The Bully and The Bullied

We all hate bullies, don't we? But we have never given much thought to WHY exactly they like bullying. No one is born a bully - it's spite, anger, hatred and pain that creates one. *This is my entry for the new competition. I've written this from both the perspectives - the bully and the bullied. Hope you enjoy it.* ^_^

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3. Gym Class - Jimmy

Well ... Same old, same old.

What? Don't be so surprised. I told you this is what my life is all about - I'm used to getting insults thrown at me wherever I go, I'm used to being hit so hard I can't even feel my face for several days ... it's just my life. There's nothing I can do about it, actually. Matt and his cronies are so big and strong, I don't think I will ever be able to pluck up the courage and say something to shut that ruddy mouth he's got. He won't ever stop. I have no idea why, but he seems to hate me for no reason. I haven't done anything to him (how could I have? Have you ever seen his enormous size?) but he has taken up a sort of grudge against me ever since I started at Springfield High.  

He's practically the reason I'm bullied at school by almost everyone. You see, they're all afraid of him. I can bet that those 'friends' he's got, those who laugh at his horrible comments about the fact that Dad left us when I was eight, they're not faithful to him at all. I'm ready to bet my life that he's scared them out of their wits to bully me every chance they get. Deep within, I don't think I can blame them. If they don't do as he says, he'll beat them until they're numb...

I wish things were different. I really do. I try to convince myself that this is my life and I have to put up with it, and that I have no other choice. But inside, this voice keeps nagging. Screaming at me to do something about it. Stand up to him! Come on! But no, I don't think I can ever do that. Matt will end up bullying me to death. And I will just end up letting him do that. I don't think he'll ever stop.

But it seems I was wrong. A very, very weird thing happened today. Something I had never even dreamt I would witness...

We had gym class today - so naturally, I would either be spending that time in the medical room pretending to have a bad stomach ache or I would be hiding out in the changing rooms until the bell goes. You see, I (there's no other word for it) suck at gym class. Whatever they play, I stay out of it. It was basketball today, so I changed into my shorts obediently pretending to be enthusiastic about the idea of shooting baskets with a ball that was heavier than me. But I wasn't fooling anyone. They all knew I wouldn't play, and for them, that was good news. If I ever get unlucky and a teacher finds me making excuses and I'm forced to play, I get picked last and pushed around by the kids of the other team. I told you, I suck at basketball! No, I would rather spend my time doing something productive - like my homework, perhaps...

Today was one of my lucky days, I guess. I managed to sneak out of gym class unnoticed. Success! I was just about to turn around the corner and enter the corridor to the library when - I slammed into a boulder. 

Uh oh. Not a boulder. Matt.

"Hello, Jimmy," he said, that cocky smile plastered to his face. He was, of course, accompanied by his cronies, all of them big and burly like him. My mind immediately started doing the calculations - five of them, altogether weighing about five hundred pounds up against me, weighing no more than a feather. If they wanted to kill me, all they would have to do was give me a hug!

My mind was racing - please, please, somebody help me! Someone! Anyone!

"Bunking gym class again, are we?"

"Mind your own business," I said in my head, knowing it would never come out. Argh, I hated being such a sissy.

Matt looked over my shoulders. "Oh, headed to the library, huh? Tell me, kid, do you feed on those books?" A lot of sniggering. A lot knuckle-cracking. Enough to send shudders down my spine.

Anyone! Even the librarian! Please!

"Leave me alone," I said in a barely audible voice. I wanted to run out of that place, but my stupid legs seemed to have melted. "Please, leave me alone."

"Ah, that's more like it," he sneered. "I can hear you pleading. Now that's good manners. Do some more of it, I say get down on your knees and beg me to leave you alone. Come on, I promise, you do that and we won't hurt you. Come on."

I blinked. No way. I wasn't going to stoop that low. I would rather die in honour than bow down to a skunk like him. I stood my ground, looked him straight in the eye and, like a pathetic idiot, shouted - "NO!"

I realised I was in trouble even before I heard the growls from Matt's cronies. His own eyes seemed to have a red glint in them (though now that I think of it, that was probably just my over-imaginative mind playing tricks on me) and his nostrils flared dangerously. He advanced on me, and I took a step back involuntarily. But too late. He had already grabbed me by the collar.

"You filthy -" he began but I pushed him back before I knew what I was doing. I had probably made up my mind that I was going to die fighting him. Because the next thing I knew, he had pushed me so hard that I slammed into the opposite wall with enough force to break my spine.

Matt looked like an enraged bull. It didn't help that the bull had several equally wild-looking mates with him. They threw themselves upon me and began hitting me like never before. This was a whole new level of  madness for them, and a whole new level of pain for me. Before I knew it, I was pinned to the ground, my head swimming as I saw three of them punch me in the chest with their deadly hard knuckles and the other two crunching my fingers beneath their shoes.

I'm going to die! Please, help me!

But who was I kidding? No one would stand up to Matt. He would thwart anyone who dared to do that. I saw his blurry puffed-up red face through my broken glasses, madness etched in every fiber of it. I knew it. I knew it was the end. He had totally, completely, officially lost it. Each blow on my head, each punch in my gut just reminded me how weak I was. I didn't even have enough energy left inside me to cry out for help now. In fact, I was barely able to move any part of my body. Vaguely, I was aware of the satisfied grunts and pleased cheers from the bullies twisting and crunching every part of me, but all I really saw was Matt's face. That face contorted with hatred. I wondered, fleetingly, what I had ever done to him for him to hate me this much. But right now, all that mattered was surviving.

"Nobody touches him!" he barked at his gang. "He's mine to finish!"

The finger-crunching stopped abruptly, and a whole mountain of pain shattered on me. Every inch of me ached, but yet, like an idiot, all I thought of was Voldemort. Had Matt just been watching a Harry Potter movie? Did he really think he was going to finish me like that, ordering his Death Eaters to leave me alone and he would kill me himself? Because if he did, I was sure to be dead in a blink of the eye...

"Please," I croaked feebly. "Please... don't..."

And then he stopped. No I'm not kidding, he really stopped. Did my pleading just work? Had he just kept his promise, that he wouldn't hurt me if I pleaded? No, it was more than that. I could see it in his face that it was way more than that. He looked surprised and confused, like he had seen me clearly for the first time. There was something else I noticed on his face. Like I said, something I never even dreamt I would see. Guilt. Dread. Pain. Shame.

And right then, he got up and ran. Just like that. He ran.

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