The short story, Celia Behind Me, portrays the human tendency to always think of oneself before others. The main character of the story, Elizabeth, hides behind Celia to avoid getting mocked. When, at a certain point in the story, Celia is behind her, she quickly becomes the new target for the others to bully. The story is also about simply wanting to feel accepted.
Celia has large smooth cheeks, very thick glasses; she is somewhat fat and suffers from diabetes. Despite the fact that everybody is being told to be nice to her, she is always the target of humiliation and mocking. Despite the fact that she is constantly being humiliated she trails after the others; perhaps especially Elizabeth.
Elizabeth, the protagonist in this story, describes herself as kind of chunky and she wore glasses too, and had sucked [her] thumb so openly in kindergarten that "Sucky" had stuck with [her] all the way to Grade 3. She is the kind of girl that you would expect bullies to pick on, however, she has managed to avoid this so far by joining the others in teasing Celia. For several years, until Celia failed her class, they were in the same class. They also live on the same street and when walking home from school with the other kids from that street, Celia always trails along behind them. When they are somewhat close to home, Elizabeth always tells her friends to stop picking on Celia. While Celia mistakes this for kindness, it is actually because her mother threatened to give her a public if she ever saw it again.
Elizabeth's position within the group of those kids was unstable. She makes herself believe that she is a part of the group. They go home together and they pick on Celia together. That makes her believe she belongs to the group. But when, towards the end of the story, Elizabeth, her friends and Celia are walking through a pipe, something happens. Elizabeth, having dropped her bag, is a bit behind the others with the slower Celia. Elizabeth is...