A Girl at Eleven

The age of eleven was rough. I was small for my age and younger than my seventh grade classmates.  After gym class, I hastily dressed my child-like body next to a girl whose body was actually making a child. When I caught her round, naked belly jumping with life, she smiled at me with a mix of trepidation and pride. I didn’t know what to think. At eleven, I craved the company of groups of indifferent girls and boys. I was dismissive and even cruel to kids who were less popular, though they were kinder. School created such anxiety that I developed debilitating stomach aches. I wore…