everyone was obsessed with two things: college applications, and the prom. Jenny's only concern was college, and her hard work paid off. She was accepted to Stanford, on a full scholarship.
Unfortunately, that was the very college Mercy had set her heart on attending, but she was turned down, despite her father's money. Mercy was determined to get payback.
Three days before prom, Justin Darling, Mercy's handsome cousin walked up to Jenny in the cafeteria and asked her to the prom. Jenny was stunned. She hadn't thought about the prom, and she felt that something was off.
And of course, she was right. The plan had been that Jenny would be ready and waiting for Justin, and he just wouldn't show up. Jenny just looked Justin in the eyes and said "No!"
For the last few weeks of high school, Jenny made herself invisible, and she even missed her own graduation. She wasn't about to give Mercy any more opportunities to humiliate her. From now on, Jenny decided, it's my turn!
Jenny's turn came years later when she received an e-mail from the school's old alumni association, advising her that her class' 10-year reunion would take place in August and that all old pupils were invited.
Mercy also received an invitation for the reunion, and in the list of former students who had already accepted, she saw Jennifer Culver's name. She winced. Jenny Culver again. She'd have to face her again...
The day of the reunion arrived, and the hall was filled with the sounds of joyful reunions, friends who hadn't seen each other in a decade reminiscing, and music from the old days making them all feel so much younger.
Mercy was there, in the middle of a circle of her old cronies, wine glass in hand, recounting some of her old glories when a slender, striking woman walked in. She signed in at the desk and accepted an identification badge, smiling.
She walked purposefully towards Mercy and her friends. "Mercy!" she cried, and gracefully stepped into the middle of the circle, and kissed Mercy's cheek. "How wonderful to see you!"
Mercy smiled, confused. "Yes...So nice...You look great!" Mercy had no idea who this woman was... She searched the lovely face before her for some clue as to who she was. "So...How's your family?" she asked, hoping for a clue.
The woman flicked back her long black hair. "Mom's living with me in Malibu now, and my brother is working in London, finance, you know."
Mercy smiled back. She still had no idea who the woman was! Then the pretty stranger cried "Oh, her's my husband!" and turned to wave at a tall, strikingly handsome man who immediately walked over.
The man slid his arm around the woman's waist and smiled lovingly at her. "Are you enjoying yourself, darling?"
"Yes," the strange woman smiled, "Let me introduce you to someone who influenced my life enormously: Mercy Darling!"
Mercy shook the man's hand and smiled modestly. The woman went on, "Mercy wanted to be an actress, didn't you Mercy?"
Mercy winced. "I'm afraid that didn't work out at all... My father had some problems...Finance, you know..."
The woman nodded sympathetically. "Believe me, I know all about having financial problems! So what do you do?"
Looking at the woman's obviously expensive designer outfit, Mercy blushed. "I work in the old diner, remember, Sam's Soda Fountain?"
The woman nodded. "Oh yes...But as I've been telling my husband, Mercy, you've been such an inspiration, I just had to thank you."
Mercy smiled. "Well, no need to thank me..." she interrupted, "Back in the old days..."
But the woman cut in. She said to the man: "Mercy made my every day such a misery that I vowed never to be in that position again. She mocked me for being poor, so I was determined to be rich, she humiliated me for my clothes, so I decided to learn how to dress."
The woman turned to Mercy. "Thanks to you, Mercy dear, I'm a very successful entertainment lawyer. I'm rich, I'm beautiful, and I never wear hand-me-downs."
"Jenny!" gasped Mercy, flushing.
Jenny smiled. "Yes, Jenny." Jenny looked pointedly at Mercy's heavy figure, her dress which had seen better days. "How does it feel, Mercy?"
Mercy gasped. She raised her hands to cover her face. "Jenny, you don't know how many times I've thought of you, remembered you, and what I put you through."
Mercy had tears in her eyes. "My husband left me when my daughter was three. I've been alone for the past five years, and it hasn't been easy." Tears were running down Mercy's face.
"I found myself accepting friend's hand-me-downs for my little girl, and I remembered how I'd mocked you for being poor... I'm sorry, Jenny, you don't know how sorry I am."
Jenny was stunned. She had never imagined that life itself would teach her nemesis a lesson. Her longed-for revenge tasted sour. Jenny stepped forward and put her arms around Mercy.
"It's OK, Mercy, it's OK." And soon Jenny too was crying. Mercy had learned the hard way how painful life can be, and how cruel when we are alone, and without resources.
Watching her own daughter going to school and being teased made her realize how cruel she'd been to Jenny, and she'd been dreading seeing her again. The reunion ended up being a healing experience for both women, and from then on, they became close friends, united by common experience.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Don't judge people by their appearance. Mercy picked on Jenny because she wore hand-me-downs, but she never imagined she might one day be in the same situation,
2. Hardship can be an inspiration. Jenny worked even harder to be a success because she had a difficult childhood.
3. Let go of the past. Jenny was determined to humble Mercy, but she ended up feeling compassion for her old enemy, and it healed her pain.
Share this story with your friends. It might inspire people to share their own stories or to help someone else.
Any resemblance in this story to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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