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This is Judy. Recently, she was threatened and forced to do things she didn’t want to do and, worst of all, she was forced to lie... all in order to save her reputation.
It all started when she was actually in the first grade. Judy had a classmate named Max. They always hated each other, but as they got older, he started to become interested in her. He asked her out a whole number of times, and there were always the same two reasons why she said no. First, she really didn’t like him because he was a nasty person. Second...she really didn’t have time to go out, because she was always busy.
You see, her family really didn’t have that much money. In fact, they could barely make ends meet. Her mom and dad both worked two jobs, and they still didn’t have enough money. So Judy started working as a janitor at an office when she had the time.
It helped her family, but the effect on her was that she was constantly tired, and also, well...she was a little bit ashamed to be working as a janitor. But she could cope...until one day she saw a familiar face in the office: Max. It turned out that his father worked there and he had dropped by to visit him. So, when he noticed her, he was so surprised and started making mean jokes about her being a maid and stuff. She was incredibly embarrassed and angry, because out of all the people from her school it had to be MAX who had discovered her secret.
The next day he came up to her in school and showed her his phone. There were several photos of her doing her job as a janitor. Judy told him that the photos were creepy and really not okay, but he answered, “If you go out with me once I’ll delete the photos. We’ll go to the movies and stuff, I’ll pay.” She asked: “Or what?” and he said, “Or I’ll show them to everybody”.
But...she felt like she had to accept. She had no other choice about it, really.
So that evening they went to the movies together, and Max tried to act all sweet and cool, buying her snacks and even trying to be romantic – but of course it didn’t work, because he had still manipulated her into going out with him.
The movie ended, they went outside, and Judy asked: “So, will you delete the photos now?” and Max realy didn’t like that and answered “No! If you’re gonna be so ungrateful, I think I'll hold on to these photos for a little longer.”
She was really angry, but again, what could she do? She had to keep on doing favors for him. It’s possible you might think that she really WAS really ungrateful, because he was spending his money and time on her, but she never asked for it.
Over the next few days, he asked her to take selfies with him to show that they were hanging out together, and told his friends that she was his girlfriend and stuff like that.
The last straw was when they were hanging out in town together and they met a group of their classmates. They started chatting, and then Max took her hand and said “Sorry, me and my girlfriend are busy.”
It was one thing to do something like that in front of HIS friends, but completely different with people who they both knew. He didn’t dare call her his girlfriend on Instagram, but now he had finally done it...She pulled her hand away when their classmates had left, and said with anger in her voice: “Don’t ever do that again! I am NOT your girlfriend!”
Max got furious again, as though she had wounded his pride. He answered “You either do what I want or I’ll show everyone the pictures!” She took a long breath: “Do it. I don’t care. I would rather have everyone laughing at me than spend another minute with YOU!”
Max started to laugh and posted the pictures in front of her. She turned around and went home. She cried all night, knowing that everyone would laugh at her and she would STILL have to go do her job as a janitor.
The next day people were paying a lot of attention to Judy, but not in the way she had expected...a lot of people asked her why she was working as a janitor and why Max had posted photos about it. She explained the situation and many of them were impressed that she was so...mature. She had more work experience than her whole class combined. And they all said that they had thought there was something fishy about Max claiming to be her “boyfriend.”
It was priceless seeing Max's reaction to it all. He wanted everyone to mock her, but instead, people were just vaguely interested or didn’t care at all.
Judy kept thinking throughout the whole ordeal that she “didn’t have a choice” about her situation. But she was dead wrong. You ALWAYS have a choice. Even if the outcome can be bad, it's still a choice, and she’s vowed that she will never let bad people manipulate her ever again.
Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com