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By , New Britain, CT

I believe everything happens for a reason and I still believe in this. I believe my shyness was a disability it was keeping me down from making friends from pre-k all the way to the 4th grade, what made things even harder for me was switching schools. The first school I went to; I can remember every detail of the first day I was woken up by my parents; they me told it was time to get up and I was very confused. So I got up, ate breakfast, and got into a uniform, it was weird for me not dressing up in my regular clothes . But I didn’t question it. My parents gave me a backpack with Looney Tunes drawings on the back of it my mom walked me to my bus stop and we took the church shortcut. I got stung by a wasp on my finger; It was painful I cried I couldn’t bare the pain. My mom believed that me crying was a sign that I was going to miss them and that I didn’t want to go where they intended me to go. I told her I got stung by a wasp she didn’t believe me, I told her over and over but she still believes that I’m going to miss home; Once we reached the bus stop I seen 3 other kids crying and sobbing saying, ”I don’t want to go I want to stay here with you guys”.


I was a little scared but I could handle it; I did stay at my Grandmother's house for a month I could bare being away from my parents for quite some time, 5 minutes passed by and a yellow bus showed up, when it did the 3 other kids cried even harder and were lashing out screaming out,”Please, Please, don’t make me go”. The parents literally had to drag their kids into the bus and told them to stay inside; My mom didn’t have to do that to me she gave me kiss on my forehead and gave me a big hug and told me a that herself and my dad love me and then she told me to get in the bus; I had second thoughts about getting in the bus but I trusted my parents so I did what I was told.


I got on the bus and we drove off the kids were still crying and begging to go back, but the bus drivers calm and soothing voice said, ”Everything is going to be ok you’ll see your parents soon enough”, since spanish is my first language I didn’t understand so I nodded my head even though I didn’t understand a word she said, I knew some English but it was only greetings and good-bye’s. Once I got to the school I was a little nervous I had butterflies in my stomach. My parents said to go to the room where all the kids were going and to go when the number I was assigned was called,I followed the first few kids that looked about my age I was led to the auditorium I sat in the front row so I could hear the numbers be called out once everyone was here and seated the principal of the school came out and said this whole speech and I understood some of it, after his big speech a bunch of teachers came on stage and started to call numbers; As time passed by I realized that there was only a few students left and I was pretty sure that he was my teacher but he wasn't. The principal asked me what number I was and I didn't know what to say to him I was a Spanish speaker so he brought me to his office and he called someone through the speaker; A minute later a Latina woman came and the principal said to her to translate for him and so she asked me what number I was assigned and I told her number 14 lucky enough it was my bus number so it was easy to remember she told him and what he said to her was to bring me to the classroom that had even numbers up to 2-20. I was really frightened and he said to her to tell me that he knows I'm afraid and I shouldn't be everything is alright and I should be strong and I'll be able to conquer anything, that did lifted up my spirits and I was a little less fearful.


The woman took me by the hand and said to me that we'll be going to the class I was supposed to go with we ended up walking down a big hallway and once we hit the class it was really quiet and the voice that could be heard was the teachers I froze and stood by the door for a good minute then the woman put her hand on my head and said, “It's ok go in you'll love it” I slowly put my hand on the doorknob, opened it, and went in. The teacher stopped and looked me and gave a big smile and you must be Bryant; there were so many desks and the their was only one that was empty and it my name on it. She told to me to have a seat and to listen up after that she explained the rules and how we should behave, it was the first day I didn't know anyone.


A week had gone by and I still hadn't made a friend I was alone and if I tried to make a friend it would be hard for them to understand me cause I can only speak Spanish it was my curse; I had given up and told myself I don't need anyone but my family and myself, but you could say a miracle happened I was partnered up with a Hispanic boy and I was a little nervous since he was a stranger to me and I didn't know what to say. After a long talk we became friends he was my best friend and my only friend that I could trust at the time, it felt really good to make a friend I liked the feeling it was joy and excitement, it was sign that I wasn't alone and I don't need to give up so quickly. He was the bestis of friend you can get, he taught me some English some words that will be mentioned a lot and something's like that. I looked up to him he was a role model the best of students; some time passed by and I had learned enough English from him and from my teachers to try and talk English for the rest of the year, so the first thing I did was try and make more friends because that feeling of joy and excitement was very relieving and before you know it I made a whole bunch of friends I was friends with everyone in my grade and so I tried to make more friends; but little did I know you can't be friends with everyone.


I made a friend who was my bully and since this whole friend thing was still new to me I believed the way he acted around me was normal and nothing was wrong so I rolled with it. He used me like a punching bag and a rag doll I was a practice dummy but thinking about it know I feel like a dummy I let him use me and I couldn't see it. I started to hang out with my bully more than my best friend I thought I was in with the cool kids well I wasn't I was with the terrible kids. A few weeks had passed by and my best friend started to see a difference I was getting bruises and cuts and things like that I had excuses for the things like oh my dog is a bit too playful, I fell and got some cuts , and I fell down the stairs. These were all lies one I never had a dog, two the cuts were from thorns branches he threw at me or hit me with, three the bruises are from his fists and objects he had hit me with.


My best friend knew something was wrong the moment I lied he knew I didn't have a dog, he went over my house numeral times I wasn't in the clear. The teacher suspected child abuse so they sent a social worker at my house and my parents thought it was normal for me to get hurt I always did do dangerous things and I always get get hurt when I do it, since they didn't take my parents word that they never hit me or touched me in order for them to hurt me they asked me questions like have anyone in this house touched you? Have you ever been locked somewhere? I thought to myself my friend does these things to me and I didn't give much thought and they asked me, have you ever been bullied?.


I didn’t know what that meant I asked her what is a bully and she said a person who picks on you beats you up for no reason. I’m pretty sure she just described my friend well bully, she asked me again have I ever been bullied I said yes then she asked what the name of the bully I told her. For the next few weeks I never saw my bully, I wondered if he was in trouble, my best friend was relieved to see me happy again and without any more injuries I was free no more being a test dummy or punching bag; after a month he came back he seemed nicer and not so scary or intimidating I went up to him and he looked at me and apologized for all the things he did to me he said he wanted a do over he reintroduced himself and gave a big smile and said let's be friends, I’ll be honest I was a little scared and sceptical but you can forgive and forget right?. Over time he earned my trust again and became friends with my best friend so I was really sure that he changed, I was wrong I learned it the hard way the 2nd to last month of the end of the school year he asked me to wait for him outside after school I told my best friend that I would wait for him too, the bell rang and I was outside the door where the stairs are at he came out before my best friend and he asked if I wanted to see something cool I said sure he climbed on the railing and slid down them I was very impressed he asked me if I wanted to try it I said yes and oh boy I regretted it I climbed the railing and slid down; he was at the bottom and what he did next gave me trust issues he went up the first 2 steps and he pushed me into the the railing it hit my head hard I was in shock I was bleeding from my lip, he looked at me with an evil smile and I was in fear. The next few parts are vivid I seen my friend come out he seen me in the floor bleeding he looked at my bully and he fought him I wasn't watching for long I was holding my head for the pain was too much. The next thing I knew was that my friend helped me up to a teacher, he explained my situation and everything went blank. I may not remember the rest of the school year every time I do I always get these huge headaches. I do remember the next day, waking up in my room I share with my sister; she was sleeping next to me, I looked out the window it's morning, I couldn't think, if I tried I get a huge headache. I felt off I couldn't feel any emotion it was like something inside my head broke I couldn't speak with emotion if I spoke I'd sound like a robot. I get up from the bed and walk towards the mirror I look at myself I look broken.


A tear falls down my cheek I couldn't feel sad I couldn't cry with emotion. At that moment I knew nothing could fix me I felt like a broken doll. I hear my parents room open, I open my door I see my Dad he looks at me and he has a mug in his hand he puts it down and with the swiftness grabs a hold of me I hear him mumble “Thank You God”.


There's water on my shoulder I'm sure it's tears, he looks at me and says “Only a real man will show his emotions”. That was the only time I've seen my dad shed  tears, I look at my door I see my sister she woke up she grabs me and says “Are you ok?” I responded “I don't know” my mom comes out of her room, once she saw me she starts to sob “my son, my son, poor son” grabs me and lifts me  up; she hugs me tightly, I felt like I couldn’t breath, my body starts to ache my Dad sees my pain and tells my Mom to let go. I she puts me down as I was fragile, well I have to admit I did feel fragile.


That’s all I remember 1st grade wasn’t much to talk about but something kept popping up but I think it was my imagination it looked like a little demon with a mask that was too big for it. I saw it every time I was alone, it got closer when something bad happened around me or to me. After 1st grade I went on to the 2nd grade; 2 months later I was bullied yet again but by a girl she was scarier than the last bully, her grin as she picks on me I was terrified, every time I would see her I would freeze in place like a statue, every time she gave me that grin I couldn’t fight back. My teachers would see me with bruises and cuts on me so they asked to go to the principal's office. It’s been a long time since I seen my principal, once he saw me he knew who I was, he said, “I remember you”. He reached for his phone I told him I could understand him in English, his reaction was surprising he put his phone back down, He asks why am I here, I tried to tell him but I choke on my words and my robotic voice isn’t very convincing. As I work up the strength to tell him I see her pass by the office she comes to the door she gets closer I froze in my seat she looks at me and says, “Are you ok?”.


I'm terrified I can’t say anything then I see it the little demon he’s on the desk next to the principal but the mask is off I can see his face, he look’s familiar and as it get’s closer I start to recognize the face; it’s the face of my first bully it’s mumbling something it keeps repeating the words’ “Take the mask, Take the mask, Take the mask”. It disappears when the principal calls out my name he says, “Are you ok?” I say to myself, “I don’t know”. The girl grabs my arm and I push her away, she looks pretty mad I made a mistake. The principal shouts at me and says what I did isn’t right and tells me to apologize to the girl, I refuse to do it. He suspends me for 2 days, I couldn’t believe it I’m in trouble I rarely get into trouble; this girl is changing me and my views on life. After the 2 days I come to school I was told to head towards the principal's office and the first thing I see is my bully. I come in and he looks at me and says, “Bryant apologize to this girl, all she was trying to do was help you.” I had to do it I made myself sick by saying it but it had to be done he let’s us go to our classrooms, I was terrified there’s no telling what this girl is going to do to me but she didn’t say anything to me or harm me.


So I went on with my day at least I thought I was, lunch period comes up I'm waiting line for pizza then I see her and she's looking at me, we make eye contact and her eyes were filled with rage. She runs towards me with her fist, I get out of the line cause I know she's going to hurt me so I ran around the lunch room and she chases after me. Eventually she catches me by the line she was about to hit but I managed to dodge it but she hits some random girl in the throat a couple of students told on her and she gets taken to the principal's office along with me. When we entered the first thing I see is my parents along with 2 other parents I guess it's the girl's parents. We sat down and then they started to talk my parents were looking at me with sorrow then they turn to the girl they looked angry the other parents looked at their daughter with anger as well, she looks frightened after a long talk with the principal my parents turned towards me and they say you're not staying in this school anymore so I was transferred to Smalley Academy. I was glad that I didn't have to stay in that school with that girl but I was going to miss my friends I was a little sad but it was for me to get away from it all. Throughout the entire time of school I didn't make any friends so summer comes by and I usually play with my family soccer it was a sport we always played and guess what another bully and he was from my Dad's side of the family. I swear I'm like the prime victim for being bullied, he was like my first bully using me as a punching bag throwing me into the the rose bushes which had thorns in it and he hit me with the fallen branches from the thorn bush.


This went on for a 2 weeks then I had enough I fought him in beside the church where the pastor lives, it was my first time to fight and surprisingly I held my ground he didn't any foot wear so he fought bare footed for a good five minutes and then I knocked him back into a small pile of broken beer glass he stepped in it and then he fell over crying in pain he said to me, “Are you f***ing stupid don't just stand there get me some help”. In all honesty I wanted to leave him there I didn't want to help him but I'm not an animal so I called his parents I told them what he did to me and what happened they looked furious at him they picked him and carried him to his house.


The was the last time I seen him. I came told my parents and they had an argument with the bullies parents, I never seen such an intense argument about me. That was last time I ever got bullied I can learn a lesson from this I can’t put all my trust into people not even my own family.

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