It’s A Hard-Knock Life
No one likes a bully.
There are many different reasons why bullies feel the need to bring others down, but it’s never okay and far from amusing. Victims of bullying are often left confused, traumatized, and above all else, angry. When a bully targets someone, that anger is passed on until the cycle finally stops.
But for others, time isn’t the only thing that can heal wounds.
For “Amber”, revenge was the one and only way she could find closure after enduring constant bullying from her arch-nemesis, “Leigh.” After countless long walks home from school with tears streaming down her face, Amber could never forget the horrible things Leigh did to her in their adolescence.
Once they were adults, Amber found herself in a dark place and wanted to bring Leigh down with her. Could she have moved on? Sure. Would she have gotten closure without ‘getting even’? Without a doubt. But for Amber, some of the things Leigh put her through couldn’t fit under the largest rug.
To some, her revenge may have gone too far, but for Amber, her plan was far less cruel than Leigh’s horrendous acts toward her as a child.
After ten festering years, Amber’s revenge began with a trip to the hospital.
Nothing To Lose
Amber was the “weird child” growing up.
Because she lacked the social skills of her peers, she was a social pariah and the victim of constant bullying. Her weakness encouraged Leigh who was enthusiastic about her relentless behavior toward Amber. In their youth, Leigh never missed an opportunity to make her life hell.
Leigh and Amber lived in the same trailer park growing up. Despite this, Leigh targeted Amber just to make herself seem better in front of their classmates. Leigh would purposely trip her, shove her, and pull pranks that further shattered Amber’s trust in others.
One particular incident involved Leigh’s friends holding Amber down as Leigh force-fed her dog feces. She cried and vomited in vain as Leigh’s friends laughed and continued to torture her. No one intervened, leaving Amber broken and defeated once again.
Amber always thought of fighting back, but she feared the trouble she would get into with her strict grandmother. Her parents were not there for her, so her grandparents were her main caregivers. They never condoned violence in any way, leaving Amber torn. As the bullying continued throughout her childhood, Amber vowed that she would seek revenge as soon as she was old enough to make her own decisions.
Years later, Leigh’s bullying began to cease. Leigh shamelessly tried to befriend Amber as if she forgot all about the horrible things she did to her when they were younger. It took all of Amber’s might not to curse her and walk away, but after years of nursing the hate she felt toward her, Amber knew that her patience would soon pay off.
Heard It Through The Grapevine
Amber graciously befriended Leigh as well as her friends. Throughout high school, Amber carefully monitored Leigh’s actions and got to know more about her through her close friends. Amber even befriended Leigh’s mother, who often bragged about her accomplishments and plans after high school. All the while, Amber was carefully taking notes about Leigh’s life. She documented things big and small as she continued to form a plan.
After they graduated, Leigh went on to become an RN, got married, had children, and scored a job as a nurse at a local doctor’s office. To Amber’s knowledge, the doctor was extremely religious. He had an extensive hiring process that ensured that only people with a pristine background were hired to represent his practice.
It was time to see if Amber’s acting classes paid off.
Still taking things slow, Amber became a regular patient at the same doctor’s office. After frequent visits, Amber was able to get a strong grasp on Leigh’s work schedule. It was during one of her visits when Leigh wasn’t there that Amber managed to catch the head physician speaking to one of the receptionists behind the counter. Amber slithered over to the front desk and gasped after looking at a work photo of everyone standing outside the office.
The doctor noticed Amber’s outburst and asked, ‘Is everything alright, Miss?’
Amber shook her head and pointed at the work photo with Leigh right in the center. ‘That woman. Does she work here?’
The doctor followed Amber’s gaze. ‘Yes, that’s Leigh. She’s one of our valued nurses.’
Amber continued to express her displeasure at seeing Leigh’s face. She had the doctor completely invested. Concerned flushed his face as he asked Amber to come with him to discuss the matter in private. Once they were in the exam room, he closed the door and asked Amber if there was something about Leigh he should know.
Amber looked around as if someone could hear. Then, her voice barely a whisper, she told the doctor something disturbing.
‘You didn’t hear this from me, Doctor.’ Amber began. ‘But Leigh is not the girl you may think she is.’
The doctor leaned in, eager to find out more. ‘You have my word.’
‘Leigh is a nice girl, but like everyone, she struggles at home. She and her husband partake in drugs.’
This floored the doctor. He shook his head frantically before saying, ‘No, I don’t believe that!’
Amber matched the doctor’s level of shock. ‘I know it seems crazy, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes. That woman is trouble, and to think she has access to my personal information does not sit right with me. I would watch her close. I don’t trust her.’
The doctor thought for a while before he thanked Amber. ‘This is troubling news. I will use this information to protect my patients and the reputation of this family-oriented practice.’
Amber sported a devilish smile on her way home from the doctor that day. Technically, she told the truth. Amber knew Leigh smoked weed because she not only heard it from her friends, but Amber bought it from her dad. Leigh had only cleaned up to get the job at the doctor’s office. Amber couldn’t resist the opportunity.
About a week and a half later, Amber heard through the grapevine that Leigh was dismissed from her duties after failing a ‘surprise’ drug test. Not only that, but her former boss informed every doctor’s office in the area about Leigh’s nasty habit, practically making her unhirable.
Rendering Leigh’s education unusable may have been a sinister thing to do, but Amber’s payback was far from over.
Months after Leigh lost her job, Amber heard that her car was repossessed after falling behind on payments. This made things extremely hard on Leigh’s family, but Amber relished hearing about Leigh’s downfall. In fact, Amber was finally ready to act out yet another devious plot to stick it to her childhood bully.
Because Leigh was forced to accept the role of housewife, a lot of pressure was put on her husband, “Dillon,” to provide for the family. Well, Amber didn’t have much of a support system while Leigh wreaked havoc on her for years. For her next move, Amber wanted to strike where it would hurt Leigh the worst.
With the help of a friend, Amber decided to shake things up in their marriage by catfishing Dillon. With her friend’s permission, she started a romantic relationship with Dillon after sending him a risque message on social media using her pictures. Seeing how easily he fell for the trap, Amber realized just how feeble-minded Leigh’s lover was. She sent dozens of pictures to Leigh’s husband and even had her friend video call him to convince him he had a shot with another woman. Because Amber’s friend hated Leigh just as much as she did, she had no problem entertaining the relationship. Once Amber collected incriminating screenshots of the kinky conversations, she anonymously forward the evidence to an unsuspecting Leigh and social media.
News of her husband’s infidelity spread quickly through the trailer park. Devastated, Leigh confronted her husband and shared with her friends, including Amber, that they were getting a divorce after years together. Now, Leigh was jobless with two kids and no support system.
Upon hearing the news, Amber thought of all the times Leigh made her feel worthless. Leigh faced extreme emotional pain after having her family fall apart. Amber knew that any normal person should have gotten their fill.
But Amber was far from normal. Her hate had simmered for years and was finally coming out in uncontrollable waves.
There was no way in hell Amber was going to have mercy on Leigh.
It didn’t take long for another opportunity for revenge to come up.
And Amber pounced like a cat on a mouse.
Months after Leigh’s nasty separation from her cheating husband, Leigh was still struggling to find a job. It was Amber’s understanding that Leigh would soon be facing eviction if she didn’t fix her finances immediately.
At the same time, there was a huge meth problem in the community. Amber openly shared Leigh’s sob story around, knowing how quickly things spread in their tight-knit community. Amber even shared her story with some of her questionable family members who unashamedly dabbled in the illegal activities that went on in the area.
It wasn’t long before Leigh got wrapped up in the wrong crowd to make a quick buck. Amber heard from a family friend, that one of her shady family members approached Leigh and asked if they could use her home as a hideout for a few days while they got a ‘batch’ together. They offered Leigh an undisclosed amount of money to use her place that she simply couldn’t refuse.
Learning about Leigh’s desperate actions piqued Amber’s interest. For once, she felt a pang of guild knowing that she was behind Leigh’s downfall. A once-registered nurse cooking meth? Now that would make quite the headline.
What was supposed to be a two-day-long collaboration between Leigh and her new friends quickly ended when an ‘anonymous’ caller lead the cops to her trailer. They kicked in the front door and caught Leigh red-handed participating in concocting the illegal drugs.
Amber could see the flashing lights from down the block. Being the ‘concerned’ citizen that she was, she threw on a robe and walked down the street. Blending in with the crowd, she watched as the narcotics unit went in and out of the house gathering the hard evidence.
Seeing Leigh dragged out of the house in handcuffs and bawling in front of her terrified children brought a smile to Amber’s face. There was no chance of Leigh recovering from her stunt. She was in serious trouble.
To add to the drama, homes where labs were discovered were often deemed inhabitable afterward because the toxic fumes from the chemicals got everywhere and were hard to clean. Because it would have cost more for a lab cleanup, the owner of the property decided to bulldoze it, with all of Leigh’s stuff inside.
But that hardly mattered because Leigh was about to spend a long time in the clink.
Amber had outdone herself. As the final phase of her revenge came into effect, Amber realized, that her actions had completely ruined Leigh’s life.
That just leaves the ending.
Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing
Following her conviction, Leigh’s ex-husband was given full custody of the kids. Years after, she was released but only allowed two-hour supervised visitations on Saturdays. It was devastating for Leigh to be separated from her children. The past five years of her life had fallen apart so rapidly. Amazingly, Leigh had no idea or had even considered that someone was the root cause.
Amber was tempted to tell Leigh but decided to keep things a secret so Leigh can wonder why she was being hit with so many whammies at once. All the while, Leigh sought out Amber and thanked her for being a friend despite her hardship. All of her so-called friends had ultimately ditched her when she reached her worst, except for her.
“You are the kindest and most loyal friend I will probably have,” Leigh said over the phone while choking back tears. “I’m not sure where things went wrong.”
“I’m here if you ever need anything,” Amber replied, a devilish grin on her face.
The last she heard, Leigh crawled into a bottle and never came out. While she was in rehab, Leigh lost the last bit of parental rights that remained, permanently separating her from her kids.
Amber had taken her reputation, her love life, her kids, and her dignity. Sometimes she feels guilty for how far she took things, but at least Amber can confidently say that karma has a powerful way of setting things right.