Two months ago:
Blue glares at Black and mumbles something between clenched teeth.
When Black thinks things are okay, Blue shoots him a dirty stare, a nasty comment.
Black tries to let it go. “I haven’t done anything to him.”
“Why can’t he just leave me alone?” Black wonders.
Then comes the challenge. “I can kick your ass.”
“I don’t wanna fight you,” Black turns away.
From that day on, it becomes a punch to the back, a missing lunch, a promise of violence whenever Blue is having a bad day.
Whenever Blue feels like it.
So now, Black’s on edge every minute-Waiting for it to happen. Waiting for Blue to shove him. Waiting for Whenever.
Black has two parents, a little sister, a dog, and a cat. His grades are good. Sometimes he gets in trouble at home, but mostly, he feels safe there. Safe and loved.
Things at Blue’s house aren’t the greatest. His mom and step dad are always fighting. His older brother stays out so he doesn’t have to hear them. But Blue’s stuck there. He puts his head under his pillow to muffle the sound. He goes without dinner and stays in his room.
I feel bad for Blue. I want him to be happy. I want him to feel safe. He’s a kid. He deserves that much.
I feel bad for Black because, no matter how good things are for him at home, Blue is making him dread every day.
This week: Blue begins to shove and he won’t stop. Black has had enough. He shoves back. The boys trade pushes for a while. Then they’re in the dirt. Black’s on top. As students gather around them, Black hits Blue in the face.
When the teachers come, Black and Blue are both suspended.
The bullying is never addressed.
Black learns he will be punished for defending himself.
What has blue learned?
I saw a lot of bullying when I worked for the school district. There’s a lot of talk among school administrators, but nothing concrete gets done. It’s sad. Your take on the causes of bullying is mostly accurate. Oddly, in my limited experience, it’s not usually the homeless kids who do the bullying. It’s the kids who live in a painful parental environment!
Wow! Well done. Made me sad.