Such a Bad Girl
Why did my mom expect me to be such a Barbie doll? Maybe it was from the days when she could dress me in pink cute clothes, and make me look like a porcelain doll. However, I was 12 now and in 11 months I would be a teenager. I did not want people to think that Heidi (That’s me) was a spoiled baby. I wanted to be able to choose how I looked and acted. This was hard for mom to accept. Did she not understand that It was bad that I decided what I wanted to do and how I should look?
I did not know who my Dad was, and the fact is that Mom was not sure either. She obviously loved partying before she had me. I would have loved to know mom when she partied all the time and was not so much like a mom. Now we lived alone in a small apartment and mom had 2 jobs. She worked at a lady’s clothing store and she cleaned houses. When she came home, she was hyper cleaning or cooking. Its strange she had time to get mad at me.
This all started one day when I came back from the park. Mom was waiting for me with a list of questions. Where was I? Why was I wearing clothes that she thought revealed so much? Was I high?
She demanded answers. I shouted that I hated her and walked by her and went into the bedroom and slammed the door shut. I did not think that the shorts were too short and everyone had belly tops. I admit that I sniffed glue. Most done that and it made me feel good. Mom should just chill out. You know what the wise people say... you only live once.
That night, I woke up and seen mom beside me. I pretended to be asleep as I did not want to hear any sermons about that everything I do is wrong. Mom had her head buried in her hands and she was crying.
“Where did I go wrong?” she said as like it was a prayer, ” What happened to my princess? How did I let her take the wrong path? Where will you end Heidi? You know that I love you! I just do not know what to do!”
I wanted to answer mom, but I was too tired and I had a headache. Did she really think I was a bad girl?
The next day I skipped school. It was 3 weeks since I last went there. I did like school, but I liked other things much better. Like today, I was going to the mall. This was a good place to spend the day. It was like a dreamland. I would stare in shop windows and imagine buying everything I wanted. Then I would meet my friends. This was fun, We mostly chatted, but sometimes we got in trouble by the security guards. I was even caught for shoplifting once. Mom was not all that happy about that.
When I came home, Mom was calm sitting in her chair. She quietly told me she received a letter from the school. They miss me. I was trying to think of what to say. Mom interrupted me before I could start and said she was not stupid. She decided that it was a waste of time getting mad and punishing me. At any rate, she reminded me that It was now holidays.
She told me we were going on a trip for the weekend. That was fine for me, as it was summer now. She told me it was a children’s camp called RAD camp. I never heard about that camp before. She would not tell me so much about it, except it was run by someone that was a marine and I would not need my beach clothes. I sighed as what camp did not have swimming?
The drive to the camp was long. I was in a belly top and denim shorts. Mom did not even complain that my belly was showing. She sat quietly as she drove the car. I asked lots of questions like would my friends be there and what games we would play. I was just told that I would find out.
We finally came to the camp. I was shocked. It had a big fence around it, like the ones you see at a prison. Some man in a military uniform opened the huge gate as we drove in. It looked like a military camp! I couldn’t see any playground or campfires. The sign said “RAD – Respect and Discipline”. I told mom that I wanted to go home.
“So you can hang at the mall all the time and tell me how much you hate me?” she asked, “This weekend will do you good!”
When we go out of the car, I saw some children crying. One was saying that he did not want to come back and he promised he would be good. This was going to be a long weekend.
We were led into a big tent, where this black man stood waiting for us with a long whip in his hand. Mom was excited, while I questioned myself how this will be a good camp.
“Welcome To RAD. My name is General Cody. Many of you here do not know why you are here. Now I will tell you. You have become a burden to your parents and society You think you are tough and some are so spoiled, they think they are the center of the universe. For the next week, you are mine. When you are good here, you earn points and when you have received 60 points, you can go home. The only other way out is if your parents want you home earlier.”
I gave mom one of my worse looks. She explained that she was at her wit’s end and when I told her that I hate her, she knew that she had to do something. This was the last chance I had. If I kept on doing what I have done, it would be far worse. It would be juvie or being taken to a foster home.
General Cody told us that we had 5 minutes to say goodbye to our parents. I looked around and some children started crying and begging. I was mad as I realized that mom wanted to leave me here. I demanded that she take me home. I was not going to stay in this weird camp. I could see mom look around she had a look of doubt. Then general Cody grabbed me by my arm and said that I had no right to demand anything. He looked at mom and said she had no choice. Then mom came to me to give me a hug. I told her to “Fuck off” and I definitely hated her now! Mom was in tears as she sat in the car and drove off. As for me, I think I was in a state of shock. How could any parent leave their child at a military camp?
As the car was out of sight, the general told me that I have minus three points. He told me I should be ashamed that I told the woman that gave birth to me that I hated her. I wanted to ask him if Hitler was his dad, but I decided it was not the time.
All the parents were gone, and we were told to go back to the tent. We would have lunch before we officially started. So I sat in the middle of a bench. This boy sat next to me. I just looked down at the plate and could not believe my eyes. It was roasted insects! There was no chance in this life that I would put insects in my mouth!
" My name is Noah,” the boy said
" and I am Heidi. I cannot believe you are eating those”
" This will be the best meal you ever get!”
" No way”
I threw the plate on the ground and ran outside. There was no escape. There was a high fence all around the camp. This was no camp. It was like a prison or a concentration camp. No matter where I went, I would end up at the fence. Even the gates we came into was now locked.
I found a huge tree behind some bushes and I sat there and hid. I usually never cried but now I just let it out. I was locked in this camp and I did not want to be here. It upset me that mom just gave up hope and left me here. She obviously didn’t care that we just had insects, and there was a high fence all the way around. I became more upset as I thought she just put me here so she could go on some holidays.
This worker found me and sat next to me.
" My name is Harry,” he said and explained General Cody told him to find me.
" I want to go home, I do not want to stay here!” I cried
" Well, you are here now. My advice is just to follow the program, get the 60 points and get out of here, hopefully as a better person”
" I already have minus points”
" Yes and -5 points more added, as you threw your meal and left without permission”
" That is not fair!”
" That is what it is like here. If you do not follow the rules, there will be consequences. You have been lucky. General could order us to put shackles on your feet or to handcuff you”
" That must be against the law!”
" General Cody is the law here. I will always try and help you, but you must stay out of trouble!”
So I slowly walked back to where everyone else was. The General was shouting and told us to stand in line. It was time for inspection. I decided to get these points quickly and get out of here. It took us a bit of time to form the perfect line.
“As you know my name is General Cody and you have all been sent here because of one reason. You are poor excuses as human beings. You are all brats and do not deserve to have parents. You do not know what the difference is between right and wrong.”
I yawned and didn’t care who seen me yawn.
“This will change. I now own you all until you can get 60 points. I will break you all down and then rebuild you with real changes. You will experience pain and frustration. You will get tools for becoming a good member of society. There is an alternative, but this is not nice.”
Then he came up to me and said he knew he would have fun with me. I would be a challenge as I already had minus 5 points. Then he looked at my clothes and asked why I had such revealing clothes on.
His face was in front of mine and he shouted and yelled. This must have been heard miles away. When he yelled, I could feel his spit on my face, ” You have no right to wear clothes that are so revealing! You are just asking for trouble Misses! I promise this. I have my eyes on you. I will not fail you! You will be new when I am finished with you. You may not make your mom proud now., but you will!”
He then handed me a black jumper suit and told me to put it on. I looked around for a place to change. The general shouted to just get changed there. It made no difference as I already have shown so much skin. So while tears were building up, I took off my clothes. It was so embarrassing that everyone could see my panties. I quickly put on the jumpsuit. It looked like something a prisoner would wear.
Then the general told me to lay on the ground, which was gravel. This was like laying on a bed of nails and it was then I realized that the day was so hot, as if we were in the middle of a heatwave.
The General gave everyone jumpsuits. They were all light blue, except Noah (the boy I met earlier when we ate). He had an orange one on. The general explained that the light blue ones meant that we were complying with the program. The orange ones were for them that had very little hope. Then he pointed down at me laying on the gravel and said the black ones were for special punishments.
Then the general laughed and said that I will find out that wearing black was not the best thing to wear in a heatwave. I asked could I get up and that made him laugh more. The other children were told they had a break while I just laid there. After 10 minutes, I was sweating as the sun was very hot. Still, I was not allowed to get up. As time went, the more agony I was in. The gravel was like knives and without a pillow, I had pains in my neck and back. On top of all this, I felt like I being baked in an oven. The sun was so hot. The thing was that the punishment was so long. After a half-hour, I was sure that I was close to dying, I started crying because it was hot and the pains.
The general came by and smiled and said I was not done.
My mouth was now dry and I was so thirsty. An hour went by and I was now just trying to find a more comfy way to lay down. Nothing worked and the conditions became much worse. I felt so faint and thirsty, and my skin was burning. This was not a punishment, it was torture.
After 1½ hours, the general told me I could get up. I was still to wear that black jumper-suit. He then gave me a lecture that I should respect my body and wear clothes that showed that I did respect it. He said a bunch of things, but I was so hot, so thirsty and weak. After he finished talking, I was shown this barrel with rainwater. I was told I could drink some water. I do not think that water ever tasted so good.
Then we heard the Generals whistle, so we all stood in that inspection line. We were told that we needed to go for a walk before bed. So we started going on a hike up a mountain. Most of the children thought it was no problem. General said we would be walking for 2 miles. This made many groan, especially me. I was still in agony after the first punishment. It was good that Noah was walking beside me, as when he noticed that I was tired or wanted to give up, he took my hand and encouraged me promising me that I could so it. This was despite that my legs were like logs that I had to force to move. Once again tears were flowing down my cheeks.
I do not know how I did it, but I managed to get back to the camp. We were told that we could get something to eat. It was some tinned food and looked like dog food. It tasted like dog food. This must be another punishment as I had to force every spoon in my mouth. Noah explained that I should eat as much as possible as the food would not get better. I asked him how he knew. He admitted that this was his second time at camp.
After that so-called dinner, we were told it was time to sleep. It must have only been 8 pm! We were told that we each had a small tent we could sleep in. So we brushed our teeth and washed so much that we can and found our tent. I sat in the tent looking out. It was too early to sleep, and to be honest all the things that I experienced were just confusing my mind. Why was mom so cruel that she would send me here where we were treated so badly?
Harry, the nice staff member I met earlier walked by and told me I should sleep. I just looked out as I felt like I could decide when I slept. The general must have seen me and blew his whistle once more. This confused everyone as they did not expect that we would be forced to stand in the inspection line. After some time, we found ourselves standing there.
The general stood before me and his face was just in front of mine as he shouted, “ONE THING THAT YOU ALL MUST UNDERSTAND AND GET IN YOUR SKULLS. WHEN I SAY TO DO SOMETHING, IT IS NOT A REQUEST... IT IS AN ORDER! YOU ARE NOT TO THINK ABOUT IT. YOU ARE NOT TO QUESTION IT. YOU JUST DO IT!”
Then he explained that I constantly disobeyed him. He said he suspected that we were all tired after a long hike, and it was good to get some sleep. He looked back at me and told everyone I disagreed. This meant that I wanted everyone to do a chore.
So we were each given a shovel and told to move a pile of sand to another spot. It was a huge pile! So we line up, took a shovel of sand and moved it to the other spot. For each shovel we took, it became heavier and heavier. Our legs were tired after the hike, so it was hard walking with a shovel of sand. It took an hour to do it!
When we were done, the General told us he did not like it there and we could move the pile back to the original place. Everyone groaned at this which made him smile again. The general said that they should not blame him, as it was me that refused to understand what this camp was about. So we started moving the sand back. This time we were like zombies and tried our utmost to do the job. I was tired and every bone in my body ached and I could feel blisters starting to come to my hands. Besides that, everyone was giving me bad looks.
After that stupid punishment, we were back in our small tents. I felt so alone in mine. It was also so cold and my body and mind were in agony. I started crying wondering if I was so bad, that I deserved this. I was alone at a place where there was one punishment after another. I was at a place that believed in torture. I promised myself that I would survive and get the 60 points. I also knew that I would never forgive mom!
It was just not me. I heard crying and sniffing that most likely came from other tents