According to an NBC News study, one in six students experience bullying in their life. Others go through out their life not actually ever seeing a bully situation. They believe bullies are unreal, or that people just do it to joke around. I was one of those people, until one day, something in me changed.
My day started off a little different than any other. My mom was staying with my sister, who had just had a baby. I slowly forced myself out of bed a little later than most days, ran down my stairs to get something to eat, still getting my clothes on, and was on my way to the bus.
As I was rushing for the bus, I heard my dad yell to my siblings and I, “I am going out of town tonight, go ahead and see if you can stay at a friend’s tonight.”
My siblings were already on the bus, I was usually the last one out the door in the morning.
“All right, dad!” I said back, “I can see what Brandi is doing; I will call you if I am not able to.”
“That’s fine, have a good day! And good luck on your history test,” he said, knowing that I hadn’t actually studied as much as I said I would.
When I heard the voice of my best friend, Brandi, coming closer to my locker, I turned to tell her that I needed to go to her house for the night.
“Good, I have a lot to talk to you about,” she exclaimed as if we hadn’t talked in a long time. It was a Wednesday, so none of my other friends would have been able to do anything, but Brandi and I had sleepovers on school nights often, we hardly ever asked anymore.
Finally, the clock was at 3 o’clock. Math was almost over; I caught myself watching the red second hand on the clock, slowly spinning around the numbers. For some reason, I was more excited for Brandi’s than usual. It felt like it was going to be a good night. When the loud bung of the bell rang, I jumped out of my seat to meet Brandi at her locker. She told me that her mom wouldn’t be able to pick us up, and without a bus note I couldn’t ride to her house. My dad was probably on the plane by now, calling him would be no use, so we had no way to get to Brandi’s.
“Let’s just walk to my house.” I said, with a little disappointment in my voice. Like most other teenagers, I liked going to friend’s houses better than staying at my own.
“This will actually be really fun. Your whole family will be gone. We can do whatever we want for the whole night,” she giggled, as if it was the most exciting thought ever. After all the busses left we packed up our stuff and started walking home. We usually walked home when the weather was nice.
We were walking in silence for a few minutes, just thinking to ourselves, when suddenly, we heard voices behind us shouting. We looked behind us, to see a group of kids throwing snowballs at one boy, who was walking alone. This boy had his black hood up, covering his head. He was looking down at the ground. His scraggly hair was down in front of his face, and he was walking quickly, trying to get away.
“Everyone hates you!” a tall, skinny, blond haired boy yelled, as he threw a snowball to the boy’s back.
“Go kill yourself, nobody would even notice,” a rounder, freckly boy shouted as he threw a snowball, but he missed. I felt my heart race, and my stomach got a heavy feeling, and dropped.
“How could anybody say?” I asked Brandi.
Brandi and I both looked at each other silently, as if we were both thinking, “Somebody should do something to help him.” We stood and watched, almost speechless, for a few more seconds. Until the next snowball was thrown, I decided we were the people that needed to help him.
“Just leave him alone you guys. You can’t just say something like that to somebody,” I turned and exploded at the bullies.
“He is nobody though,” one kid yelled back. We went on for a few more minutes yelling back and forth. They made it clear that all they wanted to do was beat this shaken kid down. I picked up a small, jagged, rock and threw it at one of them. I hit the front kid right in the face. He was muscular and tall. His clothes were perfectly ironed, and his hair was tidy. His eyes were wide and brown, but they squinted into tiny little slits when he glared at me.
“What are you doing?” He yelled, “That’s a rock!”
“And he is a person, leave him alone!” Brandi bellowed back. They started throwing rocks, snowballs, and mud at us. When a snowball hit Brandi in the back of the head, we decided letting them walk behind us wasn’t a good idea.
We grabbed the boy by the hand, and started running for the main street. We figured they wouldn’t do anything if people were around. We ran down the street and turned into a restaurant. All of us were breathing heavy and little beads of sweat were dripping down from my forehead. I wiped the back of my hand across my face before the sweat dripped into my eyes.
”I have $20.00, let’s get some pie or something, they should be gone by the time we eat it,” I chimed. We sat down in a booth and tried to talk to the boy. He still hadn’t raised his head. He seemed sort of embarrassed about the whole situation.
“You didn’t have to acknowledge them,” he said, “They do that all the time, if I ignore them long enough they will leave.”
“You shouldn’t have to ignore them; nobody deserves to be treated like that.” Brandi said, assuring him that those guys were jerks.
“Can I take your order?” our waitress asked.
“Can we just split a piece of chocolate truffle pie, please?” I asked. This was our usual order, Brandi and I ate a lot of pie.
“And for you?” she asked, looking at the boy.
“I don’t want anything,” he slurred his words a little bit, by the putrid smell on his clothes and the dirt that almost stained face, I figured he probably had no money.
“It’s on me, we want to celebrate the defeat of those jerks,” I blurted. He laughed at that a little bit.
“I am sort of hungry for some real food,” he whispered.
“Definitely, whatever you want,” I insisted.
“Well then, I will get the bacon cheese burger and a side of fries.” He mumbled.
“That’s all?” Brandi teased.
As we were eating he told us about his life. I felt so thankful for everything I had, my family, my friends, the food I ate, the money we had, everything, I was thankful for it all, because he didn’t seem to have any of it.
“Thank you guys, for being my friends, when you could have done anything else,” he crackled, beginning to feel more comfortable with what he said to us. I felt warmness inside when I realized that we made his day better.
“Don’t thank us, we were glad to do it,” Brandi exclaimed. We stayed at the restaurant for a few more hours, listening to what little words he said to us.
“Thank you God, for giving me this opportunity, to do good for someone. Please, please, stay with this boy for the rest of his life, and help me to be as strong as he is,” I conversed in my own head. Our bill came to be a little under $15, the change wasn’t much, but I insisted that he kept it.
“I’ll waste it on something useless,” he protested.
“Please, keep it!” I begged, after arguing for a few minutes, he finally caved, I could tell he wanted to.
I always wonder, what if? What if Brandi and I hadn’t been there for that boy? Would he have listened to those bullies, and believed nobody cared about him? Would I still believe that bullying doesn’t exist? Would I ever go out of my comfort zone to talk to someone who looks lonely? I couldn’t be more thankful that I was given that opportunity to help one boy not feel like just a bully statistic that day.