Just a Bully

September 1, 2017
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“What made you do it?”
My brother stared at me, clearly waiting for an answer. I looked down at the ground, unable to meet his eyes.
It was the tenth time I had been faced with this simple question. Every time for the same reason. Yet every time, I had no answer.
I wanted to run away. I was so ashamed. Why had I done it? Why did I beat up poor Marcus and yell silly taunts at him? It wasn’t like I had to bully people - I just kept on doing it, just like an alcoholic keeps on drinking. Only an alcoholic is better than me - he doesn’t punch others and make them cry and hurl cruel insults at their faces just to vent out his anger at his own worthlessness.
I clenched my fist. My brother has an uncanny ability to make others feel guilty. I hadn’t even felt this way in front of my principal.
Think, I told myself. Think. Why was I so weak? Why couldn’t I face my problems head on?
I wanted to scream and yell. I wanted to spill out everything that was tormenting my mind. But looking at my brother, sitting there so calmly, with so much dignity and without even a crease in his expensive suit, I knew I couldn’t. He would never be able to understand - we were too different. While our father’s death had sent me into a whirlwind of insecurities, it had propelled him to work even harder. He’d gotten a well-paying job, and taken over as head of family. My mother always gushed about how proud she was of the way he’s grown up. Needless to say, it’s been a while since she’s said anything of the sort to me. A bully is nothing to be proud of.
Some people are just born better than others, I thought bitterly. They become leaders, and we lesser beings can only attempt to follow them. Such was my philosophy.
“Look at me in the eye, Steve.”
My brother’s voice was quiet, but there was a definite note of impatience in it that hadn’t been there before. Maybe he was already tired of dealing with a loser like me.
I shook my head. I knew what I would see behind his dark grey eyes: disappointment. And that would sting worse than any blow I had ever inflicted.
I heard my brother get up and leave the room. Now even he had given up on me. What a wreck I was.  I collapsed on the ground, tears spilling out of my eyes. I quickly wiped them away with the sleeve of my shirt. What right did I have to cry. Tears were a sign of human emotion. Great leaders cried them,  newborn babies cried them. But a bully like me had no right to cry them.
Slowly, I walked to the kitchen and grabbed bottle of water from the fridge and a bottle of pills from a cabinet. Pills and water in hand, I shuffled back to my room. I had no explanation for what I was doing; my body was acting of its own accord. But one thing was certain - no one else would shed tears because of me.

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