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Netta Jack

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The School Bully
By Netta Jack
Tuesday, March 11, 2003

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Everyone knows the school bully. That extremely tough guy that gets his way by intimidation and other tactics and strategies including pummeling your body to the ground. My school bully was named Sam. I met Sam in kindergarten.

Sam had worked hard for his reputation his whole life. Everything he did revolved around keeping and maintaining his rep. Sam didn’t always need words to communicate. His body language was a tool he used well – the way he walked, sat, stood. His cold icy stare would raise the hair on your neck.

Sam’s reputation always preceded him. People would quake with fear at the mere thought that Sam was coming. Even the kids that attended the other schools knew who Sam was and what he could and would do.

Sam was always well groomed. Never a hair out of place. Expensive designer clothing and manicured nails. It was obvious Sam came from money.

At first we all respected Sam. He was intimidating but he wasn’t mean or petty. None of that lunch money crap. Sam had a philosophy on life and followed it. Do the right thing or get done by Sam. Period. If he saw something going down that was not cool – like big Jimmy beating up little Susie – he’d jump in and set matters straight.

Things had changed by high school though. The fact that Sam was undefeated caused his head to swell. Sam’s ego had overtaken his philosophy. He started thinking he could do whatever whenever. He started showing up with his homies at places he wasn’t invited to. Places like the other schools sports games even when our school wasn’t playing. Places like the home parties given by kids that did not attend our school. Sam even went to the proms of the other schools with his homies and without a date from that school. And Sam always took over. Sam was always alpha dog.

His behavior affected the respect we had for him. At first we all looked up to Sam. Now Sam was becoming a nuisance. Sam must be stopped. But by who? No one was willing to endure the wrath of Sam.

Then one day this strange kid moved to town. He stayed to himself and kept his head in a book. He never tried to get to know us. He hung with his family and that’s it. It was a bunch of people in his family. His aunts and uncles and cousin’s lived in the house with his father, mother and sisters and brothers.

Sam walked up to the strange kid one day and introduced himself. He let the strange little kid know who he was and what his philosophy of life was. The kid was polite but not impressed. The strange kid continued to stay to himself and interact only with his family. He didn’t even raise his head out of his book when Sam made his presence known in the cafeteria the next day. That weekend Sam went to the strange little kids house. His family was also polite to Sam but not impressed or intimidated.

This enraged Sam. He gathered his homies and went back to the strange kid’s house. Again they were polite but not impressed or intimidated. It appears they had their own philosophy about life.

Sam’s undefeated record and his ego were now on the line. What would he do? He went back to the strange kid’s house. This time they were annoyed. The strange kid’s father explained to Sam that he had respect for him and his philosophy but he and his family was not going to convert to Sam’s way of thinking. He asked Sam for mutual respect and asked Sam to stop coming over. Sam took this as a slap in the face.

WOW! Somebody has stood up to Sam. This had never been done before. At least not in this way. Sam couldn’t let this continue. When he saw the strange little kid in school the next day Sam flexed his muscles. For the first time the strange little kid looked up from his book. He looked Sam straight in the eye and said nothing. He would not speak and he would not be intimidated. The strange kid and his family continued to stay to themselves.

Instead of leaving them alone, Sam chose to see them as the enemy. School let out for the summer. Sam and his homies continually went by the strange little kids house. Sam would drive up and down their street and hang out with his homies on the corner of their block. Finally Sam made them mad.

When school started our senior year the strange little kid was missing. Sam thought he had won. Then on the second day of the second week of school we heard this huge explosion. Someone had blown up Sam’s garage. No one had ever been so bold before as to step directly to Sam. It didn’t cross Sam’s mind at first that the strange little kid was the culprit. He was a scrawny Urkel looking thing that never spoke.

The third week of senior year the strange little kid was back. Sam saw him in the cafeteria and confronted him. Still the strange little kid did not speak. He simply looked up from his book. Then he stood up and looked Sam straight in the eyes. He never spoke a word. He just stood there staring and holding his ground. They stared each other down. Then the school bell rung and we all went back to class.

That was the talk of the school for the rest of the day. People asked me how I felt. I told them I understood both sides and wish they would just respect each other for their likes and differences. And leave each other alone.

When I got home from school that evening Dad told us he was being promoted to his dream job and the family would be moving immediately.

I never found out how things ended up between Sam and the strange little kid. Do any of you know?

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Reviewed by Nickolaus Pacione 3/17/2003
I remember how things like this are because I was the one picked on in school because of being trapped in a special education system. I still feel the stigma of it even now because someone shoved me in a locker and thought it was funny -- it was their idea of a sick joke. Now those people who bullied me regret it more than one way because they made this f--ked up horror writer who he is. Good write to say the least. I found yours through another writers short story where you left a comment.

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