The Stolen iPod

May, 2008

 

“You can have my iPod – but don’t lose it,”

My brother warned me

His eyes serious, tone dangerous:

I dare you to lose it

Was the underlying meaning

 

I was twelve years old and in the seventh grade

I was small and scared of people not liking me

So I was a doormat, a people pleaser

Scared to say “no.” Terrified of confrontation

 

After my brother graced me with his iPod

I would listen to it often

Take out the thick, gray, cold device in class

Too big to fit in my pockets

So I would leave it on my desk

While the headphones fit snugly in my ears

And drowned out the sound of class

And filled me instead with its music

Relaxed. Focused. Content.

 

The day came when my iPod found itself an admirer

My fellow classmate – seeing it on my desk so often

Claire was her name. Pretty, dirty blonde hair

Welcoming smile and she was popular

“Pegah, I love your iPod! Mind if I borrow it for a day?”

A friend. Someone who complimented me, I found as a good friend immediately

Me, a doormat, a people pleaser. Scared to say “no.”

“Ya!” I blurted out, “you can borrow it then.”

 

The next day, I gave Claire my iPod

She was grateful. Promised to bring it back the next day

I felt good. I was generous enough to give her something

She probably didn’t have

During recess I saw her with her friends

Shiny gray iPod in her hands

 

She seemed happy

 

The day after,

During class,

Ready to have the iPod back in my hands,

I went up to Claire

“Hi Claire,” I said.

“Hey.”

A small moment of silence passed

“Do you think I can have my iPod back?”

“Yeah, actually, about that. Can I give it back to you tomorrow?”

 

Doormat. People pleaser. Scared to say “no.”

 

“Yeah, that’s okay!”

I told myself that it was fine:

One more day wouldn’t hurt

She was my friend, after all

 

The next day, I came up to Claire

This time I decided to pass up talking to her in class

Didn’t want to bother her

Instead I went up to her after school had ended

In a beautiful grassy area

Where students waited for the bus

“Hi Claire.”

“Hi.”


I started to get nervous. I don’t know why

“Do . . . you have my iPod? I need it because

It’s actually my brother’s. You see, he wants it back.”

Her eyes were unreadable when she looked at me.

 

“I’m sorry,” she started off

My heart dropped. My brother was going to kill me

“But I lost your iPod. I don’t know where it is

I’m sooo sorry.”

She actually didn’t seem to care at all.

Her eyes were unreadable

 

Terrified of confrontation

 

My words didn’t come out until I forced myself to speak

What came out:

 

A betrayal to the inner me.

The confident me. The angry me.

 

A comfort to the outer me.

The doormat me. The people pleaser me.

 

“Oh . . . are you sure you lost it?

I really need it back. But if you lost it,

That’s okay. Just let me know

If you find my iPod, Claire.”

“Sure!”

 

I told my parents what happened. And my brother

They responded:

Are you stupid? Do you have a tongue?

Can’t you tell her it’s yours? That she’s

Now responsible for paying for it?

 

Are you stupid, Pegah? You don’t know how to talk to people.

 

I was indeed stupid. Very stupid

 

A few months later, I saw Claire

With my brother’s iPod in her hands.

I knew it was his – the same scratch

On the upper right hand corner

 

Unmistakable.

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