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Bully

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I hold my books tightly in my hands
Maybe I can keep them from slamming to the ground
I don’t have time to pick them up and make it to class
I can’t be tardy without causing a scene
I slip into the classroom
Someone sticks out their foot and I go sprawling
My papers fly and I land heavily on my books
I hear snickering and feel my face turn red
A delicate hand holds out a paper to me
I grab the drawing
And scurry to the back of the room
The bell rings too soon
Beckoning me to the hall where someone is waiting
I get up after almost everyone has left
I can avoid them if they’re worried about being late
The teacher looks at me and nods once
She knows what I go through each day
What I’m too ashamed to admit
They call me a coward a chicken
Am I?
Everyone tells me I’m not
In fact they say I’m brave to go to someone who could help
I avoid everyone in the halls successfully again
The next teacher looks at me with the same eyes
My entire day is like this
The day’s almost over
Time to go home
Where there are no bullies or people who will tear me down
I’m getting ready to leave my final class
The teacher reaches out his hand to stop me
He says we need to talk
He says I shouldn’t have to go through what I do everyday
I tell him that I only have a semester left
I tell him that I’ll get over it and that I don’t mind what the other kids are doing
I lie
I don’t tell him I don’t want the drama
That I’m afraid of what they’ll do if I tell
I’ve only come close once and I got beat up
I don’t tell him any of these things
But he sees them on my face
He makes me sit down and talk to him
I tell him everything
I name names
I tell him everything that they’ve done to me
After I start I realize that I cannot stop
When he knows everything he looks at me differently
He holds out a hand
I take it
He reminds me that what I’m doing can only help me
I nod even though I’m not sure I believe it
I go home
My feet are lighter as I walk
I feel more comfortable now that I’ve told someone
My parents smile at me and I smile back
The next day I hurry through the halls as usual
When I walk into class I’m not tripped
No one throws paper at me
No taunts fly my direction
When the tardy bell rings the boy who is always mean stands up
The teacher nods and he begins to speak
The words don’t register at first
Then I realize that he’s apologizing
This doesn’t seem right but I feel myself smile



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