Silence of a bystander

bully suicide bullied bullying bystander target school


1. the silence

        I stood there watching, frozen to the point where no muscle in my body could move. They shoved him against his locker with bruised hands. Every second could count. Someone punched him in his face, leaving a mark of hate the victim would never forget. I bit the inside of my mouth angrily, drawing blood. My fists clenched so hard I could feel my short fingernails digging into my sweaty palms. I wanted to say something; I wanted to get a teacher. The only reason I didn’t do this, was because I didn’t want the bullies to pick on me for wanting to help someone. I didn’t want to be different. No one at this school dared stand up for someone… not even me. Blood smeared the victims flushed face full of tears. I could see his agony drowning him. It’s as if he wanted to drown in his pool of tears, so he wouldn’t have to see the faces of those who hated him through the fog in his eyes. The rush of anger that sunk into my veins hit me with a migraine.


I walked away in shame but relief. The next day I sat tampering with my friends calculator in class. The black haired victim dressed in all black stumbled in as if he were trying to get away from someone. His name was Reed. None ever talked to him. He dropped his pencil box and utensils spilled everywhere. No one got up to help him. Everyone in the class laughed, so I laughed as well, feeling pressured to be known as “normal”. When he picked everything up he ran out of the classroom with his head down and his hood covering his face. The entire class I felt shameful of myself for laughing.  “Isn’t he such a stupid goth loser?” My friend implied.


    “Uhhhhh….” I felt ignorance fill the room with her conceited mouth. I had to say yes or she would think there was something wrong with me. “Yeah, totally.” I replied, feeling the anger spill down my throat. The intercom suddenly sounded static until the voice cleared.


    “We are all going in a lockdown.” The voice sounded tense and hoarse. The class walked out of the classroom on our way to the lockdown hallway. My eyes wandered the building until they paused in shock. I saw Reed lying on the floor with doctors pulling him onto a gurney. Pills were scattered everywhere  on the floor where the scene happened. His eyes were shut and the doctors were putting an IV in his arm. His face was pale. His lips were turning a cold blue. I heard a doctor scream he was losing his pulse.                                                                       


         “Nooooo! My son! My son! That’s my son!” Screamed a traumatized  lady with eyeliner streaking down her face.                                                                                                    


“Please stand back lady.” Said a doctor pushing her away from the gurney that held her son.


“Everyone’s eyes forward.” A teacher sternly commanded. This was serious. My stomach had a huge knot of worry in it. I didn’t know how to react. My breaths grew deeper. My thoughts of this were encircling in my head. I rocked back and forth. I felt like the room was spinning. Tears crawled down my burning cheeks. I was angry. I was sad. I was surprised. I felt the same way Reed did when he got bullied, like I wanted to drown in my pool of tears so the tears could fog my eyes. I didn’t want to see this. I didn’t want to feel like this was all my fault. I didn’t want to cry infront of everyone like this. I didn’t want to go home and act like everything was alright, but I did. I did all of this.


    “How was your day at school?” The same lame question I get everyday I come home.


    “It was great!” The lie felt like bile down my throat, burning and easy to let out, making me feel sick. I choked on the lie for a while, until later that day when it came out.


          “ I’m glad.”  My phone rang. It was from my friend Crystal.




         “Did you hear yet?”


        “ Hear what?”


        “Reed passed away. He committed suicide.” My mind suddenly stopped working. I was tense. I dropped my phone and ran into my bedroom. I was breathing so heavily I could feel myself bounce. He’s gone. He’s really gone, and it’s all my fault. Tears soaked my face and I ran to the kitchen where my mom was.


      “What’s the matter?”


     “ It’s all my fault mom. It’s all my fault.”



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