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All he wanted was a friend

My fragile, weak body smashed into the gray lockers that surrounded the hallway -- that is how the movies portray bullying, but that wasn’t the way I experienced it. My bully, Thomas, was a constant trouble maker, he fought often and most agonizing was the ridiculous reasoning behind his rage (commonly just a misplaced word or a wrong look). It was the fifth grade and Thomas was twice my size with messy hair and a vindictive smile, he quickly picked up on the fact that my size would present ample opportunity for him to torment me and my friends. But Thomas wasn’t like other bullies, his main motive wasn’t to torment – it was to gain a friend.
Thomas was incredibly smart. He was part of the gifted program and commonly understood concepts that baffled the rest of the class, despite constantly missing school and skipping homework. Thomas didn’t have very many friends – obviously. However, despite his lack of respect and human decency I felt bad for him. Thomas clearly liked one of my best friends at the time, Amber and constantly told my friend, Samuel and I to learn information about her. I laughed him off and did not complete his”missions,” but Samuel was smaller and weaker than me and often spent recess spying on Amber and the other girls in class.
Though, I was not by any means ‘cool’ I got along with just about everyone and had several friends (many of which Thomas fought). To make matters worse everyone thought Amber liked me furthering Thomas’ discontent with me. Despite his threats and physical torment he clearly just wanted a friend. He wanted what I had and so desperately tried to get it, but was unsuccessful. Probably the most envied aspect of my life was my mother who constantly went to great lengths to support me – she chaperoned all of our field trips, went to all the honor roll meetings and always offered her assistance whenever I needed help. Thomas was not so lucky – his father left before he was born and his mother spent most of her time working, she tried to buy him things but clearly did not discipline him and never attended school events. Thomas often told me about how he loathed how his mother cared so little and often exposed his weaknesses to me which only confused me more, why bully me? I would have been his friend had he just asked and respected me but he continued to hit me and brag about how much smarter he was that was until I told our teacher about his bullying.
When I ran to the teacher I thought for sure that Thomas would beat me up as he had done to several before me and Samuel was even more petrified (he wouldn’t even admit to being bullied because of fear that it would get back to Thomas). However, I was wrong if anything Thomas respected me more for finally standing up for myself, though, he never ending his verbal bullying the physical aspect was gone.
At the end of the year our class went to lunch at Crispers and Thomas happily sat with my mother and I. He was respectful and acted as if he was my brother& her his mother. He treated my mother with absolute respect even referring to her as ‘ma’am.’ And my mother and I agreed all Thomas wanted was a friend.




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