Are There Bullies Here?
First Day of School
I remember my first day of school. I was only five years old. I am forty-eight now, so it was a long time ago. My mother took me to school because all of her children had started to school at that age. This school, however, had no kindergarten. I was thrust right into first grade. I had red hair and freckles, which seems in retrospect, not a good thing. Even though there were two other redheads in my class, we were not like the other children. I didn't know what a bully was.
John Stamper was a bully. He had me so scared by the time I was in fourth grade that I started going to the other side of the school to get in. My school had four doors for students. We came to the school from different directions, and only one door was for buses. The other doors were for walkers. By fourth grade I was contentedly walking to the furthest door, because I wanted to avoid John Stamper. He had made friends, you see. I was his favorite target and that made me their favorite target too.
I would get to school early, before the buses. I was sure that would prevent me from being seen. The doors were locked and this end of the school was close to the woods, that's why I was the only one at that door.
As I turned the corner, I had no idea I would find myself face to face with John Stamper and Maurice Kennedy. They were waiting for me. I don't know how they found out I was using the other door. They were sitting on the railing and one of them slipped down and started toward me, taunting. I was frozen in my tracks. I remember my first day of school, but I don't remember what they said as I stood there, I was too filled with dread. One comment had something to do with me being fat.
Suddenly, (This is all true) Joel Cash appeared.
He was a kid who had also been picked on, he had an accent, I don't know from where, maybe German. I don't know how he knew to show up there, I was always alone at this door, safe; everyone else was afraid of the woods, I had grown up playing in those same woods.
Anyway, he picked John Stamper up by the collar and put him against the wall, he said that I used to be too skinny and they made fun of me for that so I gained a few pounds and now they made fun of me because I was fat. He told John Stamper to leave me alone and never bother me again. He told him what he would do to him if he ever did. As he put him down Maurice was laughing, he turned to Maurice and said "That goes for you too, Kennedy.
John Stamper never said a word to me after that. I don't remember him at all after that day, as if he disappeared.
Years later, I was out of school, and still lived in the same neighborhood. I was about seventeen. I was walking around the school for exercise, when I ran into Maurice Kennedy. It was around the time the movie Warriors was playing in theaters, and he was sitting on the concrete riser, at the door for the bus circle. It was summer, I guess because there was no school, or a weekend. Anyway, he had two switchblade knives and tried to pick a fight. I was older and so unafraid. I was just thinking what a sad little man it is that needs two knives to fight a girl who is just out for a walk. I think I said something to that effect.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a voice I hadn't heard in years, a face I had only seen from a distance. Joel Cash, riding up on his bicycle. He said Hello to me and asked "Is there any trouble here?" Maurice hastily made his knives disappear as I said "No Joel, no trouble at all."
He said "you're sure." I nodded. Then he looked up at Maurice and said "It sure is a good thing there wasn't any trouble here Kennedy, because I seem to remember telling you not to bother Faye ever again. And I would hate to think you forgot what I would do to you."
Maurice said he had not forgotten, and made a hasty departure from the scene. I looked at Joel and said, "I thought you had forgotten, or maybe I just dreamed it all." He said no, he hadn't forgotten, and it wasn't a dream. He rode away, leaving me with the feeling that he was always watching.
Back to the Present
I don't know whatever became of those guys. I don't know if I care about any of them except Joel Cash. I don't know why he decided to champion me that way. Just a real hero I guess.
I do not like bullies. These two were not the only bullies I have ever known, some were far scarier. But I always remembered Joel. I did not learn until later to stand up for myself, but I have always stood up for others without fear, because of Joel. He did not have to watch out for me. I was just another kid. But I was a kid he knew could not defend herself. I can now. Maybe that is why our paths never crossed again.
I love Hub pages, and I love all of you. I just wanted to know if there are any bullies here.
See I told my best friend about this place and he became a member. After writing two hubs he received an e-mail that someone had posted a comment on one of his Hubs. He excitedly went to see what they had to say. My friend had a comment after being on only two days.
Apparently this person did not like his Hub and so he deleted it. He is going to rewrite it.
I have been welcomed here. I hope there are no bullies here. I would love to see Joel Cash again, but not that way.
For those Who have been Bullied
Bullies thrive on your reactions to their bullying. They have such low self-esteem that the only way to make themselves feel better is to make other's feel small. I only say this to empower you.
If ever you are bullied get this mental picture in your mind of a ninety-eight pound girl being challenged to a fight by a teenage boy. Not asked on a date... Not kissed... Challenged to a knife fight.
That my friends is a coward. He is nearly a year older than the girl he is challenging. They are alone on the grounds of the elementary school that they both attended as children.
Now take this new found strength, this image with you every where you go. Only a coward. Tell yourself, bullies are only cowards. Cowards do not deserve your time, your attention or your fear... They especially don't deserve your tears.
About my Friend
I spoke with my friend and let him know that HubPages is a safe place where all of our opinions count. I told him he can unpublish his hub without deleting it and he also can respond to any comments or not as he chooses, even so far as to deny the comment be posted.
I have been so blessed here. Even when a comment has been less than positive I have approved it as I believe there is more than one side to every story.
Thank you HubPages. There is no place like it, not even Home.
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