The Hand from Within the Crowd

by Anesia Bollings

In grammar school I was bullied. I was the nerd who never failed at anything and that’s why I was usually bullied. I went home to a broken family, one where their {there} were so many fake smiles, and I cried throughout the night. Then the cycle repeated. I even changed schools six times, yet the bullying was imminent. I couldn't help that I was smart, funny, cute, athletic and humble. Things that are praised into {in} today’s society, but when I looked into a mirror I saw shattered glass within my heart.

They threw things at me, wadded paper balls, hard covered books, chewed up pencils, and anything they could get in time to throw. They called me names like, “Fatty, ugly, stupid, spoiled brat, lame, outcast.” The last one was my own. When you start to hear what others think of you it’s only a matter of time until you believe it, like the last leaf on a tree in August…it will eventually fall. I fell also, into a deep, dark, scary abyss I created in my own imagination, {which} everyone knows runs rampant.

This pain I believed would never go away. Like being stabbed in the back but instead of the back it’s your heart. Or like being left for dead when there was help two inches away. Yet we all have the day that we reach our breaking point, like overfilling a glass with oil, and pumping air into a balloon with no more space.

I had my day too. It was in 7th grade. My teacher at the time 6’2” Mr. Mahone had left the seemingly quiet class to read while he went to talk to the principal. Once he left there was war. With me being the only enemy. Classmates, black, white, and Mexican teamed together and threw rotten milk all over me, called me insulting names, even pushed me out of my already small chair. Finally, I had enough and verbally fought back and I viciously screamed like 7 school years worth of anguish and sorrow were being released into the air from within my soul.

Then out of the crowd cam a hand. It was small, but not abnormal and a chocolate brown that made me abruptly stop and cautiously stare. Then with the smooth hand came an arm, then a small body with a big face. Ezeckiel, a guy who also was being bullied for his beaver like teeth and big feet was putting his hand out for me. He usually just stood to the side in brooding silence. Yet today, I believe he saw my change. I didn’t hesitate to grab his hand and with this connection came a friend. A unity so strong that a plane can't go through it. Now I smile, because I’m not scared anymore and if I do get scared I’ll stand tall this time. No one should be bullied, not even a bully. I haven't been bullied since. 

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