And Then He Stole Her Sneakers...

This is a story about a little girl that got her sneakers stolen. The girl's name was Lisa. And she was only 11 years old when she first realized that the world can be a pretty tough place. Most kids live and play in a bubble of security that consists of their parents, relatives, teachers and friends. Other kids, however, feel alone at a very early stage of their lives.

Lisa was one of those kids. Her father died when she was very little. She can't even remember him anymore. As a result her mother had to work a lot and Lisa had to take care of herself most of the times. Unlike other kids, when Lisa came home from school she was alone. No one was there waiting with lunch for her. But Lisa learned very early to take care of herself. However, she wasn't happy most of the times.

She had one best friend. His name was Karl. But Karl was very busy most of the times. He was one of these kids that do a lot of sports. He was in the soccer team and his dad always took him to the soccer field. Lisa joined them sometimes. But she wasn't so good at playing soccer.

So what are you supposed to do as a kid when you are alone? Like every other child at her age, Lisa got creative. She started to draw and make little paper figures and painted them in blue, red and yellow. She started to decorate her room. What once was a grey, sad room became a children's room. Once again, Lisa has taken care of what her parents were supposed to do.

But Lisa was an outsider. She grew up very fast, acted differently than other kids. Other children at school were joking around a lot. Lisa was different. And that's why she spend most of her school breaks alone. That was okay with her most of the times. She rather spent some alone-time than being mobbed.

But things change. And one day there was a new student in her class. He moved to her home town from the city. First Lisa didn't even think a lot about this change. Why should she? Nothing would change for her anyways.Or so she thought...

The new guy's name was Andy. Andy was bigger than the other kids. And he was mean. He was one of those kids that take whatever they want, when they want and how they want. Andy didn't have a hard time to find friends. Unlike Lisa he was one of the popular kids. Very quickly he was part of the 'cool group' in her class. Not that Lisa would have cared. In fact, she couldn't have cared less.

But a few weeks later Andy became more and more what you could probably call a leader of the group. And what once was the 'cool' group became the 'mean' group. And at that time Lisa's life changed. The bullying began. And now, when Lisa came home after school, she wasn't drawing anymore. She was just wondering why she was so alone. Why no one would stand up for her. Defend her. Or just spend a little bit of time with her. 

One day it got even worse. Usually they just said mean things to her. But this time it was different. Lisa wore an old pair of sneakers. Not pretty and quite cheap, but she was used to that. But the group thought it was funny to mock her about it. And boy they did! Lisa was almost about to cry when it even got worse. She started running but the group was faster. They caught her, took away her sneakers (actually her mom's best sneakers for plantar fasciitis),  laughed at her and threw her sneakers in the river that was rushing next to the street. Then they left.

Once again Lisa was alone. Only this time she cried.