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Being Bullied

I was only bullied once in my life. I conquered the bully who became my friend in the end.

When I was fifteen, I became the victim of bullying. It was a rare occurrence, but it happened. I was a sophomore in high school, not popular but visible because of my academic record. I was the number one student in my class. I was not an athlete, but I played baseball as a catcher.

The bully was a freshman boy named David. He went around picking on random kids, stealing money, beating them up and humiliating them. No one was immune from him. Somehow, I appeared on his radar one day. He stopped me on the way to school and threatened me with bodily harm. Instead of becoming intimidated, I stood there and smiled at him never saying a word. He gave up trying to provoke me and left me standing there.

Later in the day, word spread through the school, that I beat him. Several students sought me out asking what I did to beat him. I told everyone, that I just stood and faced him down. No one believed me. At the end of the day, the story was I beat him up and sent him away crying. I became the school folk hero. Try as I might, I could not stop the escalation of the story. By the end of the week, the story had me severely beating David sending him home barely walking.

Every Saturday morning, I rode my bicycle to the local candlepin bowling alley as a member of the junior bowling league. The bike rack for locking and storing was on the side of the building in the parking lot. This morning, I had a person waiting for me. David knew I bowled and waited for me to arrive. As I rode in David approached. I stood with my bike between my legs and waited for him.

"Get off your bike!" He yelled.

"No, I am not moving. If you have a problem get it out." I said.

"Rumor has it you beat me up and sent me home crying. You and I know that is not true." David said.

"I did not say a word about what happened. In fact I tried to stop the rumors." I said.

"Well, we are going to have a fight here now. I am going to beat you up. You are going to feel what it is like being hurt." He said.

"If you have to beat me up, go ahead. I am not going to fight you." I said standing my ground.

"Get off your bike and start fighting." He said strongly.

"Nope, I do not believe in fighting. I will not fight you." I softly replied.

This angered him and he spat on me to provoke me. I stood there as his spittle hit my face and ran down my shirt. I looked him in the eye and never said a word. This got him angrier. He grabbed my shirt trying to pull me down on the ground. I stood solidly not moving. He pushed me hard I stood still. My position never wavered. His anger reached the point that he had to lash out at me. He punched me hard just under my left eye. It hurt and my eye closed shut. I stood there, never moved and smiled at him.

This treatment lasted for fifteen minutes. His frustration with me subsided, when he hit me and I stood there and took it. He gave up, looked at me and offered me his hand. He clapped me on the back and smiled at me. I smiled back.

"Can we be friends?" I asked. I felt no ill feelings for him.

"Why do you want to be my friend? I just spit on you and punched you in the eye." He sheepishly asked.

"You were just trying to get your reputation back. I was not the source of the rumor, just the hero. The school needed a hero and I was it. You and I know what really happened. That should be enough." I told him.

Monday morning came and I went to school with my badge of honor a black eye. Everyone saw me and wondered what happened. I said nothing and went about my day. At recess, David sought me out, sat with me and ate his lunch. We poked at each other, laughed and had a good time. The school watched waiting for a fight or some altercation. A loud murmur of disappointment spread through the school over the next few days, but the bullying stopped.

In the end, David became a good friend. He stood by me if anyone tried to provoke me. He learned that fighting never solved anything. Bullying was a bad thing. Friendship was a good thing to have and was best used to solve problems.

I learned patience and love for my fellow man. Forgiveness is easy and makes life easier. Standing up for one's principles may get you hurt, but in the long term prove an asset.

Bullies never win in the long term. They get beaten down and end up losing.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

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