Never Looking Back

September 4, 2011
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He watched silently as the girls surrounded the small teenage girl. She had been in his class since the fourth grade, although she never talked to him. She never talked to anybody for that matter. Whenever he saw her, she had her head buried in a novel or was ferociously writing something down in a bound notebook she carried everywhere. The boy often wondered what she wrote down. Was she writing songs or poems? Or maybe she was writing down everything she hated about everyone in her grade. He hoped it wasn’t the latter.

At this moment he wasn’t thinking about anything else other than trying to figure out what to do as he watched the cruel group of five descend upon the horrified girl. He looked left, then right. There were people all around; some passing by nonchalantly, some wide eyed. A group of football players were laughing with their camera phones poised. The boy shook his head. How could people be so immature and mean?

He had to admit; a year ago he was one of them. He would join in on their whispering, hushed insults, and laughter. It wasn’t until his best friend seriously hurt a boy in the grade below them for being gay that he realized he couldn’t be around people like that. It took a toll on his social status, but he didn’t care. He couldn’t associate himself with them anymore.

The girls began to call out snide remarks to the teenager who was almost on the verge of tears.

“What are you reading there? How to be Unpopular and Stupid?”

“You’re small, ugly, and a nerd! The deathly three! How unlucky for you!”

“Do you have any friends? I mean, aside from that gay notebook you carry around. Is that Harry Potter? What are you, twelve?” She knocked the notebook from her arms.

“Do you even like boys? Or are you just one of those confused—?”

“Hey!” Somebody cut the nasty girl off. To the boy’s surprise, it was himself. The shout escaped his lips before he could even notice. His heart started pounding in his chest as he turned and faced the mean girls. “Leave her alone, will you? She hasn’t done anything to you. You just wish you were as smart as her!” He put a protective arm around the girl while tears streamed down her face.

The five girls looked at him with a mixture of shock and disgusted expressions. There was also one thing he noticed. There was a flicker of fear in their eyes, like they didn’t think someone would ever stand up to them.

While watching the girls surround the small teenager, he realized something. Just standing around and doing nothing was making him just as guilty as the group attacking the girl. He knew he had to do something, and he finally did. He finally proved to himself that he had changed.

And as he bent down to pick up her notebook that was now open on the floor, a sentence stood out among the rest.

I wish somebody would stop them.





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