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The Bully, The Boy, and a Friendship
I looked at his grave with the memories of our friendship. We went to the movies, played basketball, went to each others birthdays, and even visited each other when we were sick. He was the greatest friend I ever had. Rest in peace, Marcus Thompson.
We went to Jamesmore High school one of the most prestigious high schools in Boston. It was a good school, but it was the place where Marcus met his death. There was always that one freshmen bully who ruled the school hallways and our school had one too. His name was Kenny Crawler. He picked on all of the freshmen in Jamesmore high but he mostly picked on Marcus.
Marcus and I were freshmen. Marcus was a Hispanic boy who lived with his mother, father, and his two-year-old sister Selena. I’m an African American that lives with my mother and father. We were always competing with each other to see who got the better G.P.A. Marcus had a 3.9 G.P.A. I had a 3.6 G.P.A. We would also compete to see who would win the heart of one of the most beautiful freshmen in school Janet Suzan. Here’s how it all began….
It was the 20th of February. A Monday morning with a light rain and I was getting ready for school. I always woke up at 6:30 am since school started at 8:00am. My mother summoned me downstairs to eat breakfast. She always made eggs, bacon, sausages, and toast and when she felt really happy she would make a whole buffet just for dad and me.
My dad works at a construction site building houses, offices, and even schools. After I ate breakfast, Marcus would always stand outside my house and we would walk to school together. While we walked to school, we would always make plans for the day.
“Are you coming to play basketball at lunch?” Marcus said.
“Maybe. I don’t know. I have to finish my history report.”
“I can help you with it after school if you want.”
We were always looking out for each other. We arrived at Jamesmore High at about 7:47 am. Class didn’t start until 8:10 am. School ended at 5:30 pm. We were about to enter the school until we bumped into Kenny.
“Hey!! Watch it idiots!”
He wore a gray skull shirt that said, ‘you got a problem? Take it to the police!!’ And black jeans. He also has a scar on the back of his neck the length of a ruler.
“Just ignore him Marcus and keep on walking.”
As soon as we went inside the school, Kenny tripped Marcus and yelled out “Clumsy nerd!! Go back to the planet you came from!!” Everyone laughed except for me.
“Just ignore him Marcus and let’s go.”
“Okay,” Marcus said with a frown on his face.
We went up to homeroom. Marcus and I had the same classes.
“What do we have first?”
“You don’t have your schedule, James?”
“No,” I said nervously. “I left it at home.”
Marcus chuckled. “You should really keep your schedule in your notebook or something. We have algebra first.”
“Cool. Let’s go.”
After algebra, we were headed down the hallway to biology.
“Why is everyone laughing at us Marcus?”
“I have no idea.”
I stopped to tie my shoelaces at the water fountain. Then I saw the “I’m stupid!!” sign attached to Marcus’s back. Kenny must have put it on his back when we weren’t looking.
Before I could say anything else, Kenny took off the sign that was on Marcus’s back.
“Hey Marcus! Nice I’m stupid sign. It really suits you since, well, your stupid.”
“Why can’t you just leave me alone?” Marcus said as he ran escaping the congested hallway full of students. I followed him. After 3 hours it was lunchtime.
“Why do you let Kenny walk all over you like that?”
“Don’t you get it? He’s bigger and tougher than me. What am I supposed to do?”
“You could tell the principal or a teacher.”
“I don’t want to be a snitch. I don’t want to talk about this anymore,” Marcus left the lunchroom crying.
“Well if you won’t take care of this problem, I will, I said to myself.
It was 5:30 in the afternoon and school was over.
“You want to play some basket ball at the school park?” Marcus said.
“I can’t. I have chores to do at home.”
“Okay. See you later.”
On my way home I seen Kenny. He was crying his eyes out. I never saw him like this before.
“Hey Kenny!” I said walking towards him.
“Oh its you. What the hell do you want James?”
“Why do you pick on Marcus so much? What did he ever do to you?”
“It’s none of your business!”
“It is my business. He’s my best friend and he’s a very nice person. I need to know why you’re picking on him.
“Just leave me alone!!” Kenny said crying.
“No! I will not leave you alone! You’re always picking on Marcus. Everyday of school he cries every time you bully him. I don’t know what the bloody hell your problem is! He’s a nice person. He’s my best friend and I would anything for him. Now tell me what’s wrong, now!!
Kenney cried louder. He was sobbing like crazy.
“Answer me! Why are you crying? Stop crying and answer me now!!”
Kenny began shouting in between sobs. “I’m sorry I’m sorry!! It has nothing to do with you or Marcus it’s just… I’m sorry!”
“Its ok man,” I said while putting my hand on Kenney’s shoulder.
Kenny began wiping his tears. “I’m just going through so much right now.”
“Well, my mother died a few months ago, my fathers in prison, and I’m failing all of my classes. I don’t know what to do anymore.”
“Oh my god I had no idea. I’m very sorry,” I said sympathetically.
“I feel so alone and empty. I feel like I want to die.”
“Don’t you have any friends?”
“I really don’t”
“You know, you could have lots of friends if you weren’t such a bully. Me and Marcus could be your friends as well.”
“He won’t be my friend after the way I treated him.”
“He might if you change your ways. Marcus can help you with your homework too.”
“I’d like that,” Kenny said with a smile.
I couldn’t believe it. I shook hands with him. We became friends. It felt strange. Deep down inside he was just angry and needed a friend…
The next day came. It was 12:15 pm and Marcus and I were getting ready to transition to lunch.
“James. Do you see what I see? Is that Kenny being nice to the freshmen?”
“Yep! And it looks like he’s coming over to apologize to you.”
“Marcus. I’m very, very, very, very sorry for how I’ve been treating you lately. I understand if what I’m about to ask you is insane.”
“What is it?” Marcus said puzzled.
“Will you be my friend? I can understand if you don’t want to.”
I couldn’t believe it. They bully and the victim becoming friends. It seemed strange but felt so good. A friendship was born.
“Awesome!!! And also I’ve been failing all of my classes. Can you help me with my homework after we play basketball? I can teach you some moves.
“You play basketball?”
“Kenny is the star basketball player of the Jamesmore jaguars.”
We all made plans to play a game or two after school. Unfortunately, I had to retake my history test so I had to stay after school.
It was getting dark and the retake of my history test was finished. As I was walking home I saw an ambulance by the basketball court.
“Excuse me. What happened here?” I said solicitously.
“There was a drive-by shooting that happened.” An old man said.
Later at home, I found out that a student that went to Jamesmore High that was on the news media had seen the action. He said that one boy was Hispanic and the other one was white. Both of them got shot in the chest. Only one survived. Then I knew that those two kids were Marcus and Kenny. Kenny survived but Marcus didn’t. He was dead. I began to cry as my mother came to support me. I had lost my best friend.
Two weeks after Marcus’s death, there was the funeral. Kenny and I went. Some other students from Jamesmore High went too. I then went to the grave site. I looked at his grave with the memories of our friendship. We went to the movies, played basketball, went to each others birthdays, and even visited each other when we were sick. He was the greatest friend I ever had.
Rest in peace, Marcus Thompson.
I walked away crying…