After a girl was mercilessly tormented by a classmate, the tides turned 10 years later. At 22, she was no longer being made fun of by the boy who once caused her so much pain. Instead, he asked her on a date, giving her an opportunity for sweet revenge.
Louisa Manning was just 12 years old when she began being repeatedly exposed to torment and teasing by a boy at school. He was relentless in his insults, picking on her every day during those awkward years for “being ugly.” As a result, her confidence was shaken and she suffered from low self-esteem.
Eventually, however, Louisa decided not to let her dreadful school days decided her worth or the rest of her life. The 22-year-old Oxford University student had blossomed into a beautiful young woman, catching the attention of the boy who picked on her years before when she bumped into him at a university ball.
He was apparently so enamored with Louisa, he messaged her on Facebook to ask her out on a date, but she was far from flattered. “I was pretty pissed off he asked me out, to be honest,” she said. “It really made me angry that now I’m attractive, he instantly wants to jump into bed with me,” Louisa added.
“My gut instinct was to say no,” Louisa admitted. “But, then, I realized what a brilliant opportunity it was, and after bouncing ideas off a friend for a few hours, we came up with an idea.” Louisa agreed to join him for dinner, all while hatching a plan to give him a taste of his own medicine.
When he arrived at the restaurant for their date, he had no idea she had asked one of the wait staff to give him a little gift when he showed up. It was an old photo of 12-year-old Louisa, taken when he had harassed her with hateful remarks. But, the real surprise was on the back, where she had written a note.
“So sorry I can’t join you tonight,” Louisa wrote. “Remember [8th grade], when I was fat and you made fun of my weight? No? I do – I spent the following three years eating less than an apple a day. So I’ve decided to skip dinner,” she continued.
“Remember the monobrow you mocked? The hairy legs you were disgusted by? Remember how every day for three years, you and your friends called me Manbeast?” an obviously upset Louisa asked. “No perhaps you don’t – or you wouldn’t have seen how I look eight years later and deemed me f*ckable enough to treat me like a human being.”
Louisa then boldly concluded, “I thought I’d send you this as a reminder,” referring to the photo. “Next time you think of me, picture that girl in this photo, because she’s the one who just stood you up.” Before handing the picture and her note off to the restaurant staff, Louisa snapped a photo of it and later posted it to social media.
To her surprise, she received a message from the man, apologizing for his horrible behavior. “For what it’s worth, I was actually here looking for a chance to meet up and make friends, not because you are very good looking. I guess I had it coming though, and certainly don’t blame you for standing me up,” he wrote.
“I can’t change who I was 8 years ago, and I won’t insult your intelligence by pretending that it didn’t happen, but I hope you believe me when I say I’m a completely different person now,” he continued. “The only thing I can do is apologize and wish you the very best. … I mean it when I say that I hope you have every success you deserve.”
For Louisa Manning, it was too little too late. “I’m so shocked, I actually got an apology,” she said. “It’s 10 years too late and really if he’d intended to apologize he should have done so when I bumped into him … rather than asking me out for dinner first, but it’s still an apology and it’s still amazing I got one.”
There’s a lot to be learned from the incident — most of which comes from the man’s message to Louisa, not her message to him. Once words are spoken, they can’t be taken back, and what you say and how you treat others can come back to bite you, as this guy learned. Hopefully, this story reminds others to be nice. Insults might be funny at the moment, but years down the road, you’ll likely wish you had been kinder.